"To the pregnant woman who's terrified of what comes next."

This is Emily. I work with Emily. She is absolutely terrified. Round and glowy and tired and excited and… absolutely terrified.

You see, she’s about to have a baby. Her first. And Emily can barely sleep for fear.

How can I help her? I thought, as I fretted over her furrowed brow. And then it struck me. You know what pregnant women never get enough of? ADVICE.

They really wish that more well-meaning strangers would come up and offer opinions about what they should do/shouldn’t do/what they did back in their day.

So, I invited Emily Purcell to come on to Mamamia’s parenting podcast to get a whole lot of reassuring advice from myself and Andrew Daddo.

The experts

Because, with five children between us and absolutely no medical qualifications whatsoever, clearly we are THE EXPERTS here.

Behold, our clearly terrible advice.

What did we tell the woman who is terrified of birth? You can listen, here or in iTunes here:

1. Close your ears to the haters.

That woman who wants to tell you about the bloody awfulness of her emergency C-section? Shut her out. Nod, smile and in your mind, play your favourite song over and over.

2. It’s one of the most ordinary things that anyone can do.

Almost everyone does it. It feels enormous to you, because it is, TO YOU. But you will be okay, because almost everyone does it.

3. Surround yourself with people you like.

Do you like your doctor? Your midwives? Find professionals you like, and trust them. They do this every day.

4. What you and your partner are about to share is going to bond you forever.

No-one tells you that. But if you are lucky enough to have a supportive other side by your side, this is the most intimate and important thing you will ever share. And you’ll be in a love bubble for, oh, DAYS until they annoy you again.

What’s it like to be pregnant? We ask women who have been there….


6. Stop reading that book about hypno-birthing.

Birth hurts. If anyone tells you different, they’re lying.

7. You can’t imagine how you’re going to feel when you hold that baby.

You’ve seen it on the movies. You’ve seen other people do it. Whatever. You cannot imagine this moment. Until you live through it, your brain is just not capable of conjuring up anything close to the flood of emotions coming your way. Focus on that.

8. Every bit of pain is a step closer to the end.

Young beautiful woman with a newborn baby after birth

If you are going to labour, every contraction is one less you have to have. Yes, they hurt like bloody hell, but it genuinely helped me to know that I was on a count-down. Live through that one, you’re closer to the end…

9. Take advantage of the permission to behave badly during labour.

I spent a lot of labour apologising for swearing at the top of my voice. I shouldn’t have. If there’s ever a time to swear loudly, yell at your partner, and demand more ICE CHIPS DAMMIT, it’s now.

That was it for my wisdom. But Andrew Daddo, meanwhile, had some even less helpful additions to the conversation. Things like:

“Have you ever been stung by a bluebottle? It’s like that.” (No, Andrew, it’s really not)

“Your husband will probably eat an onion sandwich on the day.” (Stop it)

“My wife almost bit my finger off!” (Just shush now).

Also on This Glorious Mess this week: Is leaving your kids to play outside alone really a sackable offence? Would you fly a kite in a storm? And are older kids really so much better than babies?

You can hear it all, here:

AND PLEASE, subscribe to us in iTunes.

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