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Should I watch One Born Every Minute if I have a labour phobia?

(62 Posts)
DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 14:56:20

I have always avoided all labour information (childbirth not the political party), details, facts and images - If it comes on the tv I turn over and if a friend starts describing the horrific facts of someone's experience I change the subject. I really am ignorant of what is involved in the process and never thought I would need to know. Now my own labour is approaching (at age of 30) and I am absolutely terrified. shock

I turned OBEM on the other day and watched 5 minutes - in which I saw two ladies violently vomiting into cardboard bowls - which really didn't help my fear! My Q - should I watch a full episode? Will it make me feel better or worse? Or is ignorance bliss when it comes to labour? I also haven't been to any classes. I am scared of the pain and the indignity of it all. I have never spent any time in a hospital, never been seriously ill, never had an operation. I am the sort of person who wouldn't get changed in front of other women in a swimming changing room - so the idea of being that exposed is, to put it plainly, petrifying.
Should I bite the bullet and watch it or just stay safe in the dark till D-Day? Only supportive answers please - "PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER YOU DAFT COW" not helpful grin.

NervousAt20 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:00:30

I'm 36w and I use to watch OBEM all the time but since I've been pregnant I just can't, I sit there trying to cross my legs tighter and tighter grin I have made DP watch it and I'm glad I did because he actually had no clue of anything and I know he would have freaked out completely when I'm in labour and now he'll be more understanding and not as horrified. I actually found a birthing class really helpful and glad I went an it made me realise how clueless I am/was

Don't think anything I've said will help you make a decision but you could try smile

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 15:08:04

Nervousat20 I nearly spat out my orange juice at the thought of you 'crossing your legs tighter and tighter' - I think I would be the same! If I ever see anything involving birth - even if it's all glamourous and airbrushed on soaps (completely unrealistic and 2 minutes long!) I get a horrible feeling down below - I think it's probably the same feeling a man gets when he sees another man get a swift kick in the bollocks!

plantsitter Sun 07-Oct-12 15:14:07

I would watch, because knowing what happens or what might happen, and what is normal and what you can expect can help enormously with fear. Better to be prepared (in my opinion).

Only thing is the maternity wards seem a lot nicer than the one I gave birth in twice so it's worth checking what the place you're giving birth will be like in terms of what they do/who can be with you when/ etc.

One thing I like about OBEM is the way they convey that there is a lot of waiting... and waiting...

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 15:22:03

Thanks plantsitter - the show is actually filmed at the hospital I will be going to - ironically.

forgottenpassword Sun 07-Oct-12 15:25:52

Depends which episode I would say. Obem is entertainment at the end of the day and so they pick births which are dramatic or interesting I imagine. Some will be chosen because the mum is very frightened and others because of the character of the parents. I would get someone to watch a few episodes for you and pick out some of the births so you get to see some of the more "normal" experiences. My mother always told me that birth was very hard. Whilst far from a walk in the park, I found that it was not at all as bad as I had thought. Knowledge is power I think. Far better to know what to expect and to have more control. Things you don't understand are always the most frightening.

bonzo77 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:25:55

Watch it, ask for a proper tour or the labour suite too, get more info from other sources about what you can do to help yourself. Nct, hypnobirthing, mn and nhs classes depending on what appeals.

osterleymama Sun 07-Oct-12 15:28:05

I'd watch it, I was petrified going into my last labour and am much less scared this time. I think fear of the unknown is much worse that fear of something painful but understandable.

Londonmrss Sun 07-Oct-12 15:35:14

Well worth watching this one: https://lifebegins.channel4.com/explore/birth/types-of-birth/natural-birth/video/heather-gives-birth-in-the-pool
It's a beautiful, calm and inspiring birth. I think the girl had spent her whole pregnancy thinking 'I hope I look nice when I'm in labour' rather than 'will it hurt?' so didn't have any of the fear that creates tension that in turn creates pain. I've watched this one several times in the lead up to my own (I'm currently 37 weeks).
forgotten is right though- most of them involve a woman lying on her back screaming. This is not a representation of real life, but a representation of what makes a dramatic television programme.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 07-Oct-12 15:48:40

forewarned = forearmed.

