30 answers

Nervous About Delivery

I am due to have my first baby, a boy, around december 15th. I am VERY nervous about Labor & Delivery. Is there any advice you can give me that will help me out. I plan on going as long as I can without any pain meds, but I know I am a big wimp when it comes to pain, so im sure I'll end up with an epidural.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just wanted to say that Labor went great! I did get an epidural, but it wore off before the baby was born. I thought the WORST part about the whole thing was getting stiched up! My baby is now 2 1/2 weeks old and just a bundle of joy most of the time!

More Answers

It is only natural to be nervous. I have had 2 children and I had one with pain meds and one without. If I were to have another child I would totally go without again. I am not going to lie to you, it does hurt but it also gets done so much faster. With out the meds you can actually feel the muscles that you need to use to push with. My doc. told me to push like I had to take a bm. (yea, its gross but it is the way to go) My first one they said push and I was so numb that I really had no idea if I was pushing or not.
Baby one with meds 36 hours
Baby two with no meds 12 hours.
Yes the second comes faster but I honestly believe that it was the no meds that made it go that much faster because I could feel the muscles. I am also a big wimp but keep in mind the end result and how much faster you can hold him. Oh... one last thing I could not work my legs after baby one after baby two I was up and walking in no time with no drug effects. You will do just fine whatever you choose. Just remember long labor versus short labor. No matter what you still have to wait to hold that bundle of love how long you wait is up to you!! Good luck!

First of all, it's perfectly normal to feel this way before delivering your first child. I certainly did!
I kept telling myself that women are MADE to do this very thing and have been doing it for thousands of years. If they can do it, so can you!
It was really comforting for me to take a tour of the hospital (St. John's) and take a lamaze class before delivery, too. It helped me become more familiar with the place I would be at, and learn a little bit of what to expect.
Of course it will be nerve-wrecking when you first arrive at the hospital because it's something you've never experienced before, but once you get going it will be fine.
Once you finally get to hold that little guy in your arms it'll be SO worth all the time it took for him to get outta your belly!!! :-)
I'm pregnant with my second child now (my son is 11 mos old). If you want to chat further, please feel free to send me a private message. I'm happy to help out any way I can - it wasn't that long ago that I was where you're at right now!
Best Wishes for a quick and healthy labor & delivery!

P.S. - one word: EPIDURAL!!! LOL!!

Congratulations! I took the classes at the hospital to prepare for my son, when it came time for him to be born, nothing they told me mattered. But it was still fun anf helped ease my mind and look forward to delivery. I had an epidural and it was so wonderful to be able to relax. I still felt the contractions and pushed when needed, I got to enjoy the wonderful experience without the crazy paain. Good luck!!

Boy..mention labor and we all have the answers and love to share our journey! hahaha just kidding. It is painful, but nothing like I had it built up to be. Labored @ home most of the time for the 1st one. Got an epidural right @ the cut off point. Wasn't numb...it just took the edge off and was GLORIOUS!! I didn't take other drugs so I didn't feel out of it and got to REALLY enjoy the birth! You could totally do it with out it, but really wouldn't enjoy it in my view like I did w/ the epidural.

God gave us the knowledge to figure that one out (epidural)and I THANK him for it!!

Pretty much same experience the second time...WONDERFUL and really ENJOYED the birth.

Don't have a set plan in mind, be flexible and open to what YOU need and DON'T let ANYONE sway your decision.

My personal opinion....the only reason to not have an epidural is to say you didn't have an epidural and I really don't think that's a big deal UNLESS it's a big deal to you! I would much rather enjoy my children coming into the world than to be able to brag about it. My 2 cents!

First of all CONGRATULATIONS!!! My first child was a little boy. I also have two daughters now. The only really good advice that I can give you is to try to relax. My first two births I did do one shot of pain reliever. My third child I did an epidural. I was very skeptical about doing that. I really had no choice though, I had ALOT of back labor. She came 2 1/2 weeks early. After I did the epidural I enjoyed my labor alot more. Yes I still felt the contractions, I still felt the pressure, but I was alot more relaxed. My first two children I cannot say that I was relaxed at all. My son was 16 hours of labor, 4 of it was the hard labor. I kind of wish now I did that epidural. My second came so fast that I barely made it to the hospital. Oh don't be afraid to bare it all in front of the world. HA HA!! I was so nervous about everybody seeing parts of me that I hadn't seen in about 6 months. I will pray that you have a normal, healthy delivery. Just keep smiling, because you know it that little one will be 5 years old. My son is turning that old in November, and it seems like yesterday I was pregnant with him. Good luck to you.


