First of all, IT’S OKAY. And, applause to you for allowing yourself the honesty to admit your fears. We’ve been there, Sister, and it’s a real thing. You’re in good company. I can remember the feeling of “I’m Afraid of Giving Birth!” washing over me, followed by a sense of panic. I was pregnant. There was no going back. So now what?
We’re here for you!
Hopefully by the time you’ve finished this post you’ll be able to breathe easier, feel stronger, and find comfort and support. You are not alone.
I’m Afraid of Giving Birth… Am I Normal?
It’s normal! Every mama out there has had moments where she’s felt some sort of apprehension. While we experience it at different intensities, we’ve all battled our share of nerves and more.
Feeling afraid of childbirth does not make you weak.
It does not mean you’re lacking in some way. It certainly has no bearing on what kind of a mom you’re going to be (you’ll be great!).
Admitting that you’re afraid of giving birth actually makes you:
- Honest about yourself
- Capable of analyzing and identifying your emotions
- Better equipped to handle your fears and expectations
Look at that! You’re a pretty amazing person!
What Can I Do About Being Afraid of Giving Birth?
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First of all, a healthy start would be to try and identify what part of the birth process is the most frightening to you.
The most common areas of high fear are:
- The pain
- The unknown
- Body changes
- The baby crowning
- Something going wrong
I’m not going to lie and pretend certain aspects of childbirth aren’t pretty intense. It’s called “labor” for a reason.
It’s not a walk in the park. But it’s also an extremely normal process of life. It’s not a disease, a malfunction, or even an emergency in most cases.
Once you’ve got an idea of what’s scary to you, you can deal with it in a healthy way.
What To Do About Being Afraid of Giving Birth
This is not only a great time to wage war against those fears, this is also a good time to really get to know yourself on a deeper level. Trust me, you’ll learn some new stuff!
Here Are Some Constructive Ways to Fight Off that Ugly Fear
The more prepared you feel going into labor, the more confidence you’ll have. Confidence in yourself and your abilities will totally offset those fears and doubts. Why?
Because it gives the control back to you.
- Exercise (even just a little)
- Mentally prepare yourself (work on getting your mind in a positive place)
- Get your home ready for Baby in small ways that make you feel accomplished and excited
I say this with a HUGE cautioning hand.
Only learn what you need to know to help you have that Baby. There’s no reason to know every single aspect and detail of what’s going on “down there” while Baby is being born, unless it builds your confidence. Most of us get a bit freaked out by TMI. It’s okay to be okay with that.
- Read POSITIVE-TONED books (like this one!)
- Have a Dr, midwife or healthcare worker you trust
- Don’t turn the Dr. you’re going to rely on into your enemy. That’s just silly and won’t do anything for you. If you mistrust your doctor that much, find a different one (that’s okay!)
- Stick with the stuff that’s really helpful without getting caught up in a political movement. The very minute you feel like someone is manipulating their point by creating fear and distrust, run for the hills. That ain’t healthy! The only person who should be allowed to get into your mind and influence you is Y-O-U!
3: Pick Your Friends
This one is huge.
Your circle is going to have the most influence on what tone your pregnancy takes. As a mama, this won’t be the first time you’ll have to make tough decisions for the sake of your baby.
- Stick close to people with a positive mindset
- Create a network of people who are encouraging and supportive
- Avoid confiding in negative people (you know the ones)
- Avoid conversations with people that start drifting into conspiracy and mistrust, regardless of what side they prefer of childbirth. Natural or not, your birth method is nobody’s business but yours.
Is It Possible to NOT Be Afraid of Giving Birth?
You’ll probably still feel nerves, maybe a little bit of anxiety. That’s all totally normal and it’s okay.
That mind-altering fear that messes with your head, though? You can get rid of that before delivery. It is very possible.
While there are natural emotions that come with labor and childbirth (a lot of those are instinctive and will actually help you during the process), you can have a childbirth experience where fear is defeated. Totally defeated. Just remember:
You, Sister are in control.
You’re also 1000% capable.
Don’t Forget Your Amazingness!
Don’t ever underestimate just how incredible you are, just how perfectly equipped you are, and how totally capable you are of having your baby. You’ve got everything it takes and more.
It’s always good to remind yourself just how normal childbirth is. Being as “everyday” as it is, though, we all still battle our share of anxieties. Being open, honest, and determined will keep you on the right track.
Stay prepared, as educated as you feel comfortable being without weirding yourself out, and positive-minded with the help of your supportive friends.
Another thing I’ve found is that having a labor plan (this is not a birth plan) helps keeps things focused and peaceful.
You can get a copy of my free, printable labor plan template here.
Having that ready and settled will add to your confidence. Remember, confidence directly opposes fear.
You’ve got our support! Stay fearless!