AlexanderS Sun 07-Oct-12 15:52:05

I think you need to have a basic understanding of the interventions that can be used in labour - e.g. ventouse, forceps, episiotomy, C-section, the procedure where they attach a monitor to the top of the baby's head (my DS had to have that and I'm glad I understood what they were doing and why from my NHS antenatal classes). And the different types of pain relief - otherwise how can you write a birth plan? A good pregnancy and childbirth book will talk you through that stuff.

Try not to worry. I know that's hard! But women do have good labours, it's not always pain and distress. I can honestly say I never got to a point in my labour where I thought I couldn't cope with the pain (though I had a C-section at 8cm dilated and never got to the pushing part!). I took a portable CD player to the hospital and listened to all my favourite music, I think that helped. I'm sure you'll find many similar tips on here.

cakeandcava Sun 07-Oct-12 15:59:00

I really think you'll be doing yourself a huge favour by finding more out about the labour and birth process. Not just watching OBEM (it's not very representative, the women on it are self-selected, and then selected for entertainment value), but taking a class or reading a lot. It really helps to understand what is happening, why it is happening and why it is a good thing. That way, you'll be able to think about the process and the outcome rather that just 'that hurts and I'm scared'.

booboomonster Sun 07-Oct-12 16:20:36

There's some good advice here. I just wanted to add that reading up on it might be better than the visuals of OBEM. Also, you can take it at your own pace. Maybe find a book without graphic illustrations. There might even be a book for people who fear labour. Lastly, I do think you will need to deal with the fear as it could just tense you up and make labour even harder (like if you knock yourself and go 'argh' it seems to hurt more than when you breathe it through). Breathing techniques might really help on that score, too. Good Luck!

Oldandcobwebby Sun 07-Oct-12 17:05:28

forewarned = forearmed
four armed = deformed

gringringrin

PeshwariNaan Sun 07-Oct-12 17:10:20

No. Read some Ina May Gaskin!

Maybe try reading a book such as Ina May's Guide To Childbirth.

I've watched a few episodes of OBEM and although I get mild panic at some points it's one once the baby arrives.
I suffer from anxiety and particularly health anxiety and I find avoidance and denial works badly. But then on the other hand you could be over prepared. I think finishing a middle ground where you're informed but not fearful would be good?

BikeRunSki Sun 07-Oct-12 17:20:37

I deliberately avoided OBEM when I was pg.

JennerOSity Sun 07-Oct-12 17:44:24

The thing is, you never know which image will freak you out completely and get stuck in your head so you can't shift it! And you won't know it's coming until you have seen it.

Personally I wouldn't watch it as I don't think it is representative at all of the variety of labour experiences.

It is important to know that experiences of labour vary a lot - and the ones deemed telly-worthy are not necessarily anything like what your's will be like or likely to assuage your concerns.

The main way you can be prepared is to try to relax and be prepared to go with the flow - your body and the midwives will take care of the how-it's-going-to-happen part - your job is just to roll with it and stay calm.

If it helps - it is entirely possible to have an easy first labour. I am currently pregnant with second but my first labour was a breeze - keep in mind that this is possible. Have some vague idea about what you absolutely don't want in your labour (mine was my mum being there - noooooo) and then just let it pan out.

The more chilled out you are the better, and if having your nose rubbed in all the possible things that can go wrong by seeing it on OBEM would not calm you - don't do it just to try to be informed - you won't be informed, because no-one will have had your labour - you will just be freaked out!

whatsoever Sun 07-Oct-12 17:56:15

I watched OBEM religiously before I was pregnant but have avoided it since. However at the start of my mat leave I decided to watch all the water birth clips on 4OD as that's my plan A. I found them really encouraging.