I was very nervous, too. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and have someone with you at the hospital who will be your advocate.

I would also talk to as many others as possible about their experiences, so you have some ideas of what can happen. This is very important - bring a CAMERA! My doctor suggested it and we have the most awesome pictures of mom and newborn, dad and newborn, newborn in weight scale, newborn with doctor.

If you feel something (intuition) and the staff doesn't think it is so, make sure you speak up or have someone with you who will speak up. I needed a catheter put in after delivering as I couldn't "go", but the nurse pushed around my bladder and didn't "feel" anything. Well, I finally convinced them and after they put the catheter in, a bag and a half came out. (Sorry to be so descriptive.) Also, if you plan to breastfeed, ask for the lactation consultant to come for the first tries instead of the nurse on duty.

It's an amazing experience. A couple of hours after delivery, I was ready to have another.

Best wishes,

i was nervous both times for me. the best piece of advice i can give is to take the birthing class. i only did the second time but it made the delivery so much easier and it also helped my husband to relax and to know what to do to help me. be sure to take stuff with you that you like to use to help you relax. hope it all goes well!

Let me tell ya - I was scared to death the whole 9 months I was pregnant and had no one that understood my feelings. I got horror stories from every woman I encountered and laughed at for being so scared. I had one woman tell me a week before I delivered that it was no big deal. That gave me so much relief. Remember that every birth is different for each person. The epideral is a must. It helps so much and if you start to feel any pain after that, tell the nurse immediately so you can get more pain medication through your epideral. I used nothing that I learned in the birthing classes. The epideral really made everything go so smoothly for me. It was a completely painless birth (except for the 15 min it took when the epideral ran out) and recovery for me. I was so excited to finally get to meet my daughter and that was all I could think about once I got the epideral. It will be such a great experience when the doctor plops your new baby up on your belly and you can see how perfect he is. Just remember how great that moment will be. You'll do a great job in the delivery room and I'm sure you will be an awesome mom!

I gave birth to my first child, a happy and healthy little boy, in June. I heard all sorts of stories, some good, but mostly bad. Everyone was quick to tell me how bad things were going to be...or could be. I'm here to tell you, I had a perfect delivery. No stiches no complications pushing for about 15 minutes. So, what's the lesson to learn? Everyone has different experiences. The thing to focus on is that the outcome is going to be the most wonderful thing ever, you will meet the new love of your life. I do suggest going into your delivery with an open mind. Some women don't need pain meds, I chose to not be a marter and if I needed the meds I was open to it. I turned out to be a bigger wimp than I thought I was going to be.
Best wishes and enjoy your little wonder.

you know what helped me i had my dad take a hand full of the exam gloves and put them in another gloVe and tied it and made a squeezy ball to take the pain out on and it helped me last the last few minutes before the epidural and have alot of support there they help alot just because they will remember the things you said durring and them they will tell you after the baby is here and you will laugh because you of corse dont remember saying any of it. hope every thing goes great let us know what happens look forward to heaRING FROM YOU N.

There isn't really anything to be scared of. Yes it hurts but it will most likely come on slow which will give you time to get use to tollerating it a little bit. It really wasn't all that bad to me. My gall stones put me in worse pain seven months later.

I'm sure you've heard how they talk about loosing your plug. This is not a small amount of blood and you will know when it happens. If you go to the bathroom to pee and its dark brown you've lost it. By this time I had just gotten to the hospital.

