Giving birth is one of the most important and life-affirming experiences in a woman’s lifetime, but it also comes with worries and concerns. Occasionally, these manifest into long-term issues and could contribute to the onset of conditions like antenatal depression.
Whether you’re planning to start a family soon or in your first trimester, it’s never too early (or too late) to learn about some of the most daunting possibilities for expectant mothers.
Concerns during pregnancy: Four common worries for new mums
- Arriving at the hospital in time
Every mum-to-be has heard horror stories of babies being delivered in the car or even outside the hospital after a dramatic and sudden labour. However, since the average labour lasts approximately eight hours, the chances of that happening are quite low.
Before the baby starts to make their way down the birth canal, you should experience some tell-tale signs that it’s time to call the midwife or drive to hospital. Intense cramping, steady contractions, back pain or even your water breaking could point to imminent labour. Timing your contractions will help you to work out roughly when your baby is going to arrive.
- Having a Caesarean section
Many first-time mothers hope for a vaginal birth, but certain circumstances might call for birth by emergency or pre-planned Caesarean, known as a C-section. All doctors consider this operation a major procedure and generally only perform it if there’s an obvious threat to the health of the mother or baby.
As with any type of surgical procedure, a C-section comes with risks. These range from minor cuts and scratches, either on you or your baby, to major mistakes that lead to major complications, like bleeding. If mothers suffer either physically or financially because of medical mistakes, she might choose to pursue a medical negligence claim for compensation.
- Extreme pain
It’s no secret that childbirth is incredibly painful. In most cases, medical professionals like nurses help women to manage the pain by administering pain relief and other medication.
Higher-than-normal adrenaline levels help most women to focus on birthing their child instead of the pain, but there are a few things to bear in mind to keep the main to a minimum.
It’s thought that being in good health overall can increase your chances of a more comfortable experience. Carrying out regular pelvic floor exercises before and during your pregnancy can help you to strengthen the most important muscles.
- Tearing and injuries
Occasionally, the bit of skin between the vagina and the rectum, the perineum, can tear during childbirth. It’s estimated that up to 90% of first-time mothers will experience some type of tear or graze during a vaginal birth, and these can also occur inside the vagina or around the vulva.
Occasionally, you might need an episiotomy to help deliver your baby faster. This is a small cut into the perineum and vaginal wall, made with your consent by a healthcare professional, that makes more room for your baby to be born.
It’s natural to be worried about pain and complications from childbirth. Whether you’re a first-time mum or getting ready to deliver another baby, it’s a good idea to learn as much as possible and know how to prepare yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or your worries are taking over, it’s important to seek help sooner rather than later.