I read Ina May's book too. It was very nice & empowering but I suspect the lovely home-style births on the farm with 2 MWs always present will bear very little resemblance to my birth at a massive very busy hospital. It did give me the sense that I can question the need for interventions though, which I am hoping to be able to do if necessary.

GuybrushThreepwodWasHere Sun 07-Oct-12 18:12:26

Me and my DH found it helpful and really informative, but I'm a nurse and not really fazed by hospitals/vomit/poo/emergency surgery

It depends on what bit of birth you're scared by?

There was a series on BBC recently about MW's that I thought was a bit tamer then OBEM

VeremyJyle Sun 07-Oct-12 18:23:02

I watched a video on free birthing (illegal and not advocating but...) it gave me such confidence to watch a woman give birth in no pain, she just breathed her baby out. It was so inspiring, seeing is believing! I had first two DCs with no pain relief and third with gas and air as he was in an awkward position, I just reminded myself that woman had done it and so could I, a very sobering thought.
I would recommend watching the more positive births first, my favourite episode (I think it was Midwives on BBC) was seeing a permatanned girl in stilettos have a water birth with the most supportive dp ever supporting her through it, it was truly beautiful I'm still jealous now of such a supportive birth partner hth smile

isambardo Sun 07-Oct-12 18:31:32

I really wouldn't recommend watching OBEM, but you do need to prepare yourself for labour.

I would read as many birth stories as you can (Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is brilliant for this, as others have said). I would also attend your local NHS lessons which will inform you of all your options of pain relief, info about your local hospital/midwife led unit etc.

I know its daunting but information really does help. Also, maybe consider some hypnobirthing classes or a CD as a way to relax and get prepared.

StuntNun Sun 07-Oct-12 18:34:30

I have been watching it and looking away during the scary bits, such as the sections. The thing I found most useful was seeing one girl who was really panicking and taking short frequent breaths of her gas and air and refusing to stop taking it, which doesn't work as you need to take longer breaths when the contraction is just starting and stop taking it between contractions. I can so easily see myself getting into that same panic so now I know to focus on keeping calm so that I can listen to the midwife properly.

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 18:37:12

Goodness - all interesting advice - thank you V much. But I am still very undecided. I think I am leaning towards avoiding it. I might try and find a book on it. I just know if I need to stay calm I am not going to be able to do it. I am probably the most anxious person you'll ever meet. I am also a 'worst case scenario' thinker. Just reading these posts is making me scared. Urgh. I have no threshold for pain whatsoever. I tend to cry A LOT. I am a big baby myself. I am def leaning towards avoiding the program and maybe going to a class. Anyone tried pregnancy yoga? Did it help with the 'calming down?'

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 18:39:04

Thanks ever so much for all this - it is really helping me.

NulliusInBlurba Sun 07-Oct-12 18:39:12

Oh, my love, nobody is going to call you a daft cow or anything so silly. I think everyone is at the least a bit apprehensive before their first birth, but what you're feeling is well on the way to tokophobia, a full-fledged phobia of giving birth. Nobody should ever insult or belittle you for feeling like that.

However, I DO think there's a lot you can do to improve the experience for yourself. I really wouldn't advice staying in 'blissful' ignorance, because actually you're not blissful about this, are you? - you're terrified. The link posted above from OBEM about Heather giving birth in the bath is great and lovely to watch, but Heather wasn't actually nervous leading up to it, she just went with the flow and it worked out for her.

Three main things that might help you view the process more positively:

Try hypnobirthing, either as a CD or a course if you can afford it. You're trying to train your brain into realising that it's all actually going to be fine, whatever happens. Birth IS unpredictable, so you need to teach yourself techniques for staying calm, even if things don't quite go to plan (for instance if a EMCS is recommended at the last minute).