I had a c-section with my first and a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section) with my second. It was hard for me to know when it was time to go to the hospital. The answer for me is when you can't stand the pain any longer, its time to go. My situation was a bit diferent because once you have a c-section they push you to have another one because of the 1% chance my uterus might rupture. I'm sorry but those odds aren't good enough for me. I've done a lot of research on the whole c-section thing and there is no reason any hospital should have over a 15% rate of C-sections. However, many hospitals have between a 40% - 75% rate of C-sections. Trust me C-sections are not easier than the old fasioned way. Would you rather be in intense pain for a few days or in enough pain for 6 weeks that you can't care for your new baby alone. I couldn't even turn on a water faucet after my C-section because it uses stomach muscles I didn't have. I still can't do even one sit-up. Some hospitals have you fill out all the admission paper work at a previous appointment and some do it once you get there. One of the forms they will have you sign is a permission slip to allow them to preform a C-section if needed. DO NOT SIGN THIS FORM UNTIL YOU HAVE ALSO AGREED IT IS NESSASSARY. Some doctors will automatically want to do a c-section after you have been admitted for 12 hours and if you have already signed that form you can't do much about it. They will say you aren't progressing fast enough. Ask around you won't find many with a shorter labor than 12 hours most are much longer.

1. Go to the hospital only when you can't stand the pain any longer.
2. If they want you to walk, choose to go home you got there to early.
3. Take somebody with you that will speak up for you even if it means confronting the nurse or doctor.
4. Try to relax your mind, labor is normal, your body was built for it. Most of all FOLLOW YOUR GUT when you have to make decisions while admitted.
5. Do not sign the c-section permission form until you decide a c-section is nessassary.
6. Make a birth plan, you can find samples on the internet.
7. When they say push, push like you are going number 2. I only pushed 3 times.
8. Once baby is born let them keep him/her to the nursery and don't feel like you have to choose to keep him in the room with you. This will be the last rest you will get for several months or even years in many cases. ENJOY IT!!!!

Don't feel bad I think everyone gets nervous with their first one. I know I was nervous. It isn't as bad as everyone makes it. Just make sure if u want pain med u do it early because I wanted an epidural but my labor went really quickly so they weren't able to give me one. If you have any questions just send me a message I'll try to answer them.

I have one child, a son, that was born august 2005. I was 21 when I had him. Labor and delivery is nothing to worry about. Just stay calm and relaxed and I'm sure your husband will be there every step of the way. Mine was! Trust me after you hold your newborn baby in your arms for the first time it will all be worth it. I also had wonderful nurses there with me. They were all moms too and that really helped. I never took a lamaze or anything and a lot of people have said you don't really need it. I watched a lamaze video I rented from the local library and never used anything that they showed in the video. I'm sure you will do wonderfully. Congrats!


Just try to relax. I would suggest that if you are in pain, take something, because no one will give you a trophy for going "all natural".

If you have taken labor and deliery classes, that will help a lot when the time comes. Make sure that your husband knows that he has to stay calm for your sake, because it helps no one having a nervous husband who faints in the delivery room... :-)
If you are not opposed to them, epidurals are definately the way to go. I had on with my first and third child. My second child was born exactly 30 minutes after I arrived at the hospital, so they barely had time to insert an IV, much less time to give me any pain killers. It is true that it can delay the actual delivery, but in my experience, it wasn't delayed for very long (my total labor from the first contraction until the baby was out with my kids were 12 hours, 7 hours, andjust under 5 hours...I was LUCKY!!) Your body and your instincts will kick in and you will know exactly what to do, no matter how unprepared you may feel. Just remember to breathe deeply and keep ice chips handy. I wish you the best of luck for a safe delivery and a healthy baby boy. Congratulations!

congratulations heather. mason is a beautiful name. i am a mother of 4, so labor and delivery is old hand to me. first off don't worry, women have done this for years. it will hurt, but there are several things you can do. if you are going to have it natural, have your husband in delivery with you, to hold your hand, help you remember how to breathe thru it, and it will also give you something to focus on instead of the pain. when the time comes to push, as hard as it is not to scream, it will be easier to use the energy it takes to scream to push. my last ob dr. taught me that trick, i wish i had known it 3 kids earlier. also ask your dr. about epidurals. i had one because of the back cramps i was having due to a disabling injury to my back. honey it's scary but once mason is born and you hold him in your arms, you forget how scary and painful it all was. good luck and once again, congratulations to you and your family.

It really depends on your birthplan what worries I can soothe.

with the medications they have now, they can pretty much control the speed of your labor. It's very rare that they just let a momma stay in pain for long and let the labor last for days. The only way I could see that happening is if you refuse medications. If you know what you are willing to tolerate then you can make good decisions about what you want to experience and what you want to avoid.

