3 Top Tips To Banish Birth Anxiety

It’s almost Halloween as I’m writing this, and I’m thinking about what scares people. For most women, it’s The Horror of Birth. Cue the creepy organ music. Most of this is the fear of the unknown; but when women go to experienced friends, relatives, and even doctors for information to banish the unknown, they often get The Horror of Birth Part 2: Birth Horror Stories. Cue the terrified screams!

It really shouldn’t be that way. Every year, birthdays are big, joyful celebrations – why shouldn’t your Birth Day be the same? It’s certainly something worth celebrating; it’s the most pivotal experience in a woman’s life! Although everyone will celebrate Baby on that day every year for the rest of his life, that very first birth day is special for you too because it is the day your new life begins – it’s the day you become a mom.

Your Birth Day should be a dream come true, not a nightmare. The goal of birth is to end up with a healthy and safe mom and baby, but birth is so much more than a goal – it’s an experience! Having a good Birth Day gives you more than just a precious memory to look back on fondly; research has shown that South African women who had a good, natural delivery breastfed more successfully, had higher self-esteem, and less chance of postnatal depression. And these positive effects were still in full force five years later! A positive birth experience is empowering, and it’s good for Baby too, often meaning better health and development.

So how do you make your Birth Day a celebration?

    1. Stay informed– if you are informed and consulted every step of the way, and you feel that your preferences were taken into account and you were respected as a unique individual, then you’ll feel good about your birth – be it natural birth, or a C-section. Choose a birthplace that will help make sure that you don’t feel let down or are left with niggling questions about whether your birth was handled sensitively and expertly.
    1. Work for your best birth– it won’t just fall into your lap! Think about what you want, do your homework, visit various birthplaces, and negotiate with your doctors and midwives, but keep an open mind if your circumstances change.
    1. Accept your birth– every single woman will have her unique birth experience; you need to accept what worked best on your Birth Day for your individual circumstances. Complication-free natural birth is best for most women, and there is no reason why 85% of women can’t give birth as Mother Nature intended. But if you or Baby really needed an intervention like a C-section, then that was the best birth for you, and you should make peace with it.

May you have a happy, happy Birth Day!