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Expecting my 1st child

(8 Posts)
Bev1234 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:22:59

I have just discovered that I am pregnant which I am thrilled about but I am absolutely terrified of child birth.
What is the view on here for having a secerian(sp) birth and are they actually allowed??


crispyseaweed Wed 22-Jun-11 14:31:49

Hi congrats!
Do you mean a Caesarian section ?
You can only have a Caesarian if there are problems and you cant give birth vaginally (normally).
for example the baby is lying breech, your placenta in right down at the exit by the cervix, the baby during labour gets very distressed and heart rate drops, etc.
I have had three babies, and I am happily still here, as all we mums are on mumsnet and world wide, and we do it again and again.
Dont be scared , just read up as much as you can about it all and see you GP to register you are pregnant and have your blood pressure checked and scans, blood tests, routine tests booked, and optional ones if you wish.
Having a baby is one of the most wonderful things you will ever do as a woman, and the labour is only a very short part of that.
In my opinion, if you need/want pain relief in labour then have it, after all if you were at the dentist having a filling you would have a local anaesthetic!

Cyclebump Wed 22-Jun-11 14:40:49

I think it's natural to be scared, I had my first on April 5 and while I wasn't terrified I was a bit apprehensive!

Your chances of getting a Caesarian are pretty low unless there's a medical reason and there's a rationale behind that. It's a major op and when I had my son there was a possibility I'd need one but they really put me off!

I ended up having a normal vaginal delivery on just gas and air and was up and about within two hours of giving birth. I could pick up my baby, get myself showered and dressed and was independent from the get go. Overnight in hospital there were a couple of ladies who had had c-sections who looked miserable. They couldn't get up for hours and had catheters in. They couldn't pick their babies up either.

There are pluses and minuses both ways, I found getting all the info really helped and ignore all the horrible birth stories, I did and I'm sure that's how I muddled through!

Justtrying Wed 22-Jun-11 15:34:54

I too was apprehensive, gave birth to my first Dd on 29th May at 2135, started out in pool as i wanted a waterbirth, unfortunately after 3 hrs, not all in pool, of pushing, DD was stuck so I was taken to theatre for a possible c section, but they tried forceps first, and DD arrived. Had Gas and Air as pain relief in the pool and then a spinal block for the forceps as a episiostmy was required. Stayed in hospital for 2 nights, catheter removed after 9 hrs and was able to move about, all be it a little gingerly after catheter was removed. I was driving 5 days after the birth and felt fine after 10 days. 3.5 weeks on everything is fine, stitches healed and ready to jump on DH, but need to sort out contraception first.
In summary, yes childbirth was painful, very at times but as soon as i saw and held my LO it was all worth it, I would do it all again, but perhaps ask for more pain relief sooner next time.
Good luck

fruitybread Wed 22-Jun-11 16:18:44

When you say 'absolutely terrified', only you know how you feel.

There is a normal range of anxiety and fear about birth, and then there is a point at which it is utterly disabling, dominates your life and is a serious problem. i.e it becomes a phobia.

A good comparison is mood and depression. Everyone can feel down and miserable, and seriously unhappy. For a few people that crosses the line into something more serious, which is depression.

A phobia about childbirth is called tokophobia. It can be secondary (after someone has experienced a very traumatic vaginal birth), or primary (someone has never given birth but has a phobia). Women with this phobia will often try desperately hard not to get pregnant, and may terminate a pregnancy rather than give birth. Even if they want a family.

I have primary tokophobia and had a planned CS last year for my first DC. It was a great birth, and I am very grateful to the midwives, consultants and perinatal psychiatrists who were instrumental in organising it for me.

People with primary tokophobia sometimes, but not always, have a history of sexual abuse, assault and depression. Some women find counselling useful. It is not a magic wand, but is successful in some cases, allowing women to attempt a vaginal birth instead of a CS.

Women can have a lot of anxiety about birth for all sorts of different reasons. I think it's important to identify what your fear is, as specifically as you can. If it's pain, there are ways of trying to deal with that, from epidural to other, less medical and invasive techniques. A doula is a solution for some people, to provide emotional and practical support. Some people embrace homebirth. All I'm saying is, identifying whatever it is you find terrifying will help you try and plan the birth that is best for you, whatever that turns out to be.

A CS is of course major surgery, although planned CS's tend to be much easier experiences than emergency caesarians. Most women do not want a CS, as for them a VB is preferable. For me, the negatives of a VB in terms of psychological effect were so strong, the balance tipped, and a CS was best for me. My recovery was excellent, my DC was exclusively breast fed, and I spent a short 2 days in hospital before coming home.

I say this NOT in any way to sway your decision. You will note that as someone who has had a very positive CS experience, I am not browbeating you with negative stories of VB, for example. There are risks with every kind of birth. Different risks carry different values for different people, and there are unfortunately no crystal balls/guarantees for how things will go.

Only you know how you feel. I wanted to post because I think that tokophobia is genuinely hard for lots of women to understand (I am not for a second saying that you are tokophobic, btw - no one can diagnose anyone else on a message board!). I have only responded because you used the word 'terrified', and there's a question in my mind was to whether you are 'crossing the line' from a reasonable anxiety to a disabling fear.

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best.

RockChick1984 Sat 25-Jun-11 14:57:10

Hi, congratulations! I was the same when I found out I was pregnant, terrified of childbirth and adamant I wanted a Caesarian (my mum had me by c section so couldn't even discuss with her what childbirth had been like!) but as my pregnancy went further along and I looked into pros and cons of each I realised I would prefer a vaginal birth. Various reasons, but for me although obviously both carry risks I decided if things went well with either then a vaginal birth was preferable, due to the much faster recovery time. My birth was ok, some problems but nothing major (episiotomy, stitches etc) but within 2/3 weeks I felt pretty much back to normal whereas with a c section I still wouldn't have been driving etc. Childbirth is painful don't get me wrong, but it's totally worth it, and I've got an incredibly low pain threshold! What is it that scares u so much? Once you understand why you are so terrified you can try to overcome this.

ragged Sat 25-Jun-11 15:22:27

There's a good article in today's Guardian about respecting the rights of babies during birth... something that stood out for me is that the famous doctor being profiled said that it's only sane for women to be scared of birth, the trick is to embrace that and act on it a way (rise to the challenge) that still makes you feel (reasonably) in control.

fruitybread Sat 25-Jun-11 18:19:15

Article here: -

A quote from the article: - "Leboyer hasn't much time for doctors and even less for procedures. While he has plenty of time for women and their role in childbirth, he does rather despair about them failing to "get" what he sees as the central point. "What you have to understand," he says, "is that birth is a challenge for a woman. To do her best for her baby, she has to face up to that challenge and not chicken out and have a caesarean instead."

Obviously I am very grateful that the professionals who cared for me and my baby had a much more holistic view of birth than that.

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