What to do if you are scared in labour?

What are the practical things you can do if you are scared in labour?

Are you scared of labor?

You may be wondering how to not be scared during labor. The key is knowing how to get rid of the fear so you can deal with any eventuality during labor.

Being scared during labour is not great and not very helpful to the natural course of labour - ie the fight of flight scenario.

However, knowing how to face that fear and deal with it during labour can make all the difference between having a calm spontaneous birth and an assisted birth. Fear can be incredibly useful when in a dangerous situation, but during labour it can slow things down and make them more challenging.

So how to not be scared of labor?

So here are five key things to do if you begin to feel scared in labour.

1. Accept that the feeling you have is just a feeling - it is not a real thing - emotions come and go, they are energy that is transient - you can release or let go of those feelings. Fear is just a thought about something which may or may not happen.

2. Be in the moment - the only time that is real and that you can focus on is right NOW - focus on one thing especially, during a contraction, maybe your breathing, a spot on the wall, a picture.

3. Breathe deeply and calmy - this in itself will reduce the hormone adrenaline which is created when you are scared. It will slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and help to bring you back to feeling calm.

4. Move around - jiggle, dance, shake your arms, "shake the apples" - check out our other blog post for more info. Moving helps to disperse the adrenaline and break state (give you a change of focus)

5. Let go of the feeling of fear or anxiety and replace it with a happy thought - gratitude, excitement to meet your baby, trust that everything is going to be ok. You can let go of fear by imagining the fears floating away on a cloud, or writing them down or even just telling the midwife or your birth partner.

A great way to practice releasing fears is to listen a hypnotherapy track which takes you through the while process.

What else will help you not to be scared you won't know how to labor?

Its understandable especially for your first child. That said remember billions of women have given birth successfully before you. The woman's body is designed for the task. Yes sometimes things can go wrong, but it is important to remember you are not on your own. Good support during birth such as:

Helpful Midwives
A midwife is so helpful during birth. She or he are in the position to notice, check and assist if necessary. Guiding you through your journey, whatever it may be. If needed they can arrange for more help.

Supportive Doulas
Doulas are birth companions and they to support you during birth with emotional and practical needs that you may have.

Prepared birth partners
Birth partners who understand the what to expect, how to notice where you are in the process of labour, and what they can do at each stage to support you is invaluable. Often they are your most trusted supporters. Getting them to understand what they need to do is part of effective birth preparation.

Effective Birth Preparation
By preparing yourself and your birth partner during your pregnancy, through learning and practicing relaxation, learning to use effective breathing techniques and other skills, you are putting yourself in the best position to have a better birth experience. There are lots of courses, practitioners and trainings out there to choose from. Since 2000 Natal Hypnotherapy has provided practical skills and training to help women learn relaxation, breathing, positive visualisation and to help their birth partners know what to do, and when. If you wish to prepare for birth, take a look at our hypnobirthing classes and use our Natal Hypnotherapy Audio PacksNatal Hypnotherapy Audio Packs to help you have a better birth experience.