Fear of Birth

While having a baby causes indescribable feelings for many expectant mothers, some people worry intensely about having a child, even if they want a child, they worry about the pregnancy process, birth and postpartum.

The fear of childbirth; It affects an increase in complications at the time of birth, mother-infant bonding, and this can cause depression and anxiety disorders in the person.

Fear of childbirth is divided into two groups. In the first group, there are those who have never been a mother but have intense anxiety about childbirth, and in the second group, there are those who are affected by their negative birth experiences.

If we take the first group, why is a person so afraid of an event they have never experienced?

  • Generally, when we look at the causes of fear; “Will my baby be born healthy?”, “what if my baby is born disabled?” It is seen that the belief that the pain to be experienced at the time of birth will be unbearable also affects the fear of childbirth. The anxiety of “I can’t cope with this pain” is among the factors that lead people to a planned cesarean section. In addition, studies have shown that; It was found that people with more fear of childbirth experienced more pain at birth and those with more labor pain experienced more fear. It has been observed that this process reduces birth satisfaction.

  • How the person’s birth story is conveyed to him is very important. A story that is narrated badly/traumatically and has difficult birth stories also affects the person’s own pregnancy process, and the unresolved story of one’s own birth may cause anxiety that the pregnancy will result in the same way.

  • Labeling the painful birth stories heard from childhood to the birth story that she has never experienced, and being exposed to screaming birth scenes in movies and TV series, can negatively affect the perception of a woman who has never been a mother about childbirth.

  • Family history of illness, traumatic death, miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, etc. may develop anxieties about childbirth.

  • Getting pregnant as a result of an unplanned pregnancy; The mother-to-be finding herself in this process before she is psychologically ready, taking care of the baby, the image of motherhood, concerns about returning to work, and adapting to life with a baby can cause the person to develop a fear of childbirth.

  • Spousal support and low social support are also among the psychosocial factors affecting the fear of childbirth.

  • Personality structure, anxiety level, history of depression, temperament, way of perceiving events and the meanings attributed to events can be factors in the formation of fear of birth.

  • Past traumatic experiences also have an important effect on the formation of fear of childbirth.

  • In mothers who gave birth for the first time and who are pregnant with the second; The second birth occurs in the mother’s mind in proportion to the story of the first birth. The mother, who had a bad birth experience, believes that her second birth will be the same and may experience fear of childbirth.

How Can I Overcome Fear of Birth?

Sometimes the fear of the unknown can prevent people from acting. Knowledge is the greatest antidote to fear. If your fear goes away when you get the right information from the right sources, it is the fear of the unknown, but if your fear does not go away despite getting the right information from the right sources, the process is more psychological.

Make a list of your fears and share it. “Do they think wrong”, “will they find my fears absurd?” Get rid of anxiety and share your anxiety and fears with your doctor.

Participate in childbirth preparation training. In education, not only the physiology of birth; You will have learned the philosophy of birth and the effect of fear on birth, and you will have organized your missing or wrong information with correct information.

Build your birthing team. Physical and psychological support at the time of birth is very important. Having your team that provides uninterrupted, one-on-one support at the time of birth, such as a midwife, birth psychologist and doula, will help you get through the process more easily.

If your anxiety and fears do not go away despite doing these, do not hesitate to seek help from a specialist psychologist.

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