There are some definite gross parts too it. With my first son I had a full bowel that came out before the baby was able to be born. But the little turkey was 6 days late and I had been on bed rest for months. My labor was fast though, 6 hours. My pushing was pretty in effective and I kept holding my breath during the pain which you shouldn't do. remember that.

The next time I was more prepared. I made sure that I didn't have to "go #2" before delivery. But I was still in a lot of pain having forgone the epidural again. It was the middle of the night and the nurses kept shushing me. The gross part was I was on oxygen through a mask and it dried out my nose so when I got a nose bleed it filled up my mask. It was a really mess when I exhaled through all that blood. Scared my husband big time. Again I held my breath and that was the reason I had the mask in the first place. I also pushed really hard and broke cappillaries in my face so when Gman met me he had a mommy with red stripes and purple polka dots. My labor was a little less than 5 hours and again the little turkey was 6 days late.

My third time around I had the epidural. It slowed my labor down to about 9 hours. It was wonderful. I slept through most of the checks and stuff. The epidural helped relax my legs so much that they were rotated well out of the way and my husband really could see what was going on. Tiger was delivered early, at 38.5 weeks just cause the wanted to schedule it. I have to say this was the best pregnancy because I could stay active more and was busy up until delivery.

NOW having a supportive birthing partner really helps and taking the classes is nice too so he knows what he's doing. My first husband was more grossed out by the whole pregnancy and delivery but turned on my the bowel movement.

My current husband treats me with reverence because giving birth to his two boys was an awesome experience for him and he loves me more for sharing it with him.

It really won't be so bad so don't psyche your self out this early. See the doctor every time you need to. Eat well, rest as much as you can but be sure to exercise everyday. Yoga will keep you toned enough to push effectively. Enjoy this time alone with your baby because soon enough everyone will expect you to share him.

Dec 15th? hey that's tomorrow!!!! WOW! I'd be tellin' yo mama to hush up...my mama told me the same thing about "well when I was a girl...back in the flowerchild 70's" I guess there were 2 schools of thought then: the druggie hippies and then the au natural flower children. IT IS BURGER KING AND YOU DO GET IT THE WAY YOU WANT IT! I didn't get the option of anything my first pregnancy...and now my 2nd preg...well, I have my own issues. WHAT I do know though is that your body will tell you what to do and what you need. Your mother just wants you to be happy and have a healthy baby. There were studies that epidurals helped increase your oxygenation to your baby cuz it allowed you to relax and not vasoconstrict...I think its a matter of when to get them. I wouldn't get one till after 4 and before 7 cm. then you're still kinda focused but YOUR body will tell you what you need. Best wishes!

Heather - it's perfectly normal to be nervous, but I would recommend you and your husband hire a doula. Check out www.dona.org or www.cappa.net to find one in your area. You'll be SOOO glad you did.

My advice is to have someone to call and talk to. My sister and I both have 5 children. We were pregnant at the same time with two of them. It was very comforting have her to talk to about things that my seem silly to others. There usually isn't anything in particular that someone would could say to you to ease your anxiety right now. You may be experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions now and at some point think that you are going into labor. It can be a very time for you right now. If you need someone to talk to I'm here. No question is a stupid question when you are pregnant. No matter how many kids you have.

I also had my first son when I was 21. I was nervous, too, and the best advice that anyone gave me was to have a doula there to help me through the time. I had one, and she helped me understand what was going on during the labor, what my options were and the benefits/risks of those, helped my husband to be a part of the birth, and helped us to work as a team. I felt so empowered and happy. I never felt scared because she had helped so many people through labor and had done it herself.
Now I am a Doula and help other women through this AMAZING process. I really do believe that having a doula can make the difference in an INCREDIBLE birth memory or a not so good one.
I would love to help you if you are interested!
Feel free to call me at ###-###-#### or to email: ____@____.com
or to check out my website! - www.ashleydoula.blogspot.com


Relax. You're body was designed to do this. Women have been giving birth for millions of years. Evolution (or God) has worked hard to make sure that childbirth happens the way it needs to. Relax, stay calm, and go with whatever your body tells you to do knowing that you ahve millions of years of evolution on your side. Birth is normal and natural and rarely a medical event.

Epidural smepidural. You don't get a trophy for drugs either, but you'll get the inner strength that comes with feeling your own power.


