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Fear of labour and birth

13 messages
06/12/2010 at 18:41

I was wondering if anyone could offer me some advice. I am not pregnant but my husband and I would love to start a family. The only problem is I am terrified of the thought of having to go through labour and give birth. I've never really had anyone I can talk to about it and its never been an issue until now. My husband doesn't understand why I get so upset about it when I am not even pregnant but I am just so worried I will never overcome it and we won't be able to have children. My main fears are not being able to cope with the pain, not knowing how severe the pain will be, tearing or worse still having to be cut, and there being a lot of blood, having loads of internal examinations (I even find having a smear test quite traumatic) I just can't stand it. I would definitely opt for pain relief (probably an epidural) but when I read stories about them not working or causing all sorts of problems with the birth I am just back to square one.

Does anyone have any advice or have experienced the same thing before they had their first baby? 

06/12/2010 at 19:54
Hi Alice. I understand exactly how you're feeling,my 1st son was an unexpected surprise and I spent the whole 9months completely terrified and getting really upset about labour,birth and all that comes with it. My oh didn't understand how I was feeling and as I was the 1st of my friends to have children neither did they. I wont lie and say labour was a doddle and pain free because it wasn't but neither was it as awful as I'd built myself up to believe.I know have 3 boys.My eldest son is now 3 1/2,my middle son 23mths and my youngest 11wks. All 3 labours were completely different but the minute you see and hold your baby for the 1st time any pain you felt completely disappears and forgotten. I hope I've helped if only a little. Laura xx
06/12/2010 at 20:42
Hi Laura, thanks so much for your post, this is really helpful. I really want to have that feeling of seeing and holding my baby for the first time so much, if only I can focus entirely on that and not on what  I seem to think it going to come before (its silly really because all the books and information I have read says exactly what you have just said about no pregnancy or birth being the same but for some reason I seem to think mine is going to be worse than anyone elses...). You have made me feel better, thank you again
06/12/2010 at 22:20
Your welcome Alice. I just kept telling myself throughout that its only 9 months and believe me they go so fast and before you know it they're in preschool! Lol. As strange as it sounds I almost enjoyed my 3rd labour despite it being my longest. I know just how real your fears and worries are and reading your post was like listening to me 4 years ago but my 3 boys are so worth it and we're already saying 'if' we have another lol x
06/12/2010 at 23:01

Hi Alice

I would visit your doctor and explain to him or her your worries as I remember reading an article somewhere that there is an actual condition where women are absolutley terrified of giving birth. Perhaps you dont have this as it is natural to be scared - I was nervous about how I would cope with the pain when I was pregnant first time round but still went on to have a second!

If you are really terrified to the point that it upsets you then speak to your doc about the possibility of having an agreed c section when you fall pregnant. I am sure that they do this for women who are literally terrified. He or she may not think you have this and put you at ease. Dont be afraid to chat to people about it though as we have all felt worried about how we will cope.

Good Luck

Emma x

07/12/2010 at 12:08

Thanks ever so much Emma. I will definitely go and see my doctor about it. It's funny really because part of me says 'don't be so ridiulous, women have been having children for centuries and didn't even have pain relief so just stop being such a wimp,' and the other part of me just clams up and I think I will never be able to go through with it. I think I am making myself worse by looking for information online as I seem to focus on all the negative things out there. What has also occured to me recently is that all I have ever been told about childbirth from women in my family is that it is horrendously painful, no information on what actually happens, where the pain comes from and what is for. I am ashamed to admit that I didn't even know what a contraction was exactly until recently, other than being a source of pain. 

Thanks so much for your advice, I hope I will be able to get through this because we so want to have children and at the age of 31 I think it is time to get going

08/12/2010 at 14:15

Hi Alice, i think everything has been said really, but its really not as bad as you think it might be, each time i get pregnant i keep thinking, OMG!!! have got to go thro all that pain again, but i actually think my pain threshold is high as i dont normally know im in labour until im about 6/7cms dilated - you might be lucky too!!! By the way, im currently 4 weeks off baby no.8 - so you see - it CANT be that bad!!! LOL seriously, every labour is different and if you opt for pain relief it is normaly very effective, i had epidurals with my first two babies but have just had gas and air and water birthing with the rest, this worked well for me, you can also get hypnosis cd's and relaxation ones, they too are a real asset, why not try a doula too?? (these are like midwifes but not trained in actual births and they work with you for the best birth possible and give you loads of encouragement etc!!)

