5 Most Common Birth Fears and How to Conquer Them

There’s so much talk around labour and birth. The unfortunate result of this chatter is a whole lot of worried pregnant women. While fear of the unknown is completely natural, if left unchecked it has the potential to ruin your birth experience. Giving birth is an incredibly empowering experience, regardless of what unfolds in the birthing suite. Demystifying birth is one of keys to reducing anxiety, so here we talk about the most common birth fears and how to conquer them.

Fear of the Pain

Labour pain is pain with purpose, so while there’s no getting away from the fact that it hurts, each contraction brings you closer to the birth of your baby. Rather than resisting the pain, approach it as a tool that is part of the birthing process. Breathing techniques especially for labour are very effective in getting through painful contractions. You can also take comfort from the fact that there are plenty of pain relief options available to you.

Fear of Caesarean Birth

Understandably, many women worry about having an unplanned c-section. If your doctor talks to you about a caesarean, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify why they think it’s necessary. A useful strategy would be to think of a caesarean as a life-saving intervention that will only be used to ensure the safe arrival of your baby.

Fear of ‘Follow Through’

Most women worry that they’ll push out more than just their baby, and many actually do. But hospital staff see this so frequently and view it as a natural part of the process. Your midwife will discreetly clear any bowel movements away, and you probably won’t even realise you’ve done it, simply because there are bigger things unfolding in your world!

Fear of Tearing

Around 90 percent of women experience some form of tearing as a result of giving birth, but in most cases it is superficial tearing. More often than not, women do not realise there has been any tearing because they are so busy birthing their baby. Superficial tearing will heal naturally within a week or so. If the tearing is more significant you will be stitched up immediately, usually under local anaesthetic, and offered appropriate pain relief. In most cases, you can rest assured that given time everything will return to normal – are bodies are designed to bounce back.

Fear of Things Not Going to Plan

It’s worthwhile putting together a birth plan so you have some idea of how you’d like things to go. But it’s also important to keep in mind that there are some things that you can’t control in labour. Remind yourself that your health care provider is highly trained and specialises in delivering babies. And keep reminding yourself that your body is designed to take over and birth your baby, so trust in your body – it’s got you this far in life and it knows what to do.