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Massive Anxiety about giving birth(22 Posts)
Hi, I'm 32 weeks pregnant with our first child and from the minute I found out I was pregnant I've had a huge fear of giving birth. As times gone on its become a bigger issue and has now taken over any excitement I had for meeting our baby. We've not decorated his room or bought much yet as I've keep putting it off. It makes me feel so guilty and sounds like I don't want him, but I definitely do. Just cant get past the fear of having him. I've spoken to my midwife about it a while ago (at about 20 wks) but have since pushed it to the back of my mind as I've had other stressful stuff going on in my life. It was made worse by last weeks antenatal class, a full 2 hours about going into labour!! Came out shell shocked!!
Has or does anyone feel like this?
I think it's normal to be anxious for all women but my friend had extreme anxiety about giving birth. She was also needle phobic and had counselling for this but it didn't help. She decided to have a c section as she couldn't prepare herself for a natural birth. For me personally I was more petrified of the thought of having to have a c section rather than a natural birth. What exactly worries you?
Have you taken steps to plan what to do once you do go into labour?
Every first time mother is a little afraid. I had my DS 4.5 months ago, but during pregnancy I did a good job at pushing labour to the back of my mind until around 33 weeks where I started panicking. When early Labour kicked off (very manageable dull ache around 8am), I dunked myself in the bath and started my breathing. It served to really calm me down, rather than deal with the 'pain' (which wasn't anything near painful for some hours). When the real pain came, I had already nailed my breathing, having practised all day, and labour was a breeze for me (with help of gas and air and great support from mum bedside).
I really do believe the trick is to try and be calm, so you are more in control and can face any twists or turns with a level head. When the pain gets unmanageable, remember you're not alone and you can access pain medication as you wish.
I felt like this too - the closer the date came, and the more I learnt, the more scared I got.
After the ante natal classes I went and asked my consultant (my ante natal care was "consultant led" as I was an older first time mother) if I could have a c-section, and luckily (for me) he agreed to it.
Most of my friends thought I was crazy, and one of the midwives asked me if I was sorry I'd missed out on giving birth naturally, and I just said no, I'm interested to hear about other people's birth experiences, but very relieved that I'd been able to have the birth I wanted.
How are people able to get a c section? Anybody I spoke to gave me a resounding N.O. unless I had a medical reason.
Honestly- it's not that bad. I've got no pain threshold and am really not brave at all but the way I approached it was just one bit at a time- or "this bit feels like period pains, I can handle this", then "this bit is really painful but the gas and air is helping and the next stage will be soon"- and I actually coped really well. The pushing bit was fucking painful for sure but by the time I got there I was focussed on "the baby will be here any moment" and that got me through. I suppose what helped was really a kind of mindfulness now I think of it- just focus on what's going on in the moment and don't think of it as a whole.
You need to talk to your midwife and/or obstetrician ASAP.
They should be able to offer you counselling to talk through your fears.
If after counselling, you are still very anxious about a vaginal birth and would prefer an ELCS, they should let you have one.
That's what the Nice guidelines say. See this fact sheet (under "Do I have a right to a C-section?"):
PS As the fact sheet says, you need to ask to see a perinatal mental health specialist.
JayDot I don't know much about how people end up having elective c-sections, but in my case I got put into a category called "special baby", or something like that, as I'd had IVF and was in my mid 40's, i.e. The c-section was to minimise risk as this was most likely my only chance of having a child. The consultant was a bit reluctant, as he didn't feel there was any medical necessity as such, but must have taken pity on me.
Maybe severe anxiety about the impending birth can come under medical reasons, if they see that a woman is so distressed about it they may approve a c-section.
Entirely normal to be anxious. I was the same - made worse by fact I was giving birth in France and was worried about not understanding everything or being able to make myself understood. Heard all the horror stories, read a dreadful book sent to me by a friend (?) about various women's experiences giving birth. For me I think it was the inevitability of it - as the due date crept closer and closer - not knowing how it would be for me, thinking of everything I'd been told and read. I came home from a tour of the labour rooms and burst into tears! When my daughter was finally born it was almost an anti-climax - in fact my first words to my husband when the midwife handed her to me was "Was that it?" I had a shortish labour, but the cord was round my daughter's neck and I ended up having an episiotomy so not entirely without incident, but I coped easily. I would even go so far as to say I enjoyed the experience. I wish I had not wasted so much time worrying about it! It is inevitable and your labour and birth will be entirely unique to you, but you will be able to cope with it and once you meet your baby you won't give it a second thought (I was pregnant again within 13 months!) I won't tell you not to worry because you will and I know that when I was at your stage it wouldn't have made any difference to how I felt, but I just wanted to some on here anyway to say that's how I felt and it was completely fine and I hope that helps even a little bit.
Have all the pain relief you need. Have an epidural. Our midwife said, nobody gives you a medal for bravery so have whatever you need. This was good advice. If you had a headache you would take a paracetamol yet people seem to think it's a good idea to be in childbirth agony with no drugs-baffling.
I would have been very anxious about giving birth but because I was booked for a section it took the anxiety away. As it was I went into labour early, I did have the section but as an emergency.
