Portland Hospital midwife Teresa Walsh advises first-time mums on how to cope with childbirth.
If you’re about to have your first child, chances are you’ll be feeling anxious about the whole giving birth situation. Remember that you’re not alone in this, though. It’s a completely understandable and natural feeling.
Also remember the fact that plenty of mums end up having more than one child – so giving birth isn’t so bad that people only ever want to do it just the once.
But bearing in mind that childbirth requires a lot of physical and mental effort, Portland Hospital midwife Teresa Walsh gives us her advice for first-timers to help them through it.
Coping with the anxiety of giving birth
There is a lot of information circulating social media, offering advice on how to overcome the fear of giving birth, but no real clarity on how to handle the situation.
Do not worry about birth right from the beginning. Instead focus on growing the child and remaining healthy.
Do some research into the various methods of giving birth and think about what the right option for you is. Remember that that is what midwives are there for. Ask them plenty of questions about your options. And decide on a method which suits you.
The choices vary from:
Birthing at home.
Water birthing in hospital.
Calming your nerves
Many of you have never felt the pain you are imagining birth will be, so the fear in your head may be bigger than the reality of childbirth.
Another thing to note is when you give birth, your body releases several hormones which act as natural pain relief. But of course, there is no lack of epidurals which manage the pain of birth as well.
Too many options
There are many options to giving birth, and it can be overwhelming having to select one. However, the best thing to do is just focus on the fact that you are going to have a baby. Once you have spoken to a professional, you will be advised on what method is best for you and be assured that you will be fine.
Ask for advice
The epidural and the type of the birth only comforts you for a certain amount. Making sure you feel like you are part of the decision you make and that you have a midwife you are comfortable with is a vital part of feeling ready for birth. Additionally, a recent study showed that something as small as touring the hospital you are planning to give birth in will reduce the fear of giving birth.
Birth is one of the most beautiful experiences you will go through. And you will get through it.