Childbirth can be a really scary thing. Most of that fear comes from the lack of control and fear of the unknown; how will it feel? What if I don’t know I am in labor? What if we don’t get to the hospital in time? These are very real and very valid fears.
But what if you HAVE given birth before and it was not the experiance you were looking for? As your pregnancy progresses and you get closer to delivery some of those old fears can start to rear their rear their ugly heads. Couple that with the memories and fears of your last birth and you have the perfect storm of fear and anxiety.
Of course if you are having extreme prenatal depression and/or anxiety please reach out to your provider, but in the in interm I have laid out some coping strategies below.
Focus on this pregnancy: Every pregnancy is different. If it helps you can list the ways this pregnancy is different from your last. Keep reminding yourself that what happened last time is statistically unlikely to happen again.
Hire a doula: A doula is specifically trained to help you through both birth and pregnancy. They understand how complicated the emotions are surrounding birth and can offer real time help through phone calls, emails, and texts. They can also help you come up with a birth plan to address some of your lingering concerns.
Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your provider. They have a detailed account of the circumstances of your delivery. When you are in labor time is warped as is your sense of what is happening. Your provider can help fill in any gaps and help you better understand what happened.
Talk it out: Speak with a trusted friend, your partner, doula, provider, or therapist. Getting your feelings out into the open helps you cope with them as they come up. Just be mindful of finding someone level-headed who can give you quality advice and support.
Speak with a therapist: If you are experiancing worry or fear that is impacting your daily life then perhaps a trip to your therapist is needed. Some therapists are starting to take training specifically for prenatal and postnatal mood disorders. If you are in or around the Lancaster County area I highly suggest Move Forward Counceling a woman centered facility.
If you find yourself worried about pregnancy and birth we would love to hold you through the entire process. Please reach out to us!
Lancaster Doulas Proudly serving: Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Lebanon, Hershey, York, Harrisburg, Camp Hill, and Gettysburg