Of course you are nervous, this is untraveled territory for you, the "unknown". Have you taken lamaze classes? If not I suggest you do so and get them started quickly or you are going to run out of time, the hospital that you are delivering at should have classes. If you are planning to breastfeed they should have classes on that also.

First of all I am not going to sugar coat it labor and delivery and adjusting to having a baby around is hard, but so worth it. Labor, you have to keep in mind this is not a permanent pain, it is going to end, keep your eye on the prize so to speak.

Good luck to you, I am sure that you are excited also!!

The most important thing I found helpful is to use breathing to get through labor. I know this sounds silly, but it works. With my first, I had trouble relaxing and letting my body progress through labor and it took a Loooongggg time to get to pushing. I also had an epidural with my son and while the pain let up, it was always back and very suddenly since my body wasn't used to the gradual increase of pain association. I think the epidural is a great pain technique, but be sure to educate yourself about the drawbacks (like the fact that the epidural can slow labor down and the chance of a migraine 3 days later when the pain killers are leaving your body).
I had a daughter two years after my first child, and I decided that I would have an epidural if I needed it, but psyched myself up that I could get through this on my own and I practiced breathing and stayed focused on what I was there for; to have a baby, not entertain the visitors that came in and out of the room. My daughter was over 9 pounds and I can say even without an epidural, she was much easier to deliver with breathing techniques and no epidural than my 7 pound son.
NOW, this may be due to the fact that my daughter was my second and I knew what to expect. So, I say let your body tell you what you need to do, stay in control of the pain by breathing through it, and ask for pain relief if it gets too intense because that is what it there for. I would suggest a good coach to help you focus and to remind you that the pain will end and your baby will be in your arms.

Here is my suggestion. My grandbaby is going to be 9 months tommorrow. I remember the day her mom went into labor. The doctor said to go ahead and have a few of the hard contractions. Once that is experienced then get the Eprdol>missed spelling. That is what she did and when it was time for actual delivery she only pushed for 14 minutes. The good thing about it was she did not have the pain. She could feel a little pressure when pushing but that was all. She too was very nervous. Just remember to relax as much as possible you are going to need your strength for pushing. Other than that BREATHE!
My boys are 17 and 19 and I did everything natural. Let me tell you if I were to do it all over again I would get the Epedrol.
They have you lean over a chair and it is put into your back. That away the lower area is numb. Good Luck to you.

"Birthing from Within" is an absolutly wonderfull book which address' our emotions during such an emotionally charged period of our lives. A doula is also extremly helpfull. Asking yourself questions like "What do you need to give birth?" can be very insightfull & calming. Take care of yourself this last little bit of time before giving birth. Nothing is more important than you right now. You are strong & capable of having a healthy birth.


I have some advice for you both as a mother and as a labor and delivery nurse. If you have a good nurse she will be able to help you with pain control without medication. I highly recommend using a whirlpool tub if one is available at the hospital you will be delivering at. Also labor/birthing balls help some people. I also enjoyed having soft music playing that relaxed me. So make sure you take a CD player and some easy listening CD's....Jim Brickman was my favorite. A rolling pin, tennis ball or cold soda can often feels good being rubbed up and down your back, especially your lower back. When you are having contx, if you have back pain, have your hubby apply counter pressure to your lower spine. It is very normal to be nervous about this. If you have a birth plan, try to understand that things don't always go they way you want them to. You have to be flexible about some things. Also, epidurals seem alot scarier than they really are.

I had an epidural with both of my kids, and if anything, I was able to enjoy the experience more because I wasn't focusing on pain. My first child was a preemie, so that was a bit more stressful, with a room full of neonatal staff, but my second child had a more enjoyable delivery. One of the best things of my 2nd child's birth was having a full length mirror at the foot of the bed, which allowed me to actually see her being born. If this is an option for you, I highly recommend it--not only because of the amazing experience of SEEING my baby being born, but because when I was watching, I could actually see HOW I needed to push. It's hard to explain, but others who have used mirrors have told me the same thing. I wish you the best with your new baby!

Hi! I am due in January with my fourth...My best advice would be to try and relax as much as possible and enjoy it. It is such a neat experience. I have gotten the epidural each time and plan on doing the same with my next one. I found that i could really enjoy the labor more and focus more on my baby instead of the pain. ASK QUESTIONS!! Don't be afraid to do so..its your baby your delivery you can tell them how you want it done!

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