Talk

Advanced search

Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Anxiety during labour

(17 Posts)
bmm39 Mon 19-Sep-11 14:11:05

Hi Ladies, this is my first pregnancy so it's all new to me. I am not worried about pain during child birth but I am worried about the anxiety I may suffer. I have suffered with anxiety in the past and usually when I am in stressful situations I do have anxiety attacks. Can the midwife give me something for this? Or does the gas and air make you feel relaxed????? Very naive mum to be.

spannermary Mon 19-Sep-11 14:45:19

Hi, bmm, I have the same background as you - although I also have a shockingly low pain threshold, so am really glad you posted this. If nothing else, you're not alone!

Nevercan Mon 19-Sep-11 14:49:26

The gas and air will definately help to relax you smile

Iggly Mon 19-Sep-11 14:50:34

Is there anything that triggers your anxiety? Or anything which can counteract it?

cravingcake Mon 19-Sep-11 14:56:03

Hi, make that 3 of us! Not worried about the pain but am worried a bit about the whole unknownness of quite what it will be like for me personally. I'm about to start reading up on hypnobirthing. My friend has recomended it for teaching you how to relax, rather than just being told to relax. Apparently its about focusing on positive thoughts and breathing excercises which may help me feel slightly more in control which should reduce the stress/anxiety. Not got a clue if its gonna work or its a load of bull but is something to read when I start maternity leave and at least then I'm armed with the knowledge of some form of relaxation until I can have the drugs smile

bmm39 Mon 19-Sep-11 16:21:00

My sister did hypnobirthing classes and she found it helpful.
Usually when I feel unwell, such as sickness or jetlag etc... I get that horrible dread feeling that comes over me. My mind goes on overdrive and I think negatively about how I am feeling ie: Oh no what if I am going to be sick or pass out...etc. In turn this causes me to have palpulations and a tight chest. I get breathless too, but I am obviously expecting this due to being in labour. It sounds silly now when I think about how I react but at the time I can't help it.

Haribojoe Mon 19-Sep-11 17:52:03

I don't suffer from anxiety issues as such but do go from cool calm, collected and in control (in labour) to panicky and scared when I hit transition (the bit between first and second stage of labour).

When having DS2 I used the natal hypnotherapy CD and breezed straight through that stage with no worries.

I can't recommend it highly enough, made a massive difference to me and meant I had a really wonderful positive birth.

NeedToSleepZZZ Mon 19-Sep-11 19:40:04

As an emetophobe I was petrified of giving birth in case i was sick but was prescribed cyclizine (anti emetic) injection for labour just in case. When it came to it though although I had the jab I really don't think I needed it as my mind was completely focussed on the ctx and breathing through them. It's actually a really good technique for dealing with panic attacks anyway. Oh and the g&a was AMAZING! Good luck and I recommend reading the Ina May book about childbirth to help you feel calm.

glitternanny Mon 19-Sep-11 20:22:24

I'm in that boat too - with a hisotry of panic attacks.

I'm doing natal hypnotherapy and plan to let my OH and MIL know all my fears and triggers to help me along the way

bmm39 Tue 20-Sep-11 11:44:48

Thanks Haribojoe, I will purchase that CD.

icravecheese Tue 20-Sep-11 12:02:06

I am (well, was) a total control freak & I too worried about labour when pregnant with my first, mainly because I knew I wouldnt be in control of my body. However, 2 children later & a third due imminently has totally destroyed my control freak nature!

I should imagine that you will be so focused on the labour / contractions, you'll probably 'forget' to feel panicked / anxious. But do write down your worries in your birth plan so you midwife knows in advance.

And yes - the gas & air is FAB!! Made me feel drunk for a full 6 hours or so - which is brilliant having not had a drop of alcohol for 8 months!!!

However, do bear in mind that gas & air is often removed (or midwife asks you to stop taking it) for the pushing phase... otherwise you can't focus on pushing baby out (because you're feeling all woozy & drunk!).

GOod luck & enjoy - I ADORE giving birth, I hope you do too!

Scheherezade Tue 20-Sep-11 12:16:56

Try find out if you can have a tour of the maternity ward, we had a 1:1 tour with my midwife and it really helped.

fraktious Tue 20-Sep-11 12:36:18

You can do it. I did smile

I would say:
Get familiar with the hospital so you don't feel stressed going there
Write a good birth plan (mine covered almost every situation and how my anxiety might be triggered)
Have a good birth partner who knows strategies for calming you
Try hypnobirthing/visualisation but don't make it another thing to stress about
Get it written in big red letters on your notes that you have severe anxiety and write a sheet of how you want to be treated if there are things which can instantly make you feel at ease.

If necessary you can be given a mild sedative, in the end I didn't need it but knowing it was there helped and gas and air is bloody amazing grin

dooscooby Tue 20-Sep-11 13:47:24

Hi there
I'm in the same boat. Started suffering from anxiety/panic attacks about 4 years ago and after some cbt and time, I got a real handle on it, but it's come back with a vengeance after a stressful time with several m/cs and now what will hopefully be a successful pregnancy.

I'm also really worried about labour, I've started dreaming about it too. My fears arent the pain per se but being over hot, completely panicking that either or both baby and me will die, that it will be really unpleasant for DH to watch me losing it, that the mws will be really dismissive and think I'm pathetic-that kind of thing. I really empathize with you, I wish I could be excited and not so fearful. I'm also really scared of drugs and so worry that gas and air will make me feel sick and woozy which will fuel more panic.

I'm hoping that learning more about the process of labour (but not obsessively!), visiting the hosp and keeping away from general chat about childbirth might help me through the next anxious few months. Think I'll also try some of the hypno birthing stuff.

bmm39 Tue 20-Sep-11 15:25:55

I have a midwife appointment coming up so I will have a chat with her. Luckily, my husband and my Mum will be with me during the birth. They know me inside and out especially my mother who has suffered herself with anxiety. I am certain I will be fine but I am going to get some hypnotherapy cd's to help me relax prior to the birth. I just keep telling myself millions of women give birth and 99.9% of the time everything turns out ok. The nursing staff are used to all types of personalities and it is their job to make me feel at ease.

dooscooby Tue 20-Sep-11 16:01:07

Hi there
I'm in the same boat. Started suffering from anxiety/panic attacks about 4 years ago and after some cbt and time, I got a real handle on it, but it's come back with a vengeance after a stressful time with several m/cs and now what will hopefully be a successful pregnancy.

I'm also really worried about labour, I've started dreaming about it too. My fears arent the pain per se but being over hot, completely panicking that either or both baby and me will die, that it will be really unpleasant for DH to watch me losing it, that the mws will be really dismissive and think I'm pathetic-that kind of thing. I really empathize with you, I wish I could be excited and not so fearful. I'm also really scared of drugs and so worry that gas and air will make me feel sick and woozy which will fuel more panic.

I'm hoping that learning more about the process of labour (but not obsessively!), visiting the hosp and keeping away from general chat about childbirth might help me through the next anxious few months. Think I'll also try some of the hypno birthing stuff.

dooscooby Tue 20-Sep-11 16:02:53

Oops-didn't mean to post that twice! Sounds like a sensible approach you're taking-wishing you all the best for a calm and peaceful birth experience

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now