This writing is inspired by my midwife! I recently had my 37 week appointment at the birth center where I am receiving my prenatal care. I shared with her that I still have a number of fears about giving birth naturally. She told me that I should write them down and even share about them on my website. I agreed it was a great idea and to share it so that other women know they are not alone.
Birth Fears of Handling the Pain
One of my biggest fears about giving birth naturally is not being able to handle the pain. This stems from my first birth especially, in the worst of my pain, when it felt like my bones were ripping apart. There are many pain management techniques that can help us to better handle the pain, which I will talk more about.
Having Enough Love
Many first time parents report that they fear that they will not have enough love to give their second or other subsequent children as they did with their first child. This is somewhat of a fear of mine and it is normal. People say that your heart just grows bigger.
Laboring too Long
I have this birth fear because I had a 26 hour labor with my first birth. It was discouraging getting cervical checks periodically only to show I had not progressed or only had progressed a little. There is hope this time though, since it will be my second time pushing. Most OB/GYNs and midwives agree that the 2nd and other subsequent labors are much faster than the first.
Water Breaking too Early
My water broke almost immediately in my last labor. We went to the hospital a couple hours later, which was probably way too soon. I was put on a clock as soon as I got there, which was incredibly stressful. Experiencing stress as a mom in labor does not help us to progress.
Pressure to Progress
This is not something I will go through this time as I will be laboring at a birth center under the care of midwives. However, this is pressure I experienced in my first labor from the doctors and nurses. It really is not right to pressure and bully a mom in labor. This stresses us out and it may hinder the process of labor.
Getting a Fever
I did get a fever when in labor with my daughter, but my mother gave me a homeopathic remedy right after and the fever went away quickly. I am hopeful that my water will not break so soon into labor this time to reduce the chance of fever or infection. Since before becoming pregnant, I have been taking mega doses of Vitamin C. There is research to show that taking mega doses of Vitamin C while pregnant can prevent PROM or premature rupture of chorioamniotic membranes. In addition, the midwives do not typically do cervical checks, so that should also reduce the risk of fever or infection.
Back labor is a big fear of mine because all of my labor pains were concentrated in my lower back. As I mentioned earlier, it literally felt like my bones were being ripped apart. Reflecting back on the weeks before I went into labor with my daughter, I do remember feeling a lot of lower back pain/pressure on my spine. It may have been her skull leaning up against my spine. I felt this in this pregnancy in the 3rd trimester as well.
The difference is that I have been getting chiropractic adjustments the past couple months of pregnancy, which I said I would do in my next pregnancy to have an easier labor. So far, it has made a huge difference for me and I have felt significantly less lower back pain. I also just found out that the baby is in the optimal position (check out my Instagram post)!
Nausea Birth Fears
Upon waking up the morning I went into labor with my daughter, I felt labor pains and soon after experienced nausea. I threw up many times during labor. Due to the nausea, I did not feel like eating anything, but I even threw up the juice and popsicles I consumed. Eventually, I requested an IV because I was running out of energy.
My midwives advised me this time that anything that has helped me with heartburn will help prevent nausea in labor. The very supplement that got rid of my morning sickness this time around helped me overcome my heartburn – cocolaurin. I will take it when labor starts and during labor as needed. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and honey drink also helped get rid of my heartburn. You could alternatively make a drink of filtered water, apple cider vinegar and raw honey, but I wanted something premade. Finally, I will have my homeopath on call if all else fails and I really need a remedy for nausea.
Epidural or Other Pain Medication
This is somewhat of an unfounded fear (this time at least) because I have all the right tools to help me have a natural labor. Nevertheless, it still stems from my last labor when I did not think I could go on anymore 17 hours in. I had no idea when I would deliver my baby, I had no energy and no hope.
Read my labor pain management post for all my ideas to have a natural birth. I plan on a water birth this time, hired a doula, took natural birth classes that taught me different positions and better breathing techniques, have my homeopath on call, received regular chiropractic care and embraced birthing affirmations. I believe all of these things, especially the encouragement from the birth affirmations will help.
I suppose the fear of a c-section would make more sense if I were laboring in a hospital, but as I said, I will be laboring and giving birth (God willing) in a birth center with my second birth. If my life or the baby’s life were in danger, I would accept having a c-section. I am just opposed to the cascade of interventions that tends to happen in hospitals under a doctor’s care. The interventions can lead to a c-section when not medically necessary. Thankfully, since I am under the care of midwives at a birth center, this is highly unlikely.
Many of us women in this modern age have come to fear birth. One of the reasons for this is the constant bombardment of negative birth stories we hear from other women. This is not to discount their experience. However, if we want to have a positive labor and birth, we need to hear encouragement and lots of it from others. Let us be encouraging to every pregnant woman out there to dispel fears about birth!