Fear of delivery

Having fear is a natural part of life, and being afraid of pain is as well. But labor pains can also feel like a positive force, a motor that drives the body and makes you focus on the task at hand.

4 min read

Fear of deliveryPhoto:Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Yes, it hurts to give birth. Step one is that you have to accept this as part of the process. But the pain of childbirth is also something very special and is essentially positive. You’re standing on the verge of something big and completely unknown, so it’s no wonder you’re worried. You know it will hurt but at the same time, you have no idea how it will feel, what kind of pain we’re talking about here and how it will go. During the pregnancy, you might also experience a strong fear that something could happen to the baby during the delivery. This is a natural protective instinct, it comes to life to prepare you for motherhood. Remember that children are equipped with incredible resources to manage the stress of delivery and that serious complications are unusual.

Another natural concern or fear is that you will lose control or something might happen to you. Large perspectives are opening up when you realize that you will shortly be needed by a little person, so it’s completely correct to feel that you have to be there. To have fear before the delivery is both common and natural. Learn to manage the fear and understand what it’s about, so it doesn’t grow uncontrollably and take over your entire experience. By understanding and accepting your fear, you prevent it from transitioning into panic, which in turn provokes stress and impairs your preconditions.

Prepare yourself to meet different fears by physically doing the opposite of your first, instinctive impulse. Instead of tensing up and breathing quickly and loudly, relax and take soft breaths, be calm and silent. If you have practiced the technique you will have great use of it during the labor. The brain switches to another mode, the fear is diminished and you can focus again. See the pain as a tool, the power that is there to push you through the delivery. Try to accept the pain as a phenomenon connected with the reward – your baby! It could be a good idea to attend a Lamaze class as a preparation before the delivery, it might calm down both you and your partner significantly and you will be better prepared for the delivery of your child.

If you want to divide the pain into biological pain and emotional pain, you will get a better understanding of what is what, and you can also prepare yourself better. Visualize the pain as a period of 60 seconds, then you’ll understand it’s limited and not eternal. Between each contraction comes rest: long in the beginning, short towards the end. But the contraction always has a beginning and an end, no matter how powerful it is. This insight might help you. Biological pain consists of pain receptors and nerves in the body, conveying the pain to the brain. The emotional pain differs from person to person. How we feel emotionally largely affects our pain perception. If you are prone to depression and anxiety, you’ll have a stronger perception of the pain. The same applies if you have a lack of faith. On the other hand, if you feel calm and safe and trust your environment, you will manage the pain better. If you manage to think “it hurts, but it’s not dangerous, I’m not afraid”, the pain becomes manageable. Labour pain is not like other kinds of pain, it’s not a threat.

If you need help with pain relief during the delivery, you have every right and it’s never a defeat. Talk to your midwife and you’ll get help to prepare yourself. Dare to trust the staff’s expertise during the delivery itself. Remember that the pain from childbirth is meaningful and natural, helping you to gather power, focus and perform.

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