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Help me avoid fainting!

(15 Posts)
isthatpoisontoo Thu 16-Jun-16 12:14:51

I was always scared of giving birth. I know that's normal--it is scary--but last year I realised that I was more scared than it perhaps needed, and it was getting in the way of me actually deciding whether I wanted a baby. So I went for some counselling, felt much better about it, and now I'm 27 weeks pregnant. Everything's been going well, I'm very happy.

Last night I went for a tour of the maternity unit at my hospital. All the staff were lovely. The place was clean and bright, they obviously take good care of everyone, BUT... the minute the midwife started talking about birth, I got faint. Not even at the baby-coming-out part, as soon as she started about waters breaking. I sat down, tuned out, felt better, rejoined the group. She was talking about birthing pools. I got faint. I ended up having to sit out the tour and have my own personal one afterwards with the (presumably) edited version for squeamish people.

So now I'm really worried. If I can't even hear about waters breaking, how do I stay conscious when it's happening?! I tried all the usual things to deal with anxiety (breathing, relaxation) but it didn't feel like anxiety, just this sudden physical response. One moment I'm fine, the next I'm reeling.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had this and found a way through it? I'm quite worried now!

Just to note: 'man up and get on with it' answers wouldn't be awfully helpful, passing out won't help anyone. Coping techniques would be good, though.

EvansAndThePrince Thu 16-Jun-16 12:46:13

It's a hard thing to describe unless you've been through it but honestly, I promise promise promise, you'll be much less aware of all these things than you think. I am AWFUL with blood, AWFUL. So I wondered how I'd cope, I was absolutely fine because I was doing gas and air and all I was aware of was the pain in my tummy so much so that DD was nearly born off the side of the bed

Sophia1984 Thu 16-Jun-16 15:00:31

It's entirely possible that you felt faint because you're pregnant and not because they were talking about childbirth. I almost passed out on the bus this week cause it was a bit hot, I hadn't drank enough water and my blood pressure is low. It came out of nowhere, just like you described. Maternity units can be warm and it sounds like you were standing as you were being talked to? Your lung capacity is tiny when you are pregnant and your heartrate increases and all of these things can make you feel woozy.

I actually asked the midwife whether people ever faint during childbirth cause of the pain, as I used to faint a lot when I was younger, and she said 'no' because the pain is gradual and builds up rather than being a sudden shock,

isthatpoisontoo Thu 16-Jun-16 15:21:50

Thank you both for your answers.

Sophia I thought that, too, as I have been getting hot and lightheaded easily. It was very fast, though, and I was fortified with water and biscuits. I put it down to squeamishness because it reminded me of other times I felt suddenly faint: a school trip in primary school outside an apothecary with the teacher telling us about bloodletting; last year reading a backstreet abortion scene in a novel. You may be right, though, it would be good if you are.

Evansandtheprince That's quite reassuring! Maybe it's the thinking about it that gets to me. I'm not good with blood, perhaps with no one talking about it I won't have to focus on it and I'll be better. Thank you for sharing.

EvansAndThePrince Thu 16-Jun-16 15:42:25

I'm pregnant again, and the thought of giving birth again makes me very nervous (things weren't fantastic last time) but as I say, rest assured that you're way more focused on your own physical feelings, ie just pain, than anything that's actually "happening". I sort of want to explain further but I don't want to make you feel more faint grin

EvansAndThePrince Thu 16-Jun-16 15:52:55

And the pain isn't one that haunts you very long either, it's all consuming at the time but you don't remember it. smile

Lweji Thu 16-Jun-16 15:57:36

The good thing about labour is that you don't go through it standing up. smile
So, you're less likely to faint.

Also, you're not likely to see any blood at all. I lost 300 ml and never realised it.

2nds Thu 16-Jun-16 15:58:22

"I really can't wait to experience full on labour" said no first time mother ever :-)

Lweji Thu 16-Jun-16 15:59:27

"I really can't wait to experience full on labour" said no first time mother ever
And even less 2nd time mothers. smile

AnnaMarlowe Thu 16-Jun-16 16:03:39

My incredibly tiny and incredibly squeamish friend couldn't cope with blood or snot or anything even slightly medical ore kids (had to leave the room if something was even on the TV)

She has birthed three large babies on nothing more than a paracetamol and a cup of tea.

She now deals with all the usual nappies, bloody knees, snotty noses etc etc without blinking.

I'm sure you will be fine.

EvansAndThePrince Thu 16-Jun-16 16:26:52

I actually disagree with not wanting to experience it! I am looking forward to it this time round blush and immediately after the birth I said I'd rather do that 5x over than go through another pregnancy. This baby is planned but I'd still give birth 5x over to have the pregnancy over!

SouthDownsSunshine Thu 16-Jun-16 17:58:07

The good thing about giving birth is that you're so focused on your body that any squeamishness passes you by. You don't get to see much of what happens below.

Maybe talk to your midwife about it, and see if you can have another, individual, visit to the labour unit.

Stellars Thu 16-Jun-16 18:18:43

I really feel your pain, OP.

I fainted a few times when I was young, and as such have a phobia of it. It's a social thing, too. I'm scared of fainting in public places. I am also needle phobic. This is not a good combo for childbirth.

But, I have made it through two pregnancies and c sections without flaking out. A few coping mechanisms I learnt along the way:

- be honest with healthcare professionals about it. They will be used to it and will be happy to help you. For example, when I had blood tests I would tell whoever was taking t that I am not good with needles and ask for them to lie the bed down

- distract yourself. Chat shit to the people around you. I used to suck peppermints - works a treat as you get a little sugar from them too.

- carry a bottle of water and sip constantly. Again, it's a distraction but will also keep you hydrated.

As others have said, when you're labouring or giving birth I promise you will have enough adrenalin surging through you to keep you going. Your body is designed to just power through.


SpecialStains Thu 16-Jun-16 18:35:27

Hey, have you started birthing classes or sat and watched the video clips about labour on NHS website? Would more exposure help (do not watch one born every minute under any circumstances if you're scared. I'm not thrilled at the idea of a c section - just a wimp with the idea of being awake when they operate - and watching them makes me irrationally cry). More exposure may help normalise it?!

You'll be fine. Good luck with baby and labour.

isthatpoisontoo Thu 16-Jun-16 21:57:49

Thank you all for being so reassuring! It's really good to hear that other squeamish women have got through it fine. And thank you to Evans for not telling me too much detail!

I shall try distraction, Stellars. It works quite well for me with needles, the poor nurse who gives my vitamin injections probably wonders why she knows so much about my vegetable patch, but talking about the first thing in my head helps.

SpecialStains I'm starting classes in August. I don't know that exposure will help, really, it hasn't up until now. Without some kind of coping mechanism to deal with it better I don't know how it would be productive. I'm a bit worried all the classes will be a waste, actually, if I'm having to duck out so as not to faint.

I'm going to take the advice to bring it up with my midwife. I've just got a new one, we've only met once, so I'm sure she'll be thrilled to be involved in all my worries!

Lweji that's an excellent point about not standing up. It's cheered me up a lot.

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