As a woman’s birthing day grows closer many women experience birthing anxiety or panic attacks. Often it stems from fear of the unknown, and sometimes from a previous bad experience. No matter what a woman’s birth plan is, the type of birth she chooses and who her support team is feelings of panic or anxiety should be acknowledged and dealt with before the big day arrives.
The first step is to figure out what the fear is about, one must answer the question of: is it a general worrying fear or is the fear specific such as the epidural, pushing, C-Section worries, fear of pain or any other specifics?
Once a worry is pinpointed then soothing the fear, worry, panic or anxiety can occur. Soothing specific issues can be handled by talking to a trusted OBGYN and creating a plan of action specifically designed for the mother to be.
Some plans can include:
Visiting the hospital and touring actual rooms can be a huge help because then a woman can begin to envision herself in the environment and become familiar with what everything looks like and how things such as monitors and stirrups work.
Meeting the anesthesiologist or an assistant can be very helpful as they can walk a patient through every step of medication processes, if a woman is facing a C-section they can paint a visual picture of exactly where they will be and what they will be doing and soothe fears with the assurance they will be right there in the room the whole time.
Taking a birthing class that goes over all the specifics of the birthing process in a safe place can be a huge help and a great resource, having a private meeting with class facilitators to discuss specific fears in a safe private manner. Generally the facilitators of classes enjoy providing support and comfort to expectant mothers. If a woman has a class facilitator that does not care or blows her off then a call to the director of nursing should be given.
Other things that may help sooth anxiety especially if the worry is not pinpointed are hypnosis for child birth, doulas and other birthing methods. Hypnobabies is a wonderful method for all expectant moms to use, it is a program that teaching self soothing and helps a woman to create peace within and is very helpful in the entire birthing process. Hypnosis if done correctly can be one of the most incredible helpful tools a woman can use for labor, delivery and after birth.
Above all else it is important for a mom to be to share these feelings with her OBGYN and her partner or support person. A woman should not keep these feelings to herself out of fear, it is okay to feel anxiety and normal. The OBGYN can help in many ways and they want to help. So speak up!