Giving birth is a natural, beautiful thing. However, the build up to the big day can also be understandably terrifying. Plenty of pregnant women suffer from birth anxiety. Whether it’s anxiety over the pain they will experience, or anxiety over whether the birth will go as planned – there’s lots to potentially worry about!
The severity of anxiety pregnant women feel over giving birth can vary. For some, it could just be a slight nervous feeling over the pain, while for others the fear could be so intense it causes extreme worry and panic.
If you’re suffering from birth anxiety, there’s a few things you can do to ease the mind and prepare for the big day. Here, you’ll discover some of the top birth anxiety tips you can follow.
Figure Out Why You’re Anxious And Talk About Your Feelings
In order to get on top of your fears, it’s important to get to the root of the anxiety. There’s a number of reasons pregnant women start to develop birth anxiety, including:
- Fear of the pain
- Existing anxiety
- Fear of developing post-natal depression
- They’ve experienced a difficult or traumatic birth previously
Figuring out what it is that is making you anxious will help you to come up with a suitable plan to tackle it. It’s equally as important to talk about how you’re feeling.
Bottling up anxiety can often make it much worse. Without getting it out of your system, you could find the anxiety builds up more and more over time until it reaches an unbearable level. So, talk to friends, family and even consider joining online support groups. It can help to know you’re really not alone. The majority of pregnant women experience some form of birth anxiety, so you may find it helpful to realize you’re not alone.
Easing Pain Anxiety
By far one of the biggest causes of birth anxiety is fear over the pain you’ll experience. There’s no getting away from it, childbirth is always going to be painful. However, the amount of pain you experience will depend upon many factors.
There’s also ways to control the pain, so if you are anxious over how painful it might be, start looking into the various pain relief methods available to you. Having a good understanding of your options and knowing you have control over your pain relief method can ease a lot of the anxiety.
You’ll also want to look into different birthing positions as some are known for being more comfortable than others. Breathing techniques and certain types of exercise such as yoga, can also help to manage the pain.
Attend Birthing Classes
Birthing classes can prove invaluable for first-time parents. Not only will you learn what to expect on the actual day, but you’ll also discover excellent tips to help make it less traumatic.
Attending birthing classes can equip you with all of the things you need to know which helps to ease the uncertainty you may feel. Of course, it also helps to prepare your birthing partner too. Knowing your birthing partner has everything under control can also really help to lower your worries.
Be Sure To Look After Yourself
Throughout your pregnancy it’s super-important to take good care of yourself. Not just for the health of your baby, but for your anxiety levels too.
As well as ensuring you get plenty of relaxation, it’s a good idea to ensure you’re exercising too. Gentle regular physical exercise can really help to diminish anxiety and give you a much more positive outlook. If you exercise outdoors, such as going for a walk, you’ll also get more Vitamin D in your body, which is great for your immune system, as well as your mind.
Another useful tip is to watch what you eat. It’s common for pregnant women to not only eat much more than they normally would, but to eat unhealthier foods too. However, snacking on high-sugar foods isn’t just going to lead to a lot of weight gain, but it will also increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes. So, try to eat as healthy as possible and you’ll find this greatly reduces anxiety.
Prepare For After The Birth Too
It’s difficult to ease your anxiety if all you are focusing on is the birth. So, try to think about what’s going to happen after the birth too. You’ll have your beautiful baby, the birth will be over and you’ll have so many new things to plan.
Keeping your mind busy on planning for baby’s arrival leaves much less time for you to start feeling stressed and anxious.
Don’t Focus On Other Women’s Experiences
Are you scared of giving birth because you’ve heard so many horror stories from friends, family or work colleagues? When you get pregnant, it’s like you become a magnet for birth horror stories. These can understandably be terrifying.
However, what you need to remember is that every woman’s birth experience is slightly different. Pediatricians will even tell you that no two births they’ve experienced are the same. So, just because somebody you know didn’t have a great experience, it doesn’t mean you won’t.
The majority of births run smoothly, with no problems at all. So, that’s what you need to remember if you do start to feel anxious over other people’s experiences.
Read Up On Positive Birth Stories
Although you will be inundated with birth horror stories, there are a lot of positive stories out there too. So, take a look online and actively search out positive birth stories. These are the ones you’ll want to be focusing on.
As an additional tip, it can also be helpful reminding yourself how awesome your body actually is. It is designed for child birth and over the years it’s likely overcome some pretty impressive things. So, tell yourself your body has got this, and it will be over before you know it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Help
If your fears and anxiety are pretty strong, never be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your doctor or pediatrician. They’ll be able to suggest coping methods, as well as prescribe medication which is safe for pregnant women.
There’s lots of help available to pregnant women these days so you really don’t need to suffer in silence.
Overall, giving birth is a scary prospect, especially if you’ve never done it before! However, as you can see, there’s plenty of ways you can reduce birth anxiety. Focusing on the end result is by far one of the best things you can do.
Did you experience birth anxiety? What helped you to overcome it? Let us know below…