Holding a baby for the first time is a joyous experience every mom-to-be looks forward to. But the process of getting to hold the bundle of joy is fraught with numerous questions and concerns. When the long 40 weeks of pregnancy are coming to a close, two things that are on every mom-to-be’s mind are labour and delivery. Though they are indeed part of the pregnancy package, thoughts about them can be scary!
Whether the baby is the first or second, it is natural to be a little scared. But do not worry; we are here to assist you to breathe easily by outlining ten common fears that first-time moms have and how they are handled.
Not making it to the Hospital on Time
There is nothing as heartbreaking as tuning your radio to hear stories of women who delivered on the side of the road before getting to a hospital or at the hospital gate. Many moms fear that when labour begins, they need to rush to the hospital as fast as possible if they are to make it before delivery.
It is true that babies can arrive faster than anticipated, but it rarely happens. The good news is that when labour starts, pregnant mothers have ample time, to prepare and get to the hospital. The average labour lasts for about eight hours. Often times, moms-to-be have ample time to take a shower and eat a snack before heading to the hospital.
Even if you are having speedy labour, it is still possible to gauge how long it will take before the baby arrives. The aim should be timing the contractions so that once they get close together, you will be at the hospital with the physician or midwife.
Complications in the Delivery Room
Thoughts of something going horribly wrong can give moms-to-be panic attacks. Many moms fear that things can go against the plan and result to serious risks for them, babies, or both.
Though it is true that complications such as the baby being in breech position can arise during delivery, it rarely occurs. With reproduction process being one of the most studied disciplines, the medical experts in the hospitals have a lot of experience. They have seen it all in the past and can be able to handle every situation that unfolds. The moment you arrive at the medical facility, they do not rest until the entire process of labour and delivery is completed successfully. So, it is time to trust medical experts.
Who will be watching During Delivery?
Does every person have to be in the delivery room? Father of the baby, mom in law, cousins, and friends among others want to be there to witness as you push the baby. However, moms-to-be fear how these people will behave once they get hear the screams and see things get dirty during delivery.
The good thing about labour and delivery is that people who get to hang around is absolutely your decision. Therefore, if you have fears about friends and family who want to be in the delivery room, there is no need to worry because they will wait in the reception.
The only other persons who might be allowed into the delivery room are health care experts probably from the medical department. Again, do not worry about these because they are professionals and only come on a mission to ensure that everything is done properly.
Not Knowing When Labour Commences
Every pregnant mom has a due date. However, few babies are born on the due date. When you talk to moms with children, this fact becomes very clear. It is common to fear that the baby will come too early.
The truth is that your baby can be born a few days or two weeks earlier and still be at full-term. You should have this at the back of your mind and ensure to have a ready plan. For example, the delivery bag should be packed, have emergency numbers close, and listen carefully to what your body tells you.
If you have concerns about not being able to tell when labour commences, make sure to discuss it with your doctor. They have no doubt dealt with similar situations in the past and their help will come in handy.
Being Unable to Handle the Pain
When you sit in the doctor’s office and feel how the baby has grown in leaps and bounds, one of the worries that cross your mind is: “How in the world will I push the baby out?” and “Will it hurt?” Videos and reports of women screaming in pain can make even the most confident of women fear the pain waiting ahead.
Although concerns of unbearable pain are legitimate, you do not have to worry that much because there are many pain relievers that are used. For example, the epidural medication is used to help relieve the bulk of the pain. And there is one more thing! Knowing that at the end of it, you will hold your sweet bundle of joy is very relieving.
Pooping During Delivery
Pooping on the delivery table is a nightmare that no one would want to go through. Moms think of the embarrassment they will go through as their husbands and Doctors watch them poop. However, we will not lie here. It happens! But guess what? The medical team helping you is used to it.
Between pressure, pain, and cheering from the doctors, the fact that the baby is coming out should get you less worried about what else gets out. Therefore, prep your partner well about what they may or may not see. When you hold the baby in your arms, everything else that happened in the delivery room will not matter.
Tearing During Delivery
How will the baby come out? Many moms-to-be fear that episiotomy will tear them down. While it is true that an episiotomy is likely, the cut is minor and you will not even feel any tearing because you will be pushing the baby.
The good thing about episiotomy is that the cut is small and will heal with a few stitches if any. About the recovery, the cut will heal faster than you can imagine. Indeed, the baby will distract you most of the time from discomfort as the cut heels.
Labour Lasting Over a Long Time
Stories from grandparents who took days in labour with no pain medication are horrifying. They can spark fear even into the most confident of mothers. The fact that there is no method that can be used to determine how long labour will last makes mothers feel even more scared.
Today, it is rare to get women going into labour for days. Typically, the medical team will be there to intervene by inducing it artificially or recommending a C-section.
If you are a first-time mom-to-be, be prepared that labour could take a couple of hours. Though it might feel like eight hours is too much, there is no need to worry because most labour wards are fitted with TV screens to keep you busy. Relax and all will be well.
Having a C-section
Thoughts of having a C-section because of any reasons can be scaring. Indeed, about 32% of deliveries in the US are done through C-section. What scares moms-to-be about C-section are thoughts of the cutting process, being put on anaesthesia, longer recovery times, and abdominal pains. “Will I wake up after surgery,” many mothers wonder in fear.
C-sections are done for a reason. In many cases, the C-sections are done when there are complications during delivery such as the baby being too big or in the breech position. The good thing about the C-sections is that they are done by medical experts and more importantly, have your interest and that of the baby at hand. Therefore, there is no need to worry at all!
If you still have some concerns, make sure to talk to your physician.
Having an Epidural
Many pregnant moms get an epidural during labour to relieve pain. The fear about epidural comes from the fact that it is injected into the spine to numb the lower part of the body. The idea of having a direct shot in the spine is scary. Most moms fear that something could go wrong.
The good thing about an epidural is that you will rarely even feel the needle going through when it is being administered because of the labour pains. Besides, the medical team will be there to address your concerns and ensure that everything goes well. If you still have fear, take your mind back in time when women used to deliver with zero drugs.
The Final Take
When moms think of labour and delivery, they fear how the body will handle the entire process and the expected pain. They tend to fear what they cannot handle. The good thing about the entire process is that no matter the fears in your mind, you are not alone. The doctors and nurses will be there for you all the time.
As a woman, look at labour and delivery as a unique gift only given to you for recreation. It is a miracle! What is better than holding a bundle of joy in your hands? When all is done, you can look back and say; ‘I did it.’