Top 6 Things that Mums Fear About Labour: Are They Worth the Worry?
Giving birth is certainly not easy.
You might find yourself scared over the surgical pictures that you saw when you searched “what labour is going to be like”. You might be worried over the tales your friends or families tell to say how painful their experiences are. You might be wondering if those medical complications will happen to you and if your birth plan doesn’t go as planned. You might be just generally nervous about the unpredictables and your life-changing chapter with the new member. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you leap through your motherhood journey.
6 things that mums fear about labour, but are they worth the worry?
What if I don’t make it to the hospital in time and give birth in the car?
If you live far from the hospital or birth center, you may be anxious about making it in time for your delivery. It’ll be a nightmare if you don’t make it and give birth in the car...with blood all over the car seat and no place to rest your legs, no extra hands to catch your baby, and no experts around you. But the reality is, labour goes through 3 phases, the first being the longest with contractions only. Your baby usually doesn’t get delivered after at least 8 hours after you start cramping. There will be plenty of time to go to the hospital, some doctors may even send you home if you come too early.
What if I need an emergency C-section?
You might have not wanted a c-section to deliver your precious little one, imaging having a scar on your belly just feels like a big no-no. However, it is important to remember that there may always be unforeseen complications that may require a c-section on the spot. While having a c-section can mean more recovery time, more care on your belly scar, or even a higher hospital bill - it’ll not be the end of the world. In fact, around one third of childbirths in the US are delivered via c-sections, even if you had one, you won’t be the only one!
What if I peed or pooped in the middle of labour?
It’s one thing to have your husband, doctor, nurses, or doula looking between your legs for a long period of time - but it’s certainly a total nightmare if you accidentally peed or pooped when you push too hard during labour. But hey, it happens. As a matter of fact, pooping during labour is really common when you have to push continuously for so long. The doctors and nurses have probably seen it all already, it will be the last thing they care and you shouldn’t too! If you’re worried that your partner may be “shocked” by what they will see, you can try to warn them beforehand and talk it through with a good laugh to prepare for what’s coming.
What if I can’t handle the pain?
No one is a fan of pain. Especially labour pain when it’s so many times more painful than your menstruals. Don’t worry about not being able to handle it and passing out during labour - always remember that birthing is a natural process and your body is wired for it. When it comes to labour, your endorphins will kick in, making you feel so strong and powerful all the sudden. There are also plenty of ways to relieve your pain, from epidural injections to natural painkillers or relaxation techniques - they’ve got you covered! You can explore every single one of them and find the best one for you.
What if I need an episiotomy? Tearing feels painful to imagine.
Tearing is probably unavoidable for vaginal births, some tearing is just bound to happen. However, there are different degrees of tearing and the chances are you will only end up with a first degree tearing (little scratch that requires a few stitches) or a second degree tearing (some muscle tears but not complicated to fix). The more intense ones, third-degree and fourth-degree tearing, happen at a very small rate. Episiotomy is also no longer widely practiced and you can certainly ask your doctor not to perform one unless necessary.
Delivery complications? Leave them to the doctor.
It is true that unpredicted complications may arise during labour, for example your baby may not be in the correct position for delivery, or your contractions aren’t strong enough to push the baby down your birth canal and you may need a c-section...STOP. Let’s face it, there’s really nothing you can do about them except leaving them to your doctor. Worry about them too much won’t get you anywhere - in fact, you and your baby may even suffer from the excessive stress and worries you throw at yourself. You should at the very least try not to stress your baby out.
Takeaway: It’s okay to feel a little intimidated by the birthing process, but don’t drown yourself in worries! If you have specific worries about labour, make sure to voice your concerns to your partner, your doctors early and find possible solutions for them. You can also:
- Find relaxation techniques that work for you, yoga or meditation for example
- Create a list of relaxing music
- Pack all the essentials you need for the hospital
- Prepare your comfort food and your cuddlers