25 Replies
mr12345 - August 24

My husband and I are contemplating getting pregnant, however I am DEATHLY afraid of labor. I mean an unnatural, terrified, give myself panic attacks kind of fear. I have been afraid of labor since I was a child, and I am not sure why, but to the extent that I told people at 7 years old I wanted to adopt because I didn't think I could handle it. I am afraid of hospitals, but I think I am scared mostly of ripping in two. I don't want to be cut down my privates, and I don't want vacuums or forceps shoved up there! I just don't know how to overcome this and have been looking up elective c-section, but I really would rather a va___al birth, but am not sure I will be able to deal with the stress that my mind is putting me through. Any help, advice, any suggestions on how to cope with this as I believe it will only get worse when I actually get pregnant would be appreciated. The closer we get to start trying, the more I panic. Since we have been seriously talking about trying, and I stopped all medications, caffine, alcohol, etc. I have actually begun to have vivid, horrific nightmares about childbirth. I am ready to be a mother, and know I would be willing to die for my baby when I actually am pregnant, but I can't seem to overcome this fear and worried that when I actually do become pregnant, the stress will be bad for me and my baby.


E586467 - August 25

I highly recommend counselling to see if this fear stems from something else, especially as you mentioned you have had it from such a young age. If you are not necessarily afraid of the pain of childbirth I suggest trying to do it as natural as possible, as your chances of tearing, being cut or having the baby vacuumed out are drastically reduced when an epidural is not used, because you have more control over how you push & in what position. Apart from getting counselling talk to your doctor about ways to minimise or control your panic attacks, to help lower your stress levels.


E586467 - August 25

Also what I personally found very helpful was reading books on childbirth & learning how a woman's body works during labour & birth, & why it does what it does. Also I stopped listening to all those horror birth stories that everyone likes sharing. With my 1st I went into labour scared & unsure and as a result didn't have a very good birth experience. 2nd time around I learnt as much as I could & ended up having a completely natural water birth to a 9lb 3oz boy, & I am glad to say I didn't have any tearing because I trusted my body & just went with it instead of fighting against it. I am currently 20.5wks preg with #3 & am glad to say that I am no longer fearful of childbirth & plan on having this one natural too. Goodluck & I hope you find out why your fear is so great, & find a way to work through it so that you are able to enjoy your pregnancy when it happens.


schreck - August 25

Along with the advice from the other ladies, I would say see if there are any midwifes in your area. They are willing to spend more time with you and don't rush into cutting or using forceps or vacuums.


Krissy25 - August 26

I think talking to a midwife is a good idea, they are better at taking the time to explain what is going on and how things work. You should try to make an appointment with one and expain that you are trying to get as much info as possible and discuss your concerns and fears. I'm sure she would be able to address each one. Truthfully the more you understand what is going on with your body during labor and delivery the less scarry it is. And honestly a lot of the things you are afraid of, forceps, vac_mes, and episiotomies, aren't practiced as much as they used to be. Most doctors and midwives won't use them unless absoutly necessary.


Cat24 - September 3

i agree with E586467 about ignoring people's horror stories. they are so quick to tell you how much they tore and how they nearly 'died' during labour. i was determined to not think about their stories and ended up having my first baby, an 8lb 12oz girl, naturally using a birthing pool. i would highly recommend speaking to your midwife about your concerns and ask about the use of a birthing pool. i look back now and i am so proud of myself for relaxing and just going with it, rather than getting all worried and panickly about the labour. if your mum is around i would recommend talking to her about your concerns aswell, my mum was a ma__sive help as i knew she had been through it 4 times and she had some great advice. she taught me how to breathe so i didnt need any gas &air. don't worry in silence, speak to your mum and midwife.


clindholm - September 3

I went with denial. I just refused to think about b/c there was nothing I could do about it. Turns out I had to have a c-section (which was no picnic) but I would have worried for no reason.


