(Closed) How did you deal with your anxiety during labor/delivery?

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
3696 posts
Sugar bee

A super-calming trick that our midwife taught us (incredibly useful when my planned birth-center birth ended up getting transferred to the backup hospital): I took deep, slow breaths, and as I exhaled them, my husband and one of our doulas lightly ran their fingertips from my shoulders down the lengths of my arms. I have no idea why it worked so well, but it really helped me to keep calm and focused. (It needs to be in tandem with your breath, BTW; at one point, they got off-sync with my breathing and it became distracting instead of soothing. But when I mentioned it and they got back in rhythm with me … ahhh ….)

Having a doula really helps, too, so if you don’t have one yet I strongly encourage finding one.

Post # 3
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

BellaDee:  Are you planning to take a birthing class? For me, reading up and researching leads to more anxiety. The class might be helpful to get answers but also to talk to others about how they feel and what they are planning on doing to deal with anxiety. I decided not to do much research because I don’t want to freak myself out. I feel like there won’t be time for anxiety by the time I’m actually in labor. My sister told me that if you go in thinking it’s going to be a terrible experience, it probably will be. Lean on your Darling Husband for support and find ways that he can help calm you down.

Post # 4
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I had an epidural.  The rest was pretty easy:-)!!!

Post # 7
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


BellaDee:  I did fall asleep.  With my first, I got it at about 5 cm (and I was a pitocin induction…not by choice…) and I slept until they woke me up to push:-)!

Post # 8
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011 - in the woods

I hear ya! The hospital environment used to send me into freak-out mode; I would almost faint whenever I visited someone in there! And I, too, was never a patient until I delivered my little boy. Honestly, I wasn’t anxious at all – not during admittance, labor, or delivery. I was only focused on getting him out. There was no room in my mind for other thoughts and we had a 15 hour, drug-free labor. I, did, however appreciate that my room had huge windows overlooking trees (I love the out-of-doors so this was wonderful for me!) and my husband did such a good job carassing me, encouraging me, and supporting me through it. 

You’re going to do great, @BellaDee! Rock that birth!

Post # 10
8882 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I have an anxiety problem, had the same worries as you. I had some worries but when it was all over they didn’t matter.

My advice is to throw the worries out the window. Even with a birth plan, you never know what comes the day you go into labour. Things are hectic and crazy, no time to worry over everything.  Focus on the excitement and how close you are to having baby in your arms.

Post # 11
3823 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

BellaDee:  Read Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth”. It will help you to visualize your labor and delivery. The stories help you to learn the importance of staying calm and relaxed. Also, can you take prenatal yoga classes? The breathing and movement techniques help build personal confidence in your body. It’s helping me tremendously on top of educating myself on what’s happening to my body. Darling Husband and I are taking Bradley Method classes. Each one of these things has a place in preparing me mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Post # 12
683 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I have OCD and with that comes anxiety. I was so anxious about being anxious during delivery even though id done it once already.

I was induced and the night before I started to panic but only slightly and nerves set in.

I brought relaxong music in case I got anxious but didn’t need it. Family, doctors, nurses, ivs etc made the 11 hours fly by. I didn’t have time to freak out. It all started slowly and the baby heart beat was the most calming thing of it all. 

Don’t worry now, bring something soothing in case you dp get anxious but I doubt it eill last long, everything gets kinda hectic and you don’t have much time nor the focus to be anxious. 

Post # 13
7430 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

By the time I was going to give birth, I was SO uncomfortable and tired of being pregnant that it kind of took place of the anxiety about labor I had before. Also, having the epidural made everything so much more relaxing for me. I had never been in the hospital before having my baby, not even for stitches or anything, so it was all new to me.

Post # 14
11744 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

BellaDee:  Step 1 get the epi! 

I got some anxiety during labor (mostly right before the epi and when they said I was 10 cm and ready to push!)  I started crying both times but my husband and the nurse and doc were great at helping me.  Having gone through it now, it was so much better/easier/less painful then I thoyght it would be.  Even though I started freaking out, you’re in this moment with a lot of adrenaline and  at least for me everything happened so fast that I didn’t have time to have an all out panic attack!

Just take deep breaths, talk to your husband/nurse about how you’re feeling and remember it will all be over soon enough! What goes in must come out! 😉

Have you thought about hiring a doula? 

Post # 15
3696 posts
Sugar bee

FWIW, a doula is there to support your husband almost as much as to support you, *not* to replace or displace him in any way. My Darling Husband was really in favor of having a doula because he had no previous experience of being around a woman in labor and although he wanted to help, he didn’t know exactly how. He felt like the doula would be able to help him give me better and more effective support by explaining what was happening and suggesting good ways of coping.

A doula is also helpful to both partners by being an extra pair of hands/source of company if he needs to take a bathroom break, get something to eat or drink, communicate with family, etc. That way the laboring woman has someone with her continuously even if the partner needs to step out of the room for a few minutes (or the doula can go get the food, drinks, etc. while the husband stays with you).

She also can help your partner with the physical end of labor support. For example, one of the best things your partner can do for you during a contraction is to provide counterpressure on your hips – but it’s tiring for him to do it over and over (it requires quite a bit of muscle). Another good strategy is rubbing your lower back – but again, it can be exhausting to do that continuously for hours. With a doula, there can be some turn-taking so that your husband gets an occasional break and can keep going much longer overall.

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