Secondly, I think things are a lot easier if you have a confident, reassuring birth partner who is there all the time for you (and your DP might be too stressed to do that properly). Would you be able to afford a doula? A doula would be able to 'fight your corner' with possibly overworked hospital staff and check that your needs are being met. Make a birth plan with your doula (or other birthing partner) and check with the hospital how likely it is that this plan can/will be met. You're scared of the pain (fair enough) - what option would suit you for early labour, would you want an epidural for later on? You're scared of the indignity (also fair enough) - work out which clothes would best make you feel secure, emphasise in your birth plan that you don't want the world and his dog traipsing into the room, but also just consider the idea that in the middle of labour you really won't care about indignity.

Finally, just a suggestion, but if things are that bad, you might want to consider finding a consultant who would do a ELCS. Yes, there are risks involved with it - it's major surgery - but might actually be more sensible than going ahead with a vaginal birth when so overwhelmingly afraid.

I think you DO need to arm yourself with info about how labour progresses, and how and why the 'normal' procedure might need to be changed for medical reasons. Otherwise there is a risk that you will totally freak out by being confronted with so much new information while in labour itself. I DON'T think that watching OBEM is necessarily the best way of preparing - as was said above, it's very sensationalist.

Labour really doesn't have to be something dreadful - I did it twice, in a lovely environment (a private birthing centre) accompanied by DP and two midwives, with zero pain relief - once on all fours, once in the bath. I didn't do this because I am some sort of masochist or 'brave', but because I have a morbid fear of hospitals. So I dealt with that fear by setting up a system whereby I could give birth and bypass the hospital altogether - but I was always aware of the risk that in a medical emergency both me and the baby would be transferred to hospital.

NulliusInBlurba Sun 07-Oct-12 18:41:57

Ah, dueinfeb - we cross-posted. One of the things I did do in both pregnancies was pregnancy yoga, and it helped enormously. We did lots of physical stuff, but also piles of meditation, positive thinking, getting to 'know' your baby in your tum etc. I loved it. The course was taught by a midwife, and we also had a few minutes each week where we could ask her general questions and talk about our worries.

Spice17 Sun 07-Oct-12 18:56:35

I can honestly say The Midwives programme that was recently on the BBC really helped me, I found it helpful and informative and it actually made me realise childbirth is not horrific and can be a positive experience (and I used to be absolutley DISGUSTED by this sort of thing).

I wasn't even going to have children because of my extreme fear of labour but am now 40+1 and praying for some action!

Now I'm not saying I'm not scared and if I think about it a lot my heart starts to thump but I'm trying to think positive. This has come with accepting dd will be arriving and I have no choice, so I may as well TRY to view it as a positive thing, in the hope that this will make birth calmer and smoother.

By the way, would not watch anything like that at this stage, there's knowing and rubbing it in my very pregnant face smile

Good luck to you!

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 19:02:18

Thank you Nullius - I don't know what a doula is? It looks like I will have to do some research. Thank you for your long response. My partner I think will be very very supportive - but he doesn't want me doing it anywhere but a hospital because he heard about a woman on the news that died - something to do with her placenta and not being at a hospital. He said that if anything went wrong and we weren't at a hospital and something happened to me etc... I don't want anyone seeing me in that position although I think my partner will calm me down. I am absolutely terrified though. When I saw the 5 mins of OBEM I cried and didnt sleep properly for days - I have only just got over that. But I didnt watch the happy baby ending. Just two women vomiting. Did I mention I also have a fear of vomiting? Oh dear...

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 19:05:21

Thanks Spice! Do you know the name of the program? I am assuming you mean a documentary type thing? Or do you mean 'midwives' with Miranda Hart in it? Which I also avoided like the plague.

NoTeaForMe Sun 07-Oct-12 19:12:26

I think that giving birth could be a terrifying experience if you didn't know what was going on or understand what was happening. The midwives/dr's will probably need you to make decisions about pain relief and things like that, and you can't make them without knowing anything about them. I personally think that having a little bit of knowledge is power and it takes out a big part of what could be scary.