bellybubble - September 4

Hey mr12345 - ok I can kinda relate to this as I was really terrified of giving birth too - I always had been a bit scared of it as I just couldn't comprehend how our bodies could do it. Like the other ladies said definitely read birthing books and POSITIVE birthing stories too - knowledge helps some of the fear disappear. I gave birth a month ago on Monday and I know you would have heard it all before but its true once you have your baby on your chest you honestly forget the pain. In regards to the labour itself - it does hurt, but I think you will find you are a lot stronger then you think and you honestly just go with it. I wasn't sure how i would go with the pain so i went in with an open mind. I ended up having quite a long labour but it really didn't feel that long at the time - time sort of loses its meaning if you get what i mean? hee hee sorry if i am confusing you. ANYWAY I ended up having an epidural (relief was instant and the actual epi didn't hurt at all) - and my bub ended up having to be delivered by vacuum - by this stage I was just wanting to see bub so I was like ok bring it on - her coming out did hurt a bit but at the same time you are so excited you are near the end you deal with it! Also you wont necessarily tear either - i had one TINY tear (and this was my first baby) that didn't even need st_tches - and this was with vacuum so not everyone tears. Anyway I am waffling now - but I hope I have given you some positive feedback - ignore all those horror stories because they don't help! Finally if you think it would help you should definitely get some counseling. You will be ok.... good luck with everything.


Jlips - September 8

Please dont be terrified. Our culture for some reason promotes this fear. Pregnancy and birth are not medical events but a natural ones. I absolutely loved my first birth which was two months ago. I still find myself re-living it in my mind, looking at the pictures or watching the video. It brings tears to my eyes almost every time. Try the hypnobirthing method...it concentrates on relaxation during the birthing process. I had a natural birth with my boyfriend, sisters, best friend, mother and my midwives present. Labor is nothing to fear. I felt like I was on a ride, as if something came over me. It is a force that commands your full attention and it was so powerful and intense. During my contractions as I was dialating I sang to her (but I bet it sounded more like moaning haha) . As I was pushing I kept saying " I love you baby". My sister kept saying, "Breath love down to your baby." It was beautiful...oh and it was hard work!! I felt "high" when she came out and exhausted. It didn't help that I went to sleep late the night before and only 1 hour later I went into labor...it was one of the coolest days of my life. I could keep writing about it...


Tiffany814 - September 19

Artymuffin- Please don't be so scared of labor. It will NOT 'tear you in half' -trust me. I have a 20 month old son and I was nervous about labor, as well. Just remember, women all over the world and for thousands of years have done it...and those same women get pregnant again (most of the time) don't they? So think about it. If it was so bad, women wouldn't keep doing it, right? It's a natural part of life and a beautiful one. It was such an incredible experience for me and my husband. Yes, I had the epidural, which I highly recommend if you're scard of the pain because for me, I experienced no pain. Durning my contractions, yes- but as for the pushing, I didn't feel a thing. I was lucky that I was able to push well, not being able to feel anything but in the end I'd rather have it that way with no pain then being able to feel everything. Unfortunatley, my son was face up and it was much harder for me than a normal delivery (I pushed for 3 hours), and in the end he had to be vacuumed out. I did tear and got an epi but didn't feel any of it. My son was 8lbs 14oz. so a big boy. I never thought I'd go through any of that because I was so fit all my life and through my pregnancy...turns out my muscles were so tight 'down there' it almost worked against me cause I needed the epi- but remember my situation is unique. As for being changed for life- I do not agree with that at all and I had it all...even after all the trama I had down there..I can honestly say that I feel very normal now. I do have a little scar that I can see if I use the mirror to look (lol) but other than that, I'm very normal down there- my husband says the same. Don't let people scare you. It is true that your body won't go back to exactly what it was- some things do change but look at what you get out of it...a precious life created by you and your partner. It's so awesome! And not for anything but we're not all gonna stay 25 forever...it;s just life-everyones body changes with age anyway. ya know...so seriously, don't be scare, don't listen to the negative things people tell you. It's crazy some of the stuff people say. I'm telling you, I had not such an easy delivery, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Now I know what to expect, I know I can do it and you feel so proud of yourself once it's over and your looking at this beautiful new life in your arms that you created, that you carried for 9 months and that you entered into this world...being a mom is the best thing, no words can describe how special you will feel. Good Luck...all the best to you!!


Jlips - September 23

I agree with Tiffany-it wont tear you apart. Your baby is made perfectly for your body to birth. We are designed to give birth. The pushing stage feels very different than dialation and it felt good to feel a different sensation. But it was very intense actually electrifying. I loved it because "you" don't really have to anything. Your body will take over and you're just going along for an awesome ride- its a total rush! I don't know if you feel that way on an epi because certain pathways are blocked. Endorphines are 200x stronger than Morphine. Mine was all natural, no tears, went from 6 cm to 10 cm in 20 minutes, & pushed for 20 mins. My baby was face up and took a while to tuck her head and I had back labor. I had s_x 5 days after giving birth because I was curious...it felt weird because it was so loose. I tried a couple weeks later and there was a noticeable change in tightness...just do the kegel exercises~


