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How can a pregnant woman overcome her fear of childbirth?

woman in labor with husband

Gorodenkoff | Shutterstock

Anna Ashkova - published on 08/16/23

Even women who have already had one or more children can dread the day they give birth, being afraid of pain, of something going wrong, or simply of the unknown.

Your due date is approaching. Is panic increasingly taking over in place of the joy of welcoming a new life? Whether it’s your first or your third child, you have every right to be afraid of suffering or that your delivery will go badly. Taking childbirth preparation classes, turning to relaxation methods, invoking the patron saints of pregnant women, and talking to a professional about your anxieties can all help you feel more serene on the big day. Here are just a few of the ways you can overcome this fear:

1SPIRITUAL PREPARATION FOR CHILDBIRTH

Some parishes and maternity hospitals offer future parents support and guidance in the adventure of parenthood. This may take the form of evening or weekend sessions a few weeks or months before the birth, for example. This spiritual preparation for childbirth can also help you step back from any minor concerns linked to pregnancy or childbirth and welcome birth as a gift from God.

2BREATHING AND RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

During childbirth preparation, you’ll learn various breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as simple physical movements to help overcome the pain of contractions (such as exercises with a gym ball). Ask your doctor or midwife about these soothing methods. 

3PRENATAL SINGING

Prenatal singing is a gentle and soothing way to relax future parents and reassure the infant in utero. On the big day, your vocalizations will help work and relax the muscles involved in childbirth. You can start classes as early as the fifth month of pregnancy. 

4A SOOTHING PLAYLIST

Classical, opera, blues, jazz, praise songs … Music can also soothe our mind when it’s in turmoil. The last few weeks of pregnancy are often a time of tension, anxiety, and physical and mental exhaustion. So why not relax and listen to the music you love? The baby in your cozy womb will enjoy it too! And on the day of delivery, don’t hesitate to bring your playlist to the maternity ward.

5PROFESSIONAL HELP

Whatever the cause of your fears, it’s best to talk to a professional: your midwife, gynecologist, or general practitioner. Attending childbirth preparation classes can also resolve a lot of things. If your fears are too intense, we recommend consulting a psychologist. 

6PRAYERS AGAINST ANXIETY

There are many prayers for overcoming anxiety. Why not choose one and make it your own? And on the day of delivery, don’t hesitate to invoke the Virgin Mary, the mother of all mothers, or St. Margaret of Antioch, patron saint of pregnant women and those giving birth. Here’s a sample prayer that can help:

St. Margaret, you who vowed to come to the aid of any pregnant woman who calls upon you, I beg you to assist me in the pains of childbirth. 

Intercede for me with the Lord, that He may grant me a happy deliverance. He is the source of Life, and I thank Him for this imminent birth. 

St. Margaret, you who never denied your faith despite your ordeals, I beg you to awaken the faith of the little one about to be born. 

Amen.

Tags:
Catholic LifestylePregnancyWomen
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