To overcome the fear of childbirth, it is useful to choose the hospital that makes us feel comfortable, to attend pre-birth courses, share your anxieties with your trusted gynecologist and be aware that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way. to give birth.
Until the last trimester the problem does not arise because childbirth is still seen as a distant event. And then she was distracted by many other thoughts: the worry about the visits and examinations to be done, the prenatal diagnosis, the disorders of the various months. At a certain point, however, we realize that the date is approaching and the fear arises: what will the birth be like? Will I feel pain? Will I be good at pushing? What if something goes wrong?
There fear of childbirth it is actually a normal fear, because it is normal for everyone to have it: “If it is the first birth, there is the unknown factor of not knowing what you are going to encounter” comments the psychologist and psychotherapist Sara Piattino. “If instead of births there have already been and the experience has not been the best, the memory of the past is frightening. In both cases, childbirth is intimately perceived as an obstacle to overcome, something dangerous. A fear which persists despite medical advances and is clinically referred to as tocophobia “. How to overcome, then, tocophobia?
In this article
Fear and pains of childbirth, video
In this video, Dr. Paola Pileri, specialist in gynecology and obstetrics, explains how to deal with the fear of childbirth and how to overcome the pains of labor and contractions.
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Don’t think too much about the unpredictable
It’s true: as in all life events, including crossing the street, even in pregnancy or during childbirth at some point something could go wrong. However, this does not mean that we must be stuck in fear. “We all know that by the very fact of living we are exposed to some risk, yet we continue to do it serenely: here, it is the same attitude that we should also have towards childbirth “advises Melissa Pozzo, psychologist at the Gynecology and Obstetrics Unit of the Sacco Hospital in Milan.
This does not mean denying that there may be some risk, but simply accepting it as a fact of life. “And in the meantime, the invitation is to take care of yourself. Choosing the doctor who gives you the most confidence, relying on his care, paying attention to your lifestyle and well-being. In short, trying to feel good “.
Pain: there is, but it can be overcome
One of the main fears of pregnant women is that the pain is so intense and lasts so long that it cannot be tolerated. “That’s right, the childbirth pain is intense and unpredictable: we do not know how it will be or how long it will last, also because each birth is an experience in itself “observes Irene Cetin, Director of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Unit at the Sacco Hospital in Milan.
To feed this fear there are often the terrifying tales of those who have already given birth, who seem to take pleasure in accentuating the tones. “You feel pains that lasted days, then maybe you discover that for the most part it was preparatory contractions, not so unbearable” continues Cetin. “Please note that the maximum limit of a childbirth labor is 8-10 hours, but it is a maximum limit, not the average duration! “
To accept the idea of pain, we could theoretically say that it is part of the ancestral experience of all women and repeat to ourselves that if they all did it, we will too. But to be more concrete, it is better to know that there are various techniques to relieve pain: the natural ones, ranging from the possibility of changing the positions of labor at will, to Hypnobirthing delivery, to water birth, and the pharmacological ones of analgesia, such as epidural or nitrous oxide. It is therefore essential to inquire about the opportunities offered by the structure where you intend to give birth and choose the one that feels most congenial.
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Surround yourself with positive people
In managing one’s fears, trust in the people who will assist us plays a fundamental role. If it gives us confidence to give birth in the place where the gynecologist or midwife who followed us for nine months works, we consider the possibility of giving birth there, because during the birth it could be of great comfort to see a friendly face who knows our faces well. fears and our anxieties. Just as we carefully choose the person we want next to us during labor: the partner, the mother, the sister or the best friend. At that moment we need to positive people, able to support us, to make us feel comfortable and give us confidence that we can do it.
“Often, for example, the first to ask for a caesarean are the fathers, who badly manage the waiting and impotence of seeing their woman suffer without being able to do anything to relieve her pain. By asking for a caesarean, they think they can solve the problem immediately” Pozzo points out.
Don’t be afraid to hurt the baby!