Theres a few more options for you anyways, am sure that once you have gotten preggy and have seen your baby on a scan you will be just so excited, the pain will fade into insignificance before you even get there!!! Take it easy and try to enjoy your pregnancy when it happens. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

14/12/2010 at 12:31
Thanks so much Karen, you really have made me feel better. I also went for a chat with the midwife at my doctors and she has given my more information about labour and childbirth as well as reassuring me. The idea of using hypnosis and relaxation really appeals to me too. Good luck in a few week's time xxx
14/12/2010 at 15:07
No problem, glad to have helped even if just a little bit take it easy and enjoy your pregnancy, you really will be fine.  And thanks for the good luck, i just want him out safe and sound now, i feel like im beached!! LOL xxx
10/04/2011 at 21:17
Hi Alice I can see this thread is a bit old now but I thought I'd reply incase you get a chance to read anyway. I am totally, utterly, completely, ridiculously petrified of all things medical. I need Valium and about three scary nurses pinning me down to get a blood test, I chuck cold water from a bottle over my head to stop me passing out when i have a smear, ( nurse very patient despite clearly thinking I am a mentalist!! ) I puked when my hamster bit my finger, I had to take a seat on the floor in the car park at work when I pricked my finger for a routine blood sugars test (such a small amount of blood) and I can't go near a hospital without going clammy.


I'm 5 wks pregnant and I am taking the "Karen, if grandma did it 4 times in the 1950s with no pain relief, you can do it" attitude with myself. If I pass out, they'll have to do a c section, which I'd do on the condition I was not to have a catheta!! I want to be in control of my thoughts so I dnt want pethadine, If I turn to complete wreck then I will go for epidural but like you i don't fancy an epesiotomy too much and have read that an epidural might slightly increase chance of having an assisted birth and they can stick their salad tongs where the sun don't shine! Well perhaps Better not suggest that. So. will try to avoid that if i can. That's my crazy birth plan, it will probably all go out the window, I will shout and swear and get thrown out for using the f word but I will have given it a bloody good go. If I can go from falling off my chair in sex education at the shock of the amniotic sack, to watching one born every minute every week, we can both do this!!!! I promise!!! Xxxxxxx big hugs from one very squeamish person to another xxxxxx Karen
13/04/2011 at 18:49
Hi Karen, thanks for the post. I still can't watch 'one born every minute' though, I have to turn it over every time it comes on 'cos I can't bear it. I'm still not pregnant though, I hope that when/if I can get pregnant, my fears might just disappear, as I will know there is nothing I can do about it. It's nice to know there are others out there that feel the same way about it as me It make me feel much better xxx Good luck with your pregnancy
14/04/2011 at 12:51

Hi Alice.

I'm such a big wimp, it's untrue and my pain threshhold is quite low (well so i thought). But, I am now 12 weeks pregnant with no2.

When I feel pregnant with my first I kinda was so wrapped up in being pregnant I never really thought about the labour or birth and when i finally did get round to thinking about it I was surprised at how relaxed I was about it I just thought "well it's got to come out" lol. My actual labour and birth were very easy I wasn't even in agony until I was 10cm dilated (I won't lie, then it really did hurt) but then I had the job of pushing to distract me. As soon as my daughter was born I said to my husband "I don't know what I was screaming about" you really do forget all about it afterwards. My whole labour and birth was so quick I didn't get time for any pain relief (which I was devestated about at the time). So, if I, one of the biggest wimps ever can get through it i honestly believe anyone can.

I hope you overcome the fear and fall pregnant as the whole thing, birth included is the most amazing experience. I'm actually really excited to do it all again.

Good luck! xxx

07/02/2012 at 21:02

I'm with you. I'm not even pregnant, but the thought is so petrifying that I'm starting to second guess having kids at all. It doesn't help that my husband doesn't understand. I'd like to see him try it!!

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