You're not being daft, giving birth for the first time can be scary partly because you have no idea what to expect...I would ask if there's a way you can talk thoroughly with your midwife about what you can expect. Research the different pain relief and have some knowledge.

I don't think OBEM is a great idea (not terrible either though!) as they are people picked to be entertaining not to be the 'average' (if there is such a thing!!) birthing experience.

You need to do whatever you need to do to help you be calm and confident!

Tattoopixie Sun 07-Oct-12 19:23:39

Hey DueinFeb I also have severe anxieties about health-related things and have a extreme phobia of vomiting. That is the main thing i'm worried about for my labour. I'm due in february so I still have a way to go but decided to opt for a NCT birth companion (or Doula) to accompany me and my partner at the birth as I think she will help to keep me calm etc. The NCT has various concessions available for different incomes so you don't always have to pay the top whack price. We had our initial meeting with her last week and I already feel calmer about the thought of labour, especially as she was very positive about labour and birthing. Maybe that could be something you could look into to support you and your partner during your labour? Hope this helps a little.

DueinFeb Sun 07-Oct-12 19:30:11

thank you Tattoopixie - don't want to sound stupid but what does NCT stand for and where do you get a this person? It sounds really good. ps - good luck for Feb smile

Figgygal Sun 07-Oct-12 19:33:54

Oh my god you could be me I was 30 when has DS in December and would feel Ill and twitchy at the thought of childbirth and pregnancy.

I did find obem good to watch as though it is entertainment I did find it a good reference also I went to pregnancy yoga which really informed me and helped my prepare mentally

Thoroughly recommend reading Ina May and also doing Hypnobirthing.

Tattoopixie I am extremely emetophobic too and that was my biggest issue with child birth. I was promised and given an anti emetic injection at the onset of established labour and never felt a second of nausea, you can ask for this to be put in your notes if you discuss it with your midwife. If you want any more advice then feel free to pm me smile

If you reacted that badly to watching 5 minutes, then yeah I think avoiding it would be a better idea smile

I'd advise reading or doing a class or some research so it's not all completely unexpected, maybe search for some of the thread on positive birth stories? Or as said above, look in to a doula who will be informed of your fears

PollyIndia Sun 07-Oct-12 20:16:35

I agree with those that say educate yourself but not through watching OBEM. I am nearly 42 weeks and have never seen it. But I've read Ina May Gaskin and done a hypnobirthing course and lots of pregnancy yoga. Hypnobirthing is far and away what you need if you want to stop the fear of labour. I am not scared at all. A bit pissed off to still be pregnant (!!) but not scare of the labour itself. And that's all down to hypnobirthing I think. So if it does nothing on the day, it was worth doing the course just to be able to get to this point with no fear.

Good luck!

kellestar Sun 07-Oct-12 20:16:40

When I was first expecting [DD is now 21 months old] I wasn't keen on watching anything, but a friend really recommended it. She did me the biggest favour. She is a GP, but did a number of rotations in different departments, including deliveries and nicu so had a vast knowledge and patience. She prewatched, made notes, sat with me and prewarned of bits that might be worrying. She also talked through different ways of handling things. She was excellent and well worth the cake I made her for each OBEM. I did watch them on my own after a while and found the fore knowledge helped me understand that every woman is different and each delivery is different.

I had my NCT classes cancelled as I was the only one signed up locally and though given another option it was too late [8pm-10pm] over an hour drive away. All the NHS ones were on days where I had consultant appointments.

I knew that my pregnancy was high risk [weight] so would deliver at a consultant led unit. Was freaked that they'd just decide on a CS. I had a lovely VB with a lovely midwife and it was exactly what I wanted, but not what I was expecting. My friend had prepared me for all options and I think I'd mentally prepared myself for a long labour.

So I would advise that if you haven't got a friend like mine, find out about doulas, they can offer very similar services. The support they can offer you is in addition to your midwife, the good thing is that you can shop around to find the right person for you.

