By: Colleen Andre, LMHC
You are excited to be a new mom, to meet your precious little one. The only thing standing in your way is… delivery. You are deathly afraid and anxious about labor. You have a hard time sleeping and feeling calm as months, weeks, and days approach your delivery date. Worst case scenarios cycle through your head and anxiety swells up in your chest. You are so desperate to find some peace. Here are few tips to help you manage and reduce your fear and anxiety about labor and delivery.
Avoid Scary Stories
The worst possible thing you can do is to swarm your mind with scary birth stories. Researching every possible outcome about what can go wrong is not helpful. You might be more informed, but you will be more fearful. Constant researching will add fuel to the anxiety fire. Limit your time on the internet and direct your mind on what excites and calms you.
Plan with Your Doula or Midwife
Overwhelming yourself with every potential incident that can go wrong is unhelpful. However, being prepared is not. Develop multiple plans with your doula and midwife in case a wrench is thrown into your ideal birthing plan. Having different plans can help ease distress because you know what you are getting yourself into. The plans will help calm anxieties of unforeseen situations.
Create a Mantra
How clearly are you thinking when your emotions are overwhelming you? Do you remember all the helpful tools your read? Are you logically? The answer is no! When you are wrapped up in your emotions or feelings, clarity is thrown out the window. Therefore, it is important to have a mantra you can repeat to yourself or read over and over again to ease your mind. When you relax your mind, your body will follow. You can even write down your mantra on a note card to reread during labor to help remind you of positive and true statements. Mantras can be one word, a phrase, bible verses, or song lyrics. Here are some examples:
- “Each surge brings my baby closer to me.”
- “I can & I will birth my way.”
- “I feel the love that others have for me during birth.”
- “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”
- “Today is a good day & I can do this.”
Use Guided Meditations
Guided meditations are incredibly helpful because it pulls you away from fearful thoughts to a calming or idyllic place such as the beach or forest, here is an example. Practice guided meditations daily to help relax your own nerves as the delivery day approaches. Furthermore, you can use the same meditations on the day of delivery to bring yourself back to that calming state. An alternative to guided meditations include childbirth hypnosis, here is a free sample track. Or, you can have a significant other record in their soothing voice a guided meditation from a script which you can replay during labor or days/weeks prior to delivery.
You are entering a new phase of your life with many wondrous experiences. There are unknowns and challenges. But, you do not have to enter this new phase with fear and anxiety. You do not have to be afraid of your labor and delivery!
If you are still experiencing increasing dread and anxiety and want more support than call Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 for an an appointment with me or a free 15-minute consult. Sometimes past trauma or emotionally disturbing events can play into increasing fears of birth. You do not have to be alone in dealing with these struggles. I am equipped to work with you individually to help manage fears and anxiety so you can experience joy and peace the day you meet your baby.
About Colleen: Colleen values the importance of a safe space for people to be open and honest while working through tough situations.Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anxiety, trauma or past pain, and life transitions. She also enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or race-related issues. Colleen is dedicated to equipping clients with practical skills, so they can better manage and reduce symptoms to live a happier and healthier life. See Colleen’s full bio here.