Your biggest birthing fears sorted. Kind of.
It sounds like right before you die from pain, you are rewarded with a baby. And then when you have said baby, you’re left wondering what on earth are you meant to do with it?
So I asked some (very patient) mothers and midwives to walk me through each of my childbirth fears – and if you’re like me – then I promise you’ll feel a bit better after reading this. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll be even more terrified – but at least you’ll know, right?
Fear 1: Tearing. Down there.
The truth is, you will probably tear, many women do. But generally the tear won’t be too bad (a few stitches is deemed “not too bad” apparently). Yes, it sounds horribly painful but it’s highly likely you won’t be stressing about it at the time (you’ll be distracted by your adorable baby… or the drugs that you’re on).
Fear 2: Pooing on your baby
When you’re pushing to get a baby out, it’s likely that you could also, er, push a poo out. “I’ve seen poo go into a baby’s mouth before, the pediatrician said the baby would be fine and it was. Often poo can get on your baby but it happens and you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it,” says my midwife friend Emma.
Fear 3: Are there any drug options other than an epidural?
YES. Generally you can start with gas, then you can try morphine injections and then the next step is an epidural. But there is another non-drug option that can help.
Sterile water injections into two pressure points in the back can work like acupressure, helping to ease the pain of contractions.
Only thing is, the injection apparently hurts like a wasp’s sting. Wasp sting or the pain of contractions? I know, which I’d choose.
Fear 4: Your “birthing plan” not going to plan.
In Emma’s experience, it’s best not to have a concrete plan (apparently many midwives preach this point), because in all honestly, any plan you do have will probably go to shit. “Having said that, it’s good to do reading and research and have ‘birth wishes’ because you never know what’s going to happen and it’s good to know what you want,” she says.
Fear 5: What happens if I just can’t get the baby out?
I have been assured that it isn’t possible for the baby to refuse to come out and live a happy, albeit cramped, life within you. Thank goodness for that. Emergency c-section, vacuum and forceps will do the trick. Fun.
Fear 6: But I don’t want everyone to see me naked.
Trust this mother, Jacqui, you will NOT care about being nude in front of a room of strangers while giving birth: “When I was pregnant with my first son, I worried about the delivery. Not so much the birth itself (well, I did worry about that) but I also worried about being naked in a room full of strangers. It was confronting and overwhelming. I wasn’t looking forward to it.”