birth fears | Fit Pregnancy

birth fears

Why the pregnant psyche imagines the worst

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“After all that, that is all I wanted to hear.”



Childbirth fears: some comforting words

Fear of losing control “It’s actually good to lose control,” says Jeanne Waldman, R.N., a Trenton, N.J., certified nurse-midwife. “Particularly in the first part of labor, I tell women to breathe and let go, to let labor take over so the body can do its best.”

Fear of pain “There is definitely pain with childbirth,” says Susan Catalanello, a Plains, Mont., mother of four, “but the beauty of this kind of pain, which is followed by such profound joy, is that it’s gone minutes after the birth.”

Fear of something going wrong in labor “If a woman gets early and complete prenatal care,” says Richard Schwarz, M.D., chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, “the chances of a negative outcome for herself or the baby are extremely small.”

Fear of peeing or pooping “Care providers are very sensitive to a woman who might find this degrading,” says Waldman, “and will clean her up right away. But most of the time the urge to get the baby out is so strong during delivery, women couldn’t care less if they’re pooping or peeing.”

Fear of the baby being deformed Remember that most babies are born healthy. The March of Dimes reports that of the nearly 4 million babies born each year, about 96 percent are born free of serious birth defects.

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