Anyone who has known me for some time knows that the subject of birth was a true issue for me even BEFORE pregnancy! How often have I been envious of Americans for their surrogate mothers! 😏
Phew, I’m glad I went another way than with a surrogate mother and didn’t miss the pregnancy or the birth!
When I was talking about “childbirth”, I clearly had in mind a woman with a face full of pain who is giving birth to an oversized child. 🙈
In retrospect, I wished I had been less afraid of it. Because on my way I learned the following things that helped me to get rid of the fear of giving birth to my child.
Disclaimer: Yes, I know every birth is different and there is simply nothing that does not exist. But my experiences, the experiences accumulated from my surroundings and what the theory says about it is the following:
#1 No fear during pregnancy – hormones are the best!
If you are already worrying a lot in the run-up to pregnancy, the good thing is: In pregnancy, hormones come into play and soooo many other exciting things, the fear already disappears there! Tip-top isn’t it?! 🥳
#2 Good preparation
For me, knowledge was power! It has helped me extremely to know the processes, to know what is “normal” and what is not. We also went through the intervention lecture during the birth preparation class – I know this is the last thing you want to think about when you sit with a baby belly, but I found it super helpful.
Because if it happens during birth, then you don’t have to deal with it much cognitively anymore. You know what it means, what is coming to you and whether you want it or not. Besides, you can remain so self-determined because you can actually make decisions instead of “something is done to you”.
When my little daughter was born, we were actually at a point under the birth where we had to do a little intervention and there were two options. I stubbornly said that I didn’t want any of them because I could do it like that. 3 hours later nothing had changed and I was allowed to decide again. 😄
But it’s good to be able to decide for yourself!
#3 Good preparation for the partner
Also very important is not only that you are well prepared, but also that your partner is well prepared!
Most of the stories in my community, where the partner was present at birth and is still telling of traumatic experiences because they were not well prepared. If perhaps the scenery in the room changes and they don’t know whether “everything is still good” or what which intervention means.
For example, if the child is very close to “hatching”, the heartbeat may be less accurate. The father may then only notice that the heart sounds are “gone” and – understandably – get into stress.
Or another example: There is the transition phase – when pushing contractions begin – this is the moment when many women use strong expressions and declare that they have had enough and are going home. If you know that this phase is often characterized in such a way, then you can be happy as a dad, because soon the child will be there! 🤗 Just bear the rest bravely. 😜
#4 Perineal cut – the great horror 😱🙈
The dear perineal cut… maybe you are like me back then and my biggest concern was that a perineal cut had to be made. And apparently many women have that feeling, because on every info night in the hospitals, there was always someone who asked about the perineal incision rate. 😉
I could now tell you that, if any is necessary at all, you don’t feel it anyway, but I suppose you’ve heard it 100 times and you’re not convinced yet.
Okay, maybe this will help:
The dam cutting rate in Germany has gone down massively! ✌🏻
Instead of cutting, these days they’ d rather let it tear. 🤨
What?! Probably now you’re thinking, “And HOW please is that better?!”.
When it tears, it happens at the weakest part of the tissue and where there are no veins, nerves etc., the body is quite clever.
And, if it tears, it heals better and often doesn’t even have to be sewn, yesss.
And now the best: If it tears, then because the skin there is under extreme tension and then, as my midwife explained, the nerves from the skin area recede and you can’t feel it! It’s almost impossible, cool, isn’t it?! 😎
#5 Labour pains build-up
Even if the trend is no longer to call it “pain”, but “birth sensation” – because not every woman feels it as pain – it can be that the contractions are “uncomfortable”. But, I find that personally important, it is – according to picture book and my experience – not that you stand at the cash register and suddenly lightning strikes you in the belly and then it starts.
The very first contractions in the latency phase are very tender. Sort of like when you get your period. And from then on they increase very slowly. Your body does not want to harm itself and prepares you and itself for the birth. Sure, at some point labour pains can also hurt (now I’ve said it 🤪), but then you’ve already run warm, you’ve tried a lot of things and know what helps, you’ll manage then. And the best: After a few seconds it’s (for now) over and for only a few seconds you can endure a lot. 🙂
#6 You can do something about pain!
Another very important insight for me was that I am not at the mercy of birth sensations! There is so much you can do to bear the pain well. Some women are so good at it that they only feel the birth as pressure, not pain. And honestly, I believe them!
The following things reduce labor pains:
- Starting with your mental attitude
- The choice of birthplace
- Breathing, relaxation and consciousness exercises (up to here you have more than half the rent!)
- Your physical constitution
- Massage techniques your partner, doula or midwife can apply
- Acupuncture during birth
- birth positions
- And much much more!
- And then, if that doesn’t help enough, then the range of painkillers from nitrous oxide to PDAs comes into play.
Here, however, it is very individual what helps you best, so I recommend you to pack some things in your mental box beforehand, and then try it out until you find something that brings you into the flow.
#7 Stay away from the dramatic stories of others
I know this is easier said than done… But if you have someone or even several in your circle who may have had a traumatic birth experience of their own, and now start to work through this during your pregnancy, then this is unfair to you and can burden you. Then you have (at least) two possibilities to deal with it:
- Stay away – not always possible but either you say (again and again) clearly that these stories frighten you and do not help! Or
- You must try to distance yourself internally from the experiences of the other person.
However, it can be interesting to hear what others might have to advise to you. But I would only ask people to whom you have a good connection or with whom you swim on the same wave.
#8 Your body is a miracle machine!
I have to admit I couldn’t hear those well-intentioned sentences like “The female body is made for it,” “Zillons of women have done it before you,” or “it will come out eventually,” any more… But one thing I actually learned in the process:
Your body and your baby can do that!
You two have an impressive teamwork and you are, as a woman, made for it! To give birth to children can your body quite wonderfully! It should actually just be let do…
You will get to know your body completely new and you will be amazed at what it can do! Believe in yourself and trust your body, because: YOU CAN DO IT!
And your body wants only the best for you and itself, it will not want to harm itself deliberately. One of my affirmations for the birth was: “My body will only let me feel as much pain as I can bear”. And it does!
When I was at a point in the birth where I thought: “that’s enough now I don’t like it anymore” the contractions actually went back. Unfortunately this didn’t fit into the schedule of the hospital at all and quite honestly, I also wanted to be finished, but my body would have given me a break. #WomenPower
#9 It’s all worth it ❤️
I know, I know – one of those sentences you often hear: “Afterwards you have your baby in your arms and everything is forgotten”. It doesn’t help much if you can’t hold the baby in your arms yet and the birth is still ahead of you…
But I promise you, it’s worth almost everything!
Another one of my birth affirmations was: “Every contraction brings me closer to my baby”. And what can I say: if I had known beforehand how infinitely sweet the little girl was, I would have endured many more. ❤️
And was your great concern about birth part of it? If not, what are you most afraid of when you think about birth?
I hope I can take some of your worries away so that you can plunge into the new adventure full of anticipation!
If you know someone or have a girlfriend who needs this article, please share it with her.
All the best, your Maisie 💕