artymuffin - September 24

Thanks so much for your insight and absolute honesty. Hugs for all! It has definately eased some of my concerns a bit - especially the fact you were intimate only 5 and then 2 weeks thereafter! Craziness! Some books say it could take up to 6 months or a year for couple to have s_x again. I know it isn't everything, nor the most imporant, but it's something special you share only with your hubby and I'm not willing to give it up! I guess from here I need to stop THINKING and just take the plunge... LOL :)


danielle3318 - November 5

DONT EVER LET YOUR DOCTOR HAVE CONTROL OF YOUR BIRTH. He is being paid thousands of dollars from your insurance, AND you combined for the little time he spends in the room with you! He should be patient, and how the whole process goes from start to finish should be based on EXACTLY how you want it to go. If he acts like he is in a hurry, he is truly NOT genuine, and should not be a doctor in the first place. Doctors perform episiotomies ALL the time because they are impatient and want to get it over and done with so they can either leave, or see another patient to make more money in as little time as possible. If you refuse, they will even make you feel like you NEED one, and manipulate you in the heat of the moment! Be VERY judging when choosing your doctor, take you time, and go through a few or many if needed! and i saw great advice earlier, women doctor's are usually a better choice, not that you shouldn't be cautious of them either, but in many cases, they have been through it before, they feel for you, and they wont make cruel decisions that can effect you for weeks, months, years just to save themselves time or money. I am a Nursing a__sistant in labor and delivery, and i have seen this first hand many many many times and it infuriates me. PLEASE take complete control over your birth. let everything happen naturally, push when you feel an urge to push, rest when you feel the urge to rest. It's how it's supposed to be done! Women have done it for millions of years and it's not untill recently that EVERYONE else is in control. So cruel and unneccessary. The doctors know it to. Not only should you take control, have your husband, your mother, best friend in there who is protective of you MAKE SURE they listen to you. I feel for all of you mothers, and expecting mothers. I am pa__sionate and proud of you. And when i have my second child in March, you know i wont be afraid to tell the doctor BACK OFF, do NOT tell me what to do. Encouragement is one thing, manipulation is WRONG.


danielle3318 - November 5

in my last comment, i was mainly referring to doctors making episiotomies when there is NO need for it.


terriemcneill_88 - November 12

I was really scared of labor. Like really scared. Up until 2 weeks ago. Since you're pregnant for SO LONG by the time you get down to the last few weeks, you pray for labor. Just think rational about it. How else is she going to get here? Your mom did it and she lived, so did her mom and so on and so on. We are incredible creatures and our bodies are built to handle labor. It will be painful yes, if it wasn't I would be a little confused. But with this pain, you get a miracle. It's all worth it. the second you hear your baby's first cry you will forget all about the pain you just went through. I am 38 wks 2 days pregnant and I cannot wait until my labor begins, but if you were to ask me a few weeks ago, I would have turned white and started crying. You will be fine! It's what we were put here to do. I wish you the best of luck. Just think of the bigger picture....that beautiful baby that you created.


HiHello - March 15

You know, you don't have to have a baby. I am 48 and I spent my entire life in terror of childbirth, so I decided I just wouldn't do it. Another friend of mine adopted, and a third went ahead with it and now she has a ton of health problems, prolapses, all sorts of mess. Adopt. It's easier, or if you have money, use a surrogate. One of my mother's coworkers did the surrogate route and it worked out great. But you don't have to have a baby to be a mother. Don't be bullied into it if it isn't right for you.


elizabear - March 20

HiHello, I think you missed their point, they want to get pregnant, and are just afraid of the birthing. It is I feel natural, cause from when we are little girls we hear of all the Pain with childbirth when we are around our mothers and their friends, and we overhear conversations that are not meant for small ears. This gives us our dread of childbirth. I was much the same. I sat down and thought about it, just about every woman who becomes a mother does it, and I wanted my own children so I took the plunge. I never listened to anyone's story when i was pregnant, I told them thanks, but I dont need to hear it, I read and asked the midwife questions. I took note of the antinatal cla__ses and went from there. My sister asked me to explain it to her when she had her baby last year, I told her the pain is the worst you can handle, but then it is all over and you have this wonder in your hand and the pain disappears, she said yeah right. After she had her son she smiled at me and said now i know what you mean,I could not describe the pain now, but i know it was not fun, but i dont really remember it in light of what i have in my arms.



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