My DH also watched OBEM on his own with friends notes, it helped him understand what labour is all about and how useful active birth partners can be. He was excellent and really supportive, helped me relax and concentrate, he knew exactly what my wishes were [birth plan etc]. Having him prepared helped me so much.

I am due DC2 in April next year and have been told that I am classed as low risk this time. It has opened up more options for me, last time being high risk meant that the options were slightly more limited, but that was good [for me] in a way, as less to panic/mull over.

Iggly Sun 07-Oct-12 20:22:03

The problem with obem is that that is not how labour will be from your pov.

My first labour was hard - 2 hours of pushing, blood loss, stitches but even straight after (and during) I wasn't scared just bloody tired and hungry. DH on the other hand was bricking it!

Read Ina May Gaskin and do yoga if you can. You can learn a lot about labour without making it scary.

Dualta Sun 07-Oct-12 22:45:29

I watched it when I was pregnant last year, to be honest there are so many different types of births - and you really cannot know what type of birth experience you will have going into it.

Some of the births are a bit sensationalised, lots of loud howling/pain and sometimes distress whilst others look almost unbelievably serene.

You don't hear much from the women about how they felt about the birth experience in the show - I found talking through recent the birth experience of a couple of close friends gave me more insight into what to expect - than watching the show. Esp as labour can be long and boring before the final stage!

Have you got any friends who would share their perspective with you? Lots on MN as well.

I found listening to hypnobirthing cds put me into a 'what will be will be' sort of frame of mind - which defo helped.

Orenishii Sun 07-Oct-12 22:56:41

Watching OBEM REALLY brought it home to me how much holding your breath, panicking, and not really dealing with it mentally - or at least trying to - can hinder the whole process.

Of course things might happen, but in the process of a regular birth, your body is doing something amazing, that goes far away from how much perhaps we're mentally and emotionally removed from our bodies. OBEM helped me a lot in that I realised tensing up, not breathing, not letting things go way my body will dictate them will not help me.

I get the whole having lived your life getting changed in a cubicle thing smile But during child birth, I tend to thing the more you give yourself up to it, the better time you'll have of it, at least mentally and emotionally. To let go, to surrender yourself to the amazing thing your body will do, is probably the best way to keep calm.

Londonmrs I love that birth! I've watched it so many times in the lead up to my own!

MB34 Sun 07-Oct-12 23:51:49

I would say avoid watching any part of it.

When I first became pregnant, I watched a few episodes on the basis that I'd see the worst and my birth could only be better - it scared the living daylights out of me! (Although I did watch the episode that someone linked to earlier and was quite inspired by that one birth experience!)

However, I have signed up to do a hypnobirthing course, I have only done one session, but since reading the book, I haven't watched an episode since.

Hypnobirthing teaches you that your body is designed to give birth so have faith in your body that it knows what it's doing. It also encourages you to envisage how you want your birthing experience to play out - making it more likely to happen (sort of like olympic athletes visualising themselves crossing the finishing line first to spur them on to win - it wouldn't cross their minds to visualise themselves finishing second/third/last!)

I may not be explaining this very well and I hope you get what I am trying to say. Maybe reading a hypnobirthing book or watching a DVD may calm you a little.

I also don't like the indignity of it all - but with hypnobirthing - if all goes to plan there shouldn't be much interference from anyone. However, just incase, I have bought a crop top/bra thing and a long nighty to keep things covered!

panicnotanymore Mon 08-Oct-12 07:36:12

I don't watch birth programmes, and would go as far as to say that the reason I waited until the last possible minute to have kids (age 39) was down to the birth video the school made us watch age 13. I left a bit traumatised by that.

I think some people find OBEM helpful, but if you don't, don't watch it. Read up on the process, speak to your midwife, avoid women who love re-telling the tale of their own labours over and over again. ime the worse the labour, the more they like to talk about it!

