It is natural to worry about your pregnancy and childbirth. It can be unpredictable. With all the changes happening to your body, the lifestyle changes, planning for your family’s future and a long to-do preparation list, you might find yourself feeling drained and apprehensive. Add to that the fact that you are constantly fed horror birth stories, it can seem like enough to send our minds into overdrive. Stress less ladies and gents. More often than not, pregnancy and childbirth go a lot easier than the stories we are told.
If this is your first pregnancy or you have had a childbirth experience that didn’t go to plan, we often find ourselves worrying. My first daughter was breech and delivered by c-section, I worried about the repercussions and then felt concern about my next pregnancy.
Parents often spend time worrying about situations that are irrational or very unlikely. So, sit back and relax. Read on about some of the biggest pregnancy and childbirth fears from other parents and help us to put your mind at ease
Pushing and Pooping: “I was terrified that I was going to pass more than my baby while I was busy pushing. I had heard that you have to bear down and pretend like you are doing a giant poo and had heard my friends talking about them not even knowing it had happened. The point to me was… it happens. It is all I could think about leading up to the delivery of my baby. I was embarrassed and worried before I even made it to my final trimester.”
Although this one may happen (I am terribly sorry ladies), I promise you that you probably won’t know about it. Remember that this is perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
The same muscles that you use to poo with are used to push out your baby. As the baby passes down the birth canal it also puts pressure on your colon. The same hormones used for bowel function are also responsible for initiating labour. It is so natural. You may not poop, but if you do, millions of women who have birthed before you have, and it hasn’t changed a thing about them.
If you are worried about what your partner will think, I guarantee they will be in awe of the warrior woman who is delivering their baby into the world and it will be the least of their concern.
If it does happen, the delivery staff are as quick as ninjas. They are so practiced and equipped to deal with this that it will be cleaned up you won’t know unless you ask them later. So just don’t ask, you will be none the wiser.
When you are in the throws of labour and your body is doing exactly what it needs to do, this fear won’t even cross your mind.
- Loving Your Second Child as Much as Your First:“When I had my first son, I felt a true love that I couldn’t explain. My biggest fear when falling pregnant again so soon; I was terrified I wouldn’t be a able to love another baby as much”
So many parents are worried that they just can’t love another human as much as their first, or their relationship with their first baby will lessen with the addition of a new baby.
The same love hormones, and maternal instincts are at play with your second as they were with your first. The moment that you hold your baby or experience love for them the first time, you will realise that you don’t have to worry.
It seems crazy to think that you have so much parental love that you can feel and provide. It is a love like you have never experienced or given before. But there is plenty to go around. And you will experience and be able to give it to all of your children… and then there will be more with Grandchildren.
Parental Love isn’t shared between children, instead, it grows with each one.
- I won’t be a good parent: “I always wondered if I could do it. If I could be a good parent. If I could love and provide for them. I was scared that I would work too much or not work enough. Would I say the right things when they needed me? Would I be a fun parent? Would I have enough money to give them the things that they want and needed”?
Parents only want the best for their children. We often wonder if we are ready to be a parent, or a parent to multiple children. We wonder if we will have enough money to fulfil their needs. We fear that we won’t satisfy their emotional needs or provide the opportunities and experiences that they require in order for them to reach their greatest potential.
We live in an era where marketers claim that their educational toy or experience is the ultimate thing that your baby needs in order to thrive. The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to buy every gadget and event under the sun in order for your children to grow into healthy, happy and successful people. Buy fewer, but quality toys and experiences. Studies published in the Journal of Infant Behaviour and Development actually show that children with less toys become better problem solvers and develop creativity because they are required to use their imagination and become resourceful.
You can also provide positive foundations by being happy, healthy and successful yourself.
And remember, if you do everything under the sun for your kids, they can’t develop the skills to be independent and problem solve themselves.
- Body Changes: “I was terrified about my body changes, how I would cope and if it would effect my relationship with my partner and how I felt about myself. Would I lose the baby weight? Would my shape change? Would giving birth change or even ruin my vagina and my partner would feel a difference? What about stretch marks and loose skin”?
More than likely your body is going to change throughout your pregnancy and after. The fact of the matter is that you are growing a human inside of you. In order for your body to do that it needs to change and stretch. For most people, baby weight is normal and healthy.
It is hard to not worry about such things and feel the pressure to bounce back with all of the advertising that is sent your way; Get bikini ready after baby for summer and miracle stretch mark vanishing cream. I am not saying that some of these don’t work, but they do often draw attention to the things we hate the most and make us feel self-conscious.
The answer to this is to be proud and understand that the changes were probably necessary. You can help avoid stretch marks using certain lotions, creams and by having a healthy diet. There are safe and healthy ways to lose baby weight, it isn’t healthy for everyone to lose it quickly, you need enough energy to heal and breastfeed your baby (If this is what you choose to do). There are also amazing little things called Kegel exercises that will help your lady bits get back into shape.
The key is taking the actions to keep you and your baby healthy by being mindful and ensuring you provide both of you with what you need. Once baby is born, make the changes that you want, but in a way that is safe, healthy and realistic.
- Delivery of a BIG baby: “I felt huge and I had been told that each baby is bigger than the last. My baby had hung on to the due date and was still going. There was a lot of talk from friends, family, and professionals about the potential for a big baby and it continues to gain weight after 40 weeks. I was worried that my pelvis wouldn’t be big enough and the baby would get stuck”.
It is very difficult to determine the weight of a baby through measurements and ultrasounds. I myself was told with my first that she was going to only just make 6 lbs and she came out at 7lb 2.
A study published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal exposed that 31.2% of women are told by care providers that they have a ‘suspected large baby’, and only 1 in 5 of these women actually delivered ‘large babies’ (more than 4kg).
Being told that your baby is suspected to be large, leads to higher instances of medically induced labour and intervention; and women trying natural methods to induce labour themselves. Some medical interventions are seen by many studies and professionals to be fear related and often unnecessary.
The size of the baby alone does not determine if you can deliver baby. My second was predicted to be larger and my midwife educated me on the the 4 P’s. The Power (force or contractions), The Passage (the space baby must pass through), The Passenger (size and position of baby), and the Passion / Psyche (your confidence and determination).
There are many happy birth stories of small women delivering big beautiful babies. But you must do what you feel is right for you and baby. All deliveries are amazing.
Remember, your care providers are trained, and it is important that you are able to trust them. Find a care provider or birth specialist that you feel at ease with and have a comfortable and trusting connection with.
Abbey McKenna – The Parenting Co
Chaotically organised, energetically tired, beautifully dishevelled, erratically in control mother of 5 children and a rescue dog. Abbey is the Chief Editor for The Parenting Co a teacher, visible learning coach, environmental rehabilitation business owner and NLP practitioner; but her claim to fame is having the best taste in music and the hippest Mom dance moves you have ever seen.
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