Whether a woman is having her first or fifth child, both she and her partner may experience a fear of childbirth. Commonly, apprehensions about what is to come will be the driving force behind the fear. To overcome fear of childbirth, expectant parents may benefit most from discussing their fears with a doctor. In addition, taking a birthing class may offer the realest scenario of what childbirth will be like. Touring a hospital, talking with other mothers and relying on the support of family and friends may also help to overcome childbirth fears.
One of the greatest ways to overcome a fear of childbirth is to discuss any particular concerns with a doctor, who for pregnant women is generally called an obstetrician. A pregnant woman's doctor may help alleviate fear about childbirth, because the doctor is medically trained and possesses the most factual information on what the birthing experience will actually be like. The doctor can authentically explain what will happen to the woman's body before, during and after childbirth. Knowing what to medically expect may help prepare the woman and get rid of fear. Additionally, if a fear of pain is causing the greatest amount of apprehension, one can use this opportunity to discuss options for pain medications as well.
Signing up for birthing classes may also help overcome a fear of childbirth. These classes generally educate parents-to-be on a number of things, from signs of labor to expectations of labor pain to information on caring for a newborn. Many classes teach breathing techniques and different positions that may alleviate pain during childbirth. So that expectant parents can get a realistic visual idea of what childbirth may be like, classes may also involve video footage of a real labor and delivery. Basic newborn care may also be included in a birth class; for example, parents may learn the basics of newborn feeding, bathing and how to properly cloth a newborn.
An expectant parent may overcome anxiety and fear about childbirth by getting a feel of what the birthing environment will be like. This may be done by touring the hospital and particularly the labor and deliver ward where the mother will give birth. A tour may involve a look at the delivery rooms, newborn nursery and nursing station. Being introduced to nurses who may be servicing the parents during their hospital stay may also be comforting and stop the fear of giving birth. Taking a tour of the hospital can also present an opportunity to ask any questions before actually being admitted to the hospital to give birth.
Speaking with other mothers may greatly reduce a fear of childbirth. Women who have already given birth may be able to provide the most proficient first person experience of what it's like to give birth. In addition, relying on the support of family and friends may also reduce childbirth anxiety. It is generally helpful for expectant parents to surround themselves with those closest to them so they can relate any worries and concerns about an impending birth. Family and friends can also share their own childbirth experiences and lend a supportive ear as well.