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how to overcome fear of childbirth

(5 Posts)
wikikki Fri 03-Jul-09 21:26:59

Hi Mums,
any advice on overcoming the fear of pain and child birth? Following 2 traumatic births (1st 3 yrs ago, long labour resulting in forceps delivery as Dds head was in transverse position, and 2nd 3 weeks ago - Ds, big 9lb 6 baby, fast v. painful labour + delivery with shoulder dystocia) + I now feel traumatised + shocked at the whole experience, thinking I could never go through it again. However, I don't want to rule out any future pregnancies but I realise that my fear of the pain during childbirth, and the problems that arise during labour are something I need to get my head around - haven't sorted it yet - can't seem to come to terms with it.
Has anyone had similar experiences + has anything worked for you - I'm thinking hypnotherapy, acupunture etc.
I feel this is something I need to sort now rather than wait another 3yrs until I might be preparing for another baby.
Thanks.

weaselbudge Fri 03-Jul-09 22:11:21

You definitely need to talk to someone medical out there who can help you get your head round it - why not ask NCT or similar if they can recommend someone to advise you? I think that as a last resort if you have had a very traumatic time in the past and your future wellbeing is at risk from another traumatic experience then your doctor can say that you must be given epidural or c-section. however if you are having quick labours it may be difficult to get epi in time. if you can't get over your fear even after counselling could you scrape together some money for elective CS (not an option for most people but if i get traumatised by my next birth i am going to remortgage the house if necessary!!) And yes, before the anti -CS/epi hoards jump down my throat, i know that medical intervention has risks and longer recovery time etc etc etc etc - that's why i said as an absolute last resort.

grayal Mon 06-Jul-09 15:32:42

I haven't experienced what you have but I was very fearful of my first labour, and even more so for my second (I knew what was coming!!) in both cases I listened to hypnobirthing CDs every night for the last two or three months leading up to the birth. They definitely made me feel calmer about the impending birth. However, my fears weren't related to a trauma, so perhaps you should also consider some sort of counselling?

Lulumama Mon 06-Jul-09 15:41:45

i volunteer for the birth trauma association and can recommend you talk to someone. or sheila kitzinger's birth crisis helpline. really good to just offload it all as a starting point

you have had two really difficult deliveries and i totally understand why you feel the way you do

the other thing i would really recommned is going through your notes and birth with a MW as soon as possible , as that can really help you to get a handle on things and understand as it can all be a bit of a scary blur

you can also consider an elective section for any future deliveries. not that a c.s is an easy option and i would advise you look at all the pros and cons, but you would feel more in control and less possibility of trauma that you have been through with your vaginal births

also, having a doula with you for future births can be a massive benefit for a vaginal or c.s birth

also, how a birth progresses can be impacted by so many things such as the position you are in, whether you have an epidural, if you were induced etc

Ladyem Wed 08-Jul-09 15:40:52

Congratulations on the birth of your son!! smile

I just add that when I had DD she suffered shoulder dystocia at delivery and I'm being offered an elective c-section this time (I didn't even have to ask, they just offered it to me!) to avoid it happening again, so you never know, you may not have to do it naturally next time. Hospitals seem very keen to avoid shoulder dystocia and even though they are unpredictable, I was told that it could happen again once you've had one.

I have also been told that if I do decide to give natural birth a try then the most senior obstetrician there at the time will actually deliver the baby, so that makes me feel a bit more secure about the who thing.

Make sure you talk to someone about this as it can play on your mind and stop you from enjoying these precious days with your new DS.

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