We're all different, me, I'm ok with the idea of birth, but really not ok with watching it on TV.

ohmeohmy Mon 08-Oct-12 08:17:08

Watch births on the hypnobirthing channel on YouTube. Totally different to what you are expecting to see and very reassuring

DueinFeb Mon 08-Oct-12 10:13:38

Everyone seems to be quite sold on 'hypnobirthing' which I had never heard of. I am going to try and type hypno birth classes into google and see what I can find. I think I will stay away from OBEM - as the 5 mins I saw were so scarring. I will also check out this Ina May person. It seems I have lots of options. Thank you thanks

DueinFeb Mon 08-Oct-12 10:19:03

ps - for those who asked if a friend could help with their story. I am only the 2nd person out of my entire group of friends to have a baby and the first had a nightmare birth - waters broke on Monday and had to be sent home for ages - days - because nothing was happening - she planned a water birth but then the baby was back to back or in breech or something (no clue! I avoid these things) then she had to go back to hospital so couldnt do the water birth and was there for days and then had to be cut. I listened to the story and she might as well have been describing Texas Chainsaw Massacre in detail. That didnt help. Then my cousin's friend had a baby and my cousin said - with her hands on mine - "er..... I won't tell you about the labour" - I AM absolutely sick with fear sad

Londonmrss Mon 08-Oct-12 10:19:47

I'd like to give a tiny opposing view to all the Ina May Gaskin recommendations. I actually found it rather judgmental in its opposition to medical intervention- as if people who do end up going down that route have somehow failed. I understand the philosophy of thinking of birth as a natural process rather than a medical one which is why I'd recommend 'Effective Birth Preparation' by Maggie Howell instead. Although I'm not keen on the CDs that go with it, the book has really helped me.

Purplecatti Mon 08-Oct-12 10:31:55

I am terrified of hospitals and 'gukky' things happening to me and I'm due this week!
My mum has been the nicest and most helpful person. She told me that seeing it and hearing it are very different to doing it and experiencing it yourself.
If it was that bad people wouldn't do it more than once.
She said she was so terrified with her first (me) that she turned up and the hospital, heard a woman screaming and she fainted! It took two midwives to drag her into the delivery room. But she said it wasn't so bad in the end, when things get under way she said just to go with whatever your body seems to tell you.
I'm going for a home birth which at least overrides the hospital phobia and my midwives are WELL aware of my fear of being meddled with and I'm very lucky they've all been so understanding.
Mention it to your midwife, you're not silly for having fear and sometimes just voicing your fear to the powers that be helps relieve some of the tension.

I've steered clear of OBEM as it looks a bit dramatic for me but I did watch an episode of the BBC one and that was OK.

dinkystinky Mon 08-Oct-12 10:33:26

No - read "Childbirth Without Fear" and some Ina May Gaskin and look into hypnobirthing - they'll be far more helpful. Each person's labour, and how they react to it and feel in it, is different - watching OBEM really wont help you cope with yor phobia/panic.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Mon 08-Oct-12 10:47:48

I have a terrible fear of vomiting but when I was sick during labour, I can't tell you how much better I felt. Don't worry about that bit, it just happens- you throw up and get back to business. you'll have a lot more to concentrate on at that point. Also, I cried the entire way through. I mean literally from 7pm till DD was born at 2pm the next day blush no one was bothere apart from me.

Spice17 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:01:24

Yes I think it was called 'The Midwives' and was on BBC 2 about 2 months ago. It was a documentry and I found it more factual than OBEM and therefore more helpful and reassuring.

I also learnt about the drugs etc before my antenatal e.g about pethedine possibly making the baby sleepy.

Greypuddle Mon 08-Oct-12 11:02:45

I second all who have mentioned hypnobirthing. I have the cd and the Maggie Howell book. I think hypnotherapy might help that mindset of 'I'm terrified of xyz', where we've decided what we're scared of from quite a young age (in my case it's heights) and it's firmed up in our heads to the extent that we believe it's simply a part of our personality and we can't change it. For example, the difference in the phrases 'I am anxious' and 'I sometimes feel anxious' - one is referring to one's whole being and one is separating the self from the condition.

