Home Health & Wellness Overcoming Pregnancy Apprehension: The Importance of Knowledge and Support

Overcoming Pregnancy Apprehension: The Importance of Knowledge and Support

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Apprehension is more than understandable when entering your pregnancy’s third trimester. Irrespective of whether you have given birth before, the process will always remain daunting as much can go wrong.

Anxiety is one of a prospective mother’s worst enemies, and in itself adds to problems inside the birthing room, being able to enter the birthing room with confidence is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth labour and delivery.

Knowledge and support are two of the most effective ways of dealing with birth apprehension. These can be gained through more effective use of the mother’s husband/partner (birthing partner) and utilising the experience of your assigned midwife or seeking out the advice of an accredited childbirth educator like Shelly Burks.

Partner-driven birth

Your husband or birthing partner can play a more important role than you can imagine. The days when they were left in the waiting room while the mother delivered the child have vanished.

Having somebody beside you to help and guide you can relieve much of the stress of pregnancy. Helping with meal preparations, assisting in antenatal exercises, and breathing training allow the mother to feel that they are not alone in the childbirth process.

Having an unprepared partner, though, can also be destabilising during the baby’s delivery. Anxiety is unique among feelings in that it can be transferred to others. If the partner becomes anxious, then this can easily translate to the mother, irrespective of how she is feeling. This is why it is crucial to imbue the partner with the same knowledge as the mother and why giving birth is truly a shared experience

Clinic-based childbirth classes

Childbirth classes that many clinics provide are an essential part of the pregnancy process. Together with your partner, you should ensure time is set aside in your schedules to attend. It is at these antenatal classes that you will get many, if not all, the answers that you need to help reduce or remove any potential anxiety

These clinic-led courses can vary in quality. Much will depend on the amount of time and classes available, the number of other prospective mothers that are attending and the workload of the midwife giving the course. 

It is therefore not unusual that you end up feeling that these standard childbirth classes don’t provide you with enough information or support other than the typical rudimentary childbirth curriculum that they tend to follow.

Private childbirth classes

Private childbirth classes are the answer for those expectant mothers who want a far more in-depth approach to their antenatal acquisition of knowledge of late-stage pregnancy, labour, and delivery. 

Typically these antenatal classes are scheduled on a face-to-face basis. They can have the makeup of either a small group of mothers-to-be or conducted in a one-to-one format. The individual format gives you the full individual attention of the midwife or birth educator who is conducting the course. These more private classes give you greater scope and opportunity to discuss issues or problems personal to your pregnancy.

Online childbirth classes

A further option is the expanding availability of online childbirth classes. Many of these classes are fantastic and go far beyond the usual information provided by childbirth clinics or your midwife, who, even if you have one assigned, may be unable to offer you the time for detailed personal discussion, among all her other duties.

Enrolling in an online childbirth course has many benefits. The online format allows the opportunity to include far more detailed information as there are no time constraints. 

The classes can be replayed as many times as needed so that the mother has full confidence in the process and doesn’t feel rushed in trying to understand. 

The scheduling requirements for you and your partner to attend physical classes are less complicated as you control when you can watch with them.

Understand the process

Childbirth classes are essential to the pregnancy process because they can help you understand what is happening. Knowledge eliminates apprehension, and anxiety is the enemy of the mother and partner in the birthing room.

Enjoying a smooth labour and delivery experience is about understanding all the facets of pregnancy. Knowing what is happening inside the mother’s body at all the various stages through to the baby’s delivery.

By starting your classes early, they can also provide an effective way of being able to manage the third trimester of pregnancy. Good childbirth classes should provide a holistic approach to the whole later stages of the pregnancy which not only can maintain the mother’s health but ensure fewer problems when going into the labour and delivery stage.

Final thoughts

Preparation and information are absolutely vital to experiencing a trouble-free third trimester, labour and delivery. As a mother, knowing what is occurring inside your body and outside the room can virtually eliminate apprehension and prevent anxiety.

This also extends to the husband, partner or birthing partner of the mother, as they can play an important role throughout the later stages of pregnancy through to delivery. Fear or apprehension shown by them can translate to the mother.

The way to overcome fears and apprehension is for the partners to immerse themselves in every aspect of the process, and this is best done by utilizing the advice and resources of birthing educators, midwives, and antenatal classes.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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