Motherhood is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. But there are many aspects of motherhood that may seem overwhelming and intimidating. For example, the experience of labour and birthing definitely induces some anxiety in every mother-to-be.
However, with a few pointers in mind, you can welcome your birthing experience on a more positive note:
1. Being Prepared Is Good
To be aware of the possibilities and processes involved in birthing is a great way of warding off any unwanted fear or anxiety. Read books and journals that guide you through each phase of pregnancy and give you knowledge about the optimum diet and exercises that ensure a smooth delivery. Additionally, you could also join some ante-natal classes to know more about the different options of birthing, coping with labour, partner involvement, etc.
Being prepared makes you more confident and ready for the birthing experience.
2. Seek Support
When you are in labour, remember that there are lakhs of women elsewhere who are going through the same pain and possible anxiety. Nature has endowed every woman with instincts that guide them to follow the natural course of birthing.
But if you feel nervous, do not hesitate to seek help. It could be your relative or a professional doula, who can support you through the labour and make your birthing experience a more relaxed one.
3. Look After Yourself
Your body is nurturing a life and, hence, it needs a lot of attention. Consuming a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients like proteins, essential fats, folic acid, iron, and calcium is a must. You can also take vitamin and minerals supplements after consultation with your doctor.
On the other hand, some moderate workouts (specifically, the birthing exercises like Kegels and squats) will make your tissues and muscles stronger, flexible, and better prepared for the labour (1).
4. Let Go Of The Fears
Listening to the horrors of birthing experiences or watching it in movies and TV-shows don’t help in abating fears by any means. However, when you follow a healthy lifestyle and are empowered with relevant knowledge, you are more in control of your situation in the labour room. Plus, with so much advancement in the field of medical science, the doctors are prepared for any eventualities. So, you can let go of all your fears.
5. Every Experience Is Different
The experience of labour and delivery is different for everyone. It is dependent on a number of physiological as well as psychological factors like sensitivity to pain, presence of a birthing companion, level of hydration, etc. (2). Therefore, it is not necessary that what others have gone through will be true for you as well. Hence, having a positive outlook will surely have a positive effect on your delivery.
6. Be Focussed On The ‘End’ Rather Than The ‘Means’
There is no denying the fact that labour can be painful and uncomfortable, but if you keep reminding yourself that it is all for that little angel who is going to arrive soon, it will give you the strength and endurance to face it.
7. Be Happy
Being happy and positive is a great way to keep your anxieties at bay. Have some cheerful friends around, cook your favourite meal, read a book, catch up on your pending movies, have walks, and do other such things that keep you engaged and upbeat.
8. Maintain A Journal
If you ever feel any fear or worry regarding a possible labour situation, do note it down in a journal. Seek advice from experienced medical professionals about such situations and jot them down as well.
With the passage of time, you will find that you’ve already received answers to all your questions and worries, which will help put you more at ease.
9. Be Calm And Relaxed
Practising meditation and mindfulness can go a long way to help you in your labour. Relaxation techniques help your mind and body to de-stress as they loosen up any strained muscles. It makes the labour less painful, and your mind and body remain focussed on having a smoother birthing experience.
10. Have A Sound Sleep
Try to have a good night’s sleep in order to feel fresh and positive. Inadequate sleep can lead to a tired mind, which, in turn, can be more prone to anxiety and stress.
Though it is normal to feel a little nervous before delivery, having a composed mind can make all the difference. Hence, practice the above tips faithfully and bid goodbye to most (if not all) of your fears and anxiety. Best of luck!