Oh dear - I'm not sounding very clear at all! You've told yourself over and over and over again that you're scared - if you listen to a hypnobirthing cd, it will tell you over and over that you'll be ok - hopefully replacing what you've told yourself for years. If nothing else, it's soothing and calming. Good luck. I bet you'll be great.

I watch it, but only because I like shouting at the TV.

I have never seen a birth on that programme that resembles any one of my 3 experiences.

Sussy83baby Mon 08-Oct-12 11:57:25

No one likes the thought of people looking at there private parts but when ur in labour u don't care as long as the baby comes out safely, it's painful but all worth focus on what ur gettin at the end, every labour and delivery is diff for ECG pregnancy and women so u can watch the program's and find urs is nothing alike

Tattoopixie Mon 08-Oct-12 18:36:52

Hey DueinFeb NCT stands for national childbirth trust and if you type that into google you will get directed to their web page. There is a section on the site that lets you find out what's available in your area aswell smile and thanks!

Tattoopixie Mon 08-Oct-12 18:41:04

Thank you so much Needforsleep I had no idea such an injection existed so will ask my midwife at my next appointment smile

LillianGish Mon 08-Oct-12 19:02:08

I love OBEM, but definitely wouldn't watch it if pregnant. Anyone who says they aren't apprehensive before their first baby is lying. I wish I hadn't dreaded the birth of my first baby so much - in the end I really enjoyed it and the subsequent birth of ds, in fact one of the reasons I like watching OBEM is like feeling nostalgic the two best days of my life. My advice to anyone would be to be realistic about what might happen - prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I don't think it's particularly helpful to go into it thinking a whiff of lavender oil and a few scented candles will do the trick and then feel cheated because you end up with an epidural. Remember pain relief is an option - I had epidurals with both and that's why I enjoyed so much. As for embarrassment, believe me that will be the least of your worries. Don't underestimate how excited you'll be about meeting your new baby and also how fed up you will be of pregnancy by the time the moment arrives.

glossyflower Tue 09-Oct-12 09:15:18

In my opinion, I think you should watch it.
I've never been able to watch program's like that before, thought it was totally gross lol.
However since maybe a couple of years ago I started to watch it, and now am hooked even now am pregnant with first baby.
Yes some of it looks horrid but when you see that baby at the end it makes you emotional.
I have found that the women on One Born who come on at the beginning and say "yeah this is my 3rd I know what to expect its going to be a piece of cake" generally have a difficult labour. Those who come in nervous of what's going to happen generally look like they have a lovely labour and cope with it fabulously. I say generally because there are exceptions.
I think if you can mentally prepare yourself beforehand it might make it easier.
That said, I have not yet given birth myself!!!
Good luck x

DueinFeb Tue 09-Oct-12 09:38:15

Thanks so much LillianGish and glossyflower - both very comforting posts smile

smileyhappymummy Tue 09-Oct-12 18:58:25

To all those feeling anxious.... I am a doctor so have seen a fair few different deliveries whilst doing obs and gynae and paeds, and obviously we end up seeing the complicated stuff. However, it's only ever made me feel better about birth, because every single time, no matter what's gone on, seeing the mum holding her baby and how overwhelmingly happy she is just makes it very plain thwt it's all worth it and that it all stops mattering the second you hold your baby. And that's how it's been for me personally as well.
Don't know if that helps at all, hope so, good luck to you all!

DaffyDuck88 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:51:19

Don't watch it! Watch this instead! www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRUxqyzk9EE A nice calm hypnobirth in water. Seriously, this is inspiring and reminds you that your body knows what to do if we let it.

melliebobs Wed 10-Oct-12 19:56:14

I watched OBEM. Curious more than anything. After having dd I can't watch it now without getting angry and envy and crying that I missed out n didn't do it properly. I hate that programme

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