pregnant woman afraid of giving birth

Whether you’ve seen movies that portray birth as a painful experience or have heard horror stories, your worries about the birth experience are understandable.

In fact, even women who have multiple children can experience fear about giving birth again.

It’s essential to understand that your worries are normal, but there are steps you can take to help alleviate these fears and feel more prepared. This article will outline those steps.

If you want to talk to someone in person and learn more about all the ways Dove Medical is here to help you during pregnancy and beyond, contact us today to schedule a free, confidential appointment.

Learn All You Can About the Birthing Process

Movies and TV shows can make birth look like a wild, unpredictable process.

And while it’s true that every birth experience is unique, the birthing process follows predictable stages that can be anticipated. By learning about these stages, you can feel more prepared by knowing what to expect.

Early and Active Labor

The first stage of giving birth is called labor, and this stage can be broken into two phases: early and active labor.

During early labor, you will have contractions that can be sporadic and unpredictable. This can make it difficult to discern if you’re actually in labor. The best way to know if early labor has actually begun is that your contractions will grow more persistent and stronger.

This is the longest stage of labor, lasting from hours to days. During this stage, your cervix will efface (thin out) and dilate to 5 cm.

Early labor transitions to active labor once your cervix reaches 6 cm, and it will last until you’re ready to deliver. During active labor, the contractions will grow closer together and become much more painful. This stage can last for hours or be extremely quick, depending on the woman. On average, your cervix will dilate 1 cm per hour during this stage.

Delivery of Your Baby

Once your cervix reaches 10 cm and is completely effaced, you are ready to deliver your baby. During this stage, you will be instructed to “bear down” with each contraction as if you’re having a bowel movement. Sometimes, it takes many pushes or only a few.

Delivery of the Placenta

The final stage of the birthing process is delivering the placenta. The physician will ensure your placenta is delivered fully intact, and you may feel residual cramping (but nothing like the intensity of the contractions during active labor).

Learn Techniques to Manage Your Pain

The contractions that accompany the birthing process can feel overwhelming, but it’s essential to understand that these contractions are your friend. With each contraction, your body is preparing to move the baby from your uterus, down through the birth canal, and out of your vagina.

While the pain can get intense, breathing techniques, pain relievers, massage therapy, a warm bath, or an exercise ball can all provide relief. Deciding what options you’re most comfortable with, such as an epidural, before going into labor can help you face the big day feeling more prepared and less anxious.

You’re Not Alone

At Dove Medical, we’re here for you during pregnancy and beyond. You’re not alone in this.

Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential appointment.

This post is for education and information purposes only and does not substitute the advice of a Healthcare Professional.

Dove Medical offers pregnancy diagnosis, decision coaching, and accurate information about all pregnancy decisions; however, we do not refer for or perform abortion services including the abortion pill.