You need some counciling to help you with your anxiety. I had a complex birth but absolutely loved every second of it. Telling you that isn't going to make you feel better though. A councillor will equip you with three strategies you need to help. Good luck x
Hi, I agree take all the drugs you want to - no medals handed out at all. Alternatively I just stayed on the gas and air (with a little pethidine sleep in the middle) because I was paranoid about me and the baby being too out of it to breastfeed. Gas and air is basically you getting a bit stoned and really does work a trick to distract you. At one point I had to stop myself from telling the MW that she had beautiful eyes!
Basically you'll manage - there will be funny moments and probably some scary ones. It sounds like some hippy bulls*t but genuinely it was one of the most affirming events of my life. The midwives were amazing and pushed me when I was knackered. My dh was awesome and most importantly I worked hard and I earned that baby! I am proud of myself in a way that I never knew that I could be. And it will be the same for you.
Trust me - its full on. But you can handle it.
You can do it but you need to try to be a little more positive about it. I know that's easier said than done and I don't mean be flippant.
Wth dc1 I worried and panicked and didn't have a good birth but with dc2 I decided to be more positive and tell myself I could do it
I attended an antenatal relaxation class - or you could try yoga.
I also listened to natal hypnotherapy CDs which really calmed me down and helped. My birth with dc2 was so much calmer and had no pain relief. I would never have thought I could do that with dc1
Oh and don't panic about the antenatal class they always feel the need to tell you every tiny thing about labour - no one needs that for 2 hours!! I went with dc1 and it was all about labour and not one bit of help for anything once the baby actually arrived!
I think the best thing to do is go with the flow. Your body completely takes over and does everything it needs to. And if it's not doing that then the midwives are there to step in and help. It's only natural to be worried or even scared but it's honestly not that bad (well obviously it is, but none of us would go on to have more if it was that bad!). If you feel you need anything to ease the pain then ask for it, no need to suffer unnecessarily! I had g&a and pethidine and the last 4 hours of my labour felt like a dream! Haha. I'd agree with PP though about chatting to your midwife, or seeking help along the lines of hypno-birthing etc. Or maybe join your local maternity yoga group for breathing and relaxation techniques. Good luck, I'm sure you'll be updating this post in a few months time telling us you can't even remember what you were worried about! Xx
Totally normal to be anxious but definitely bring up your concerns again. I found hypnobirthing and yoga were really practical things I could do during pregnancy instead of just sitting and waiting, also look for the website positive birth stories and put some positive images around you about birth. You can still have drugs if you want them, but in the early stage of labour (if you don't go for elective CS) you probably won't be admitted to hospital and hypnobirthing can keep you relaxed before you can get your pain relief (I didn't need any until the pushing stage which I put down to this and I also enjoyed it) or even whilst you are having your CS. It also means your baby will enjoy your lovely relaxed state towards the end of your pregnancy. Good luck!
Just a hand hold from me.
I am the biggest wuss going
I take plasters off under the water in the bath and I have two children born by SVD and a shot of pethidine.
What helped me was focussing on the outcome and know that I was going to meet my beautiful LOs at the end. Please speak to your midwife.
It is normal to be anxious about childbirth. I'm expecting baby no. 4, and you think I'd be a pro by now, but I am still nervous the closer I get to my due date! That said, when the time comes you will be ready to go - it is all a part of the excitement of bringing a new baby into the world. And there wouldn't be so many of us walking around if it was that horrible an experience. Don't let fear and horror stories put you off.
Lemon101 your message is just what every expectant mother needs to read!!
What about trying some hypnobirthing? If I'm honest it all sounded a bit too weird and hippy for me but then I started to read a bit more about it as a friend kept mentioning it to me. I found lots of useful information and a well priced book on mindful mama website. I have ordered the book and plan to have a good read to see if it's for me (currently 23 weeks so planning ahead a little- but like you I feel that my worries could take over the whole show if I don't try to manage them)
As helpful as other people's "don't worry you'll be grand" tales are (and they are!), I think the most important thing here is for you to feel like you're in control of the situation where possible, and to know that you've prepared your wee body as best you can - mentally as much as physically. Maybe you can speak to a hypnobirthing practitioner in your area, or like another post suggested, a counsellor? There are lots of options, just choose what feels best for you and build your confidence around it. Don't let the anxiety swell and swell- find something small to start with. You can do this, one step at a time.
Please let us know how you're gettin on, I'm sure a million other mummy's to be will be feeling the exact same and will appreciate the updates. Xx
I was the exact same - terrified of labour, had perinatal team involvement etc. Really would have done anything to avoid it!! I uses to cry all the time from fear - and am usually pretty brave!
But please try and enjoy what is left of your pregnancy - if I could show you what's it's like afterwards now I would! I wish so much I hadn't worried so much and just embraced pregnancy much more!
But I would say speak to people honestly - your midwife, partner ... whoever to get your anxieties out. Figure out what it is that is really worrying you! And write everything down in your birth plan - all of your worries etc. I found the staff to be very understanding! It's so common to be anxious!
Practice breathing techniques!! I found that so helpful! And take any pain relief you need - and don't feel ashamed of doing so!!
I have to say I was petrified of labour and the whole process - and mine didn't go at all to plan, but even then it was not as bad as I had imagined! And it's such a small space in time before the incredible journey of parenthood begins!!
And remember - women do this all the time and have done for centuries! Our bodies are made for it and with each bit of pain and at the end of it you get closer too meeting your beautiful baby!
Speak to your midwife about it again and try some natal hypnotherapy for whatever birth you plan.. Home birth/hospital birth/elective CS
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