|Feeling anxiety is very common during pregnancy, especially by the end of it. Also, it’s been said that in any hospitalization, the moment people are the most anxious is when they are waiting for the procedure. Everyone is afraid of pain, the unknown, of depending on strangers, of possible complications and body changes. That’s why, it is very important to use all our emotional resources to adapt to any situation while having a strong support system to helps us through it.
Childbirth used to be very different. Years ago, expecting mothers gave birth at home and not in a hospital. Back then, women stayed in a familiar space and received the attention of another woman whose job was to help with labor, be an emotional support, inform and give relaxing massages. This helped the mother to stay calm and satisfied. Today, although we benefit from medical advances, things have changed and childbirth has become a routine for doctors who may be cold towards their patients. When a woman is in labor, she has to go through routine procedures in the hands of an unknown staff and, although midwives are still a thing, they rarely assist the labor. That’s why it is very important to have a specialist or your partner to help you feel safe during the whole process.
Each person reacts differently towards the same situation and cope with it at their own pace. If you prepare yourself beforehand and have all the emotional tools to deal with it, you’ll face childbirth unfazed. In the other hand, a woman who doesn’t have the support of her partner or family may experience mental and physical negative consequences. The bigger your support system is, the stronger your “emotional immune system” is.
A study of 790 pregnancies showed that there was a greater tendency towards post-partum depression if the medical staff was unkind to the expecting mother, if they were unsatisfied with the care they received during pregnancy and if they felt the staff didn’t do their best to control the pain during labor. A later study, however, found out that those variables weren’t the ones that caused depression but the lack of support during labor, having experienced a lot of post-partum pain or an inadequate contact with the newborn. That’s why the support and care during labor is so important.
Speak to your doctor about any doubts you may have about labor and the hospital. Choose someone to assist you during childbirth or go to a childbirth class to learn how to deal with it. The birth of your baby is a one-in-a-lifetime experience, so build a strong support system, trust yourself and trust your team!