Birth Fears

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By Holly Scheer

Having a new baby is exciting. Announcing to friends, to family, to the congregation, that a new little person will be joining the family is a joy.

With this joy there can be fear, though. Fear of the unknown for the first time mother, fears of the somewhat known for the mother who has been there, done that, especially if things were really hard.

This fear isn’t a new one, sister. Childbirth through history has been a dangerous undertaking for women– and their babies. In some parts of the world, it still is.

You aren’t alone in this, either. God has promised to never forsake and leave us. One of my favorite passages to read when I’m worried about pregnancy and birth is the one from Luke with the words of Mary,

“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. Luke 1:46-49”

Mary, the mother of Jesus, the mother of our Lord, spoke such comforting and humbling words. She acknowledged the truth that her pregnancy would lead to all generations– all of us– calling her blessed. And she was.

Birth is hard. It’s work.

With all that being said, here are my tips.

  • Avoid negative birth stories. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it seems like some people thrive on sharing the scariest birth story they know with random pregnant ladies, even ones they don’t know. This doesn’t help, avoid! Avoid!
  • Read the Psalms. Anyone who knows me knows that this is a piece of advice I give in lots of situations, and this is no different. Read the Psalms and pray.
  • Pray the Lord’s Prayer. That whole, “Thy will be done” part is especially applicable here.
  • Talk about your fears. Your husband, your mother, a sister, a friend. Someone who will listen and comfort you, not make you more afraid.
  • Get thee to church! Have your church family pray for you and your baby. For you whole family.

Do you have any tips for helping quell the fears of birth?

Photo Credit to archibald jude. Creative Commons license. 

Comments

Birth Fears — 8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this! Our first is due in December. Thankfully no scary birth stories yet!

  2. Talk to veteran moms. Talk to women with varied births. Pick a birth that works for you, Baby and Dad and be content in it. (Don’t feel pressure from anyone as to what a “good” birth looks like.)
    Ask your pastor to pray for/with you.

  3. Be flexible with your birth plans. There are lots of folks pressuring mom to deliver a certain they think is ‘best’. If you have to have a C-section, you are rock star mom! Try to communicate to your husband what he can do in labor and delivery room. Chances are he wants to help you but might be at a total loss as to how. (Plans change in the moment of what you want verses what you thought you wanted.) If you are able to get any chance to rest, take it! (Also my advise for the first three months after giving birth. If others think your home has gotten dusty/messy, allow them to help by cleaning something. Bonding with your baby, and sleep are more important dusting!) – mom of 2, a c-section and a vbac deliveries.

  4. Besides all the other great suggestions: Have a good support system–consider hiring a doula.

    And educate yourself. Yes, avoid scary birth stories, but it’s also important to know what could happen and maybe how to prevent it.

    In general, don’t go to the hospital too early in labor, especially if you’re more relaxed at home. If you’re at the hospital, they want to be able to do something to you. It’s just the way medical professionals are. (This is also where a doula might help.)

  5. I have 2 beautiful daughters, both C-section deliveries. The first was an emergency situation. The second, blessedly, was planned, although I was in labor and didn’t realize it at the time. Some advice that I received that helped when I was pregnant with Daughter #1 (and also having two OB/GYNS in my family):
    – Don’t be disappointed if you end up having to have a C-section. A healthy baby and mom are more important than whether your birth plan went according to plan.
    – Every type of birth is natural – the only difference is medicated vs. non-medicated. Don’t try to be a hero. (I chose medicated.)
    My 2 cents:
    – I printed up cards with Scripture on them that were comforting to me and read them during labor with Daughter #1
    – Don’t be in a rush to leave the hospital. Take it as your time to rest and get comfortable with being a mom.
    – Ask every nurse that helps you for any tricks/tips she has for nursing (if you choose to nurse). If your hospital offers it, ask to see a lactation consultant. A lot of new moms have anxiety about nursing.
    – Don’t be ashamed to ask the nurse to take the baby to the nursery so you can get some sleep. You can always ask the nurse to bring the baby back in a couple hours.
    – Take a tour of the hospital beforehand. Its helpful to know where to go.
    – Try to take a little time off before the baby comes to relax and rest.
    – Don’t worry about having everything perfect for when your little bundle of joy comes home. A newborn’s needs are few: diapers, wipes, a car seat, a few outfits, and Mom & Dad.
    – If you end up having a C-section, don’t miss any doses of your pain medication. Have your nurse wake you up in the middle of the night, if necessary.

  6. When you can’t take labor anymore, you’re in the home stretch and almost done (usually)

    Make sure to get that picture of the whole family on the hospital bed! Those are the best family pictures, whether with one kid or seven! (And a good way to get mom in a photo, hehe. You may look like you just gave birth, but I’ve never seen one where the mom didn’t look GORGEOUS (must be the joy).

    Plan something to look forward to afterwards (and after you sleep). My husband and I have an in-hospital movie date.

    I do not sleep well with baby in the nursery. I keep him with me. But hospitals are not restful environments, so bring earplugs and eye covers.

    -six days post-due and “waiting”

  7. I told my doctor I wasn’t doing anything a cow didn’t do with no fuss at all. Threw him into shock; he was a city boy (with a reputation, I found out later, for delivering babies with Mom totally unaware.) Some Moms like it that way. I wanted to be there.

    It’s a lot easier, and quicker, if you are awake, but I don’t expect to convince anyone.

    One of my grand daughters, a singer, was in the hospital two hours when she delivered; she credited good abdominal muscle control. [And, I think, she didn’t correlate what was going on all day with the tales she’d been told about “labor”.]

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