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terrified of labour

(11 Posts)
adjoa01 Wed 05-Nov-14 16:06:55

Hello ladies,
I am 28weeks and getting closer to my due date with my first baby, I am terrifed of labour as I have been told so many horror stories. I know every labour is different but while I am still carrying my child is there anything I can do to put these thoughts out my head and relax, I am worrying myself so much It starting to make me feel ill.

thanks for any advice.

QueenOfThorns Wed 05-Nov-14 16:16:00

Have you considered hiring a doula? I was very nervous, but found a lovely doula, who went through everything with us and was just a massive source of confidence. It's quite pricey, but Doula UK has an access fund to help if you're on a low income.

Also, she lent us a book called Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin, which I found very helpful. I was very sceptical about this, I thought it would be very 'hippyish' (and it was to a certain degree), but I was glad I read it.

Allstoppedup Wed 05-Nov-14 16:16:22

Oh lovely, it's totally normal to be anxious but if is making you ill it might be worth talking to your midwife to see if she has any ideas.

Is there any particular thing you are scared off or just 'the not knowing' side. If it's pain, there are ways of managing it and there is no shame in requesting anything that is available.

I found keeping myself busy and distracted when I started to dwell on things and actually found that reading/listening to birth horror stories was to be avoided! As you say all labours are different and I was terrified of mine but I actually had a really positive experience even though NONE of it went to my birthplan.

Hope you start to feel better

My DS is 10 months now and I already want another one despite the memory beingbeing fairly fresh, it all seems a little hazy now. The thought of labour doesn't put me off one bit- I hope you have a good experience too.

QueenOfThorns Wed 05-Nov-14 16:27:54

Sorry, I had to post quickly because the baby woke up! It is definitely worth thinking what specifically you're scared of (maybe write a list) and going through your concerns with your midwife.

Where are you giving birth? Have you been on a tour? That helped me a lot, being able to visualise where I would be (as it happened, I gave birth in the exact same room in the delivery suite that we'd been shown on the tour).

As the PP said, please don't worry yourself ill thanks

Taura Wed 05-Nov-14 16:53:24

People are so kind, aren't they? As soon as they hear someone is pregnant, out come all the horror tales. However, from my antenatal yoga group of 9, 5 have had babies so far - a mix of natural, emergency C-section, early, on time, late. No one has come out saying anything about it being a horror story though. Yes, things haven't gone perfectly for everyone, but they are all happy, healthy and have beautiful babies. We can speculate that going to the yoga class has helped - not particularly for the yoga (which is gentle stretching and mobilisation rather than complicated poses and balances smile) but more for the before-and-after chats where we grumble about our aches, discuss concerns ("so-and-so said that... is that true?") and generally get de-stressed by the prospect of childbirth.

The more relaxed you are during labour, the easier it gets - endorphins (nature's pain relievers) are suppressed by stress. Relaxing and keeping moving helps babies to wiggle their way down into the right position, and relaxed mums don't get so tense!

I would highly recommend looking out for yoga classes. The one I am at is in a "parenting" centre run as a not-for-profit, and they promise to help people on low incomes, and for those that can afford it it's not too expensive either. They also run classes with local midwives about common childbirth concerns (I went to one on Induction of labour last month). Also your local NHS free antenatal classes will also go through what "normal" looks like. People may also recommend Hypnobirthing. Courses aren't cheap, but they are entirely designed around trying to teach you ways to relax in labour to avoid problems.

Hopefully if you can get onto some of these sort of courses, you can share your fears with peers and support workers and deal with some of your anxiety.

bagofsnakes Wed 05-Nov-14 20:07:19

Hi there, I too was terrified of labour as all I had to go on was my mother's stories of her births with us, which weren't great, and scary scenes from films and medical dramas. For me a Hynobirthing course sorted me right out. As Taura said, they're not cheap but it did me the world of good. I ended up having a short-ish, pretty easy labour, no pain meds but some tearing, although I think that I would have been prepared for anything as the course just made me feel so relaxed and confident about birth. At the end of it all, I just felt so powerful. Yes, exhausted and very sore but very strong too. I'm 27 weeks with DC2 and not worried about labour at all - bring it on, I say!

Really you've got to surround yourself with good birth stories, you could start here and watch some hypnobirthing youtube videos so see some nice calm births. Whatever you do, stay away from One Born Every Minute! There are so many calm gentle births out there, but they don't make good telly.

Hope you start to feel better about it soon, it can be a really positive experience. thanks

TeaandHobnobs Wed 05-Nov-14 20:13:18

I would definitely recommend yoga and hypnobirthing

missmorse Thu 06-Nov-14 18:41:25

I would really recommend reading Erna Wright's book "The New Childbirth". It's pretty old fashioned -- it was written in the 60s I think? But it was written at a time when (apparently) women were told very little about what birth would be like other than that it would be horrendously painful. So Wright's approach is first to give you lots of information about what will be involved, then to teach you breathing exercises to help you stay in control and ease the pain. She also gives good advice on how to deal with all those people who just want to tell you horror stories!

It was recommended to me by my mum, who swears by it. I was a bit skeptical at first, but then another younger relative read it when she was pregnant (on my mum's advice) and claims to have had a pain-free birth as a result... So I'm giving it a go too. I actually find the old-fashioned (and slightly hippy) style amusing -- its good for a giggle. smile And underneath that, Wright has some really good advice on how to prepare yourself so that giving birth is less scary and less painful.

Pifflingcodswollop Thu 06-Nov-14 20:25:20

I had two v long labours,painful yes and v tiring but I wouldn't say something to be scared of.I was but you will be totally amazed by what your body can do-it sounds really cheesy but it is true.
I read a lot of the spinning babies website before my second and found their advice for positions for different stages of labour really helpful.I found keeping active helpful and trying out lots of different positions as a change in position can make a huge difference to your level of discomfort.

You can do it and you will be totally amazed by yourself and your body and what you have accomplished afterwards no matter what way delivery happens.Best of luck!

BumpNGrind Thu 06-Nov-14 20:59:52

I gave birth just over two weeks ago. To be honest it could have gone smoother, but my birth story feels really positive despite it being highly medical (induced, epidural emergency c section). I had amazing staff looking after me, my husband was supportive and I felt happy. I had started getting frightened before the due date and was told to watch Ina May Gaskin ted talks video and it really helped me. I'm far from an earth mother type person but it did help me feel in control of the situation.

Sorehead Fri 07-Nov-14 08:06:39

If I posted a description of my labour on here it would probably sound like a horror story, and if I'd read the account from someone else I'd be scared. I'm an absolute wimp, with a mild needle phobia, but from the moment my waters broke I was very relaxed and matter of fact about the whole thing. I think, knowing your baby is on its way causes some sort of instinct to kick in. So what sounds like a horror story, wasn't actually that bad an experience for me- I've been telling people it was probably worse for DH than me, and later that day, when I had a mini debrief with a team of doctors/ consultants, one of my first questions was about whether I'd be likely to have a similar labour if I have another child.

I'd second speaking to your midwife though and trying natal hypnotherapy, but just hoping my account will help change your perspective of the "horror stories" because mine wasn't as bad an experience as it sounds- sometimes it helps hearing these things from someone who isn't a midwife/ doctor.

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