Scared About Childbirth

Updated on February 22, 2010
H.O. asks from Clearwater, FL
11 answers

My husband and I just completed a 1 day childbirth class over the weekend at the hopital we are delivering. The class really didn't focus much on the breathing techniques during childbirth. I am really nervous that I will not be prepared if I don't learn some breathing techniques. I plan on getting a epidural however I will feel more confident if I am prepared on how to breathe through a contraction as well. Does anyone know of a class in the local area or a good book that can help me get some information on breathing. Many people are telling me not to worry because I am getting the epidural but I just would feel so much better if I was fully prepared.

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answers from Miami on

I can second the hollywood birthing center. You might want to consider a doula. She can help to coach you, find more comfortable positions, and maintain a calm serene atmosphere while you are in labor.

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answers from Miami on

It is so nice to hear that you want to prepare yourself. I highly reccomend Hynobirthing - Vivian Keeler teaches a great Hypnobirthing class at the Hollywood Birth Center. The focusd is on visualization, relaxation and breathing. If you visit you can learn more about the class and method. I choose natural childbirth, but I have friends who had epdurals and c-sections who also felt this method helped them. I believe you can also purchase the book at Barnes and Noble - the title is "Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method" by Marie Mongan.

Congrats and good luck!



answers from Boca Raton on

Hi H.! You will be just fine. And just is only one day of your life...for a lifetime of love! My husband and I took a hypnobirthing class. I don't think you have enough time to take it now. It is offered at Amazing Births, you might want to check out their site. Anyway, I just found the book we used on Amazon I would suggest getting a copy. The whole concept is completely about breathing. The techniques are great, not only for delivery, but for other stressful situations. I didn't get an epidural...but I wish I had. I think if you combined these techniques, with the epidural, you would have a very pleasant experience! Good luck!!!!!!!!



answers from Atlanta on

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answers from Boca Raton on

Hi H.,
I just gave birth to my first boy a little over 6 months ago and reading your note is like reading my mind before he came along! I was more terrified of the actual birth than raising a child, and I too took a class that didn't cover breathing so I was very worried about it. I saw you already got some great responses on the actual breathing. My advice is, through every contraction and later every push, is to focus on and remember that it will be over soon, as each contraction is happening remember that it won't last forever. You'll only need to do this for those contractions before the epidural - as after the epidural life is sweet - my husband and I were watching a movie waiting to start pushing! And with the epidural, pushing isn't painful, just tiring. Someone commented and it's true, the nurses will help you, and the breathing will come naturally. It's amazing how your mind and body allows you to get through labor, and any pain you experience evaporates the second the nurses hand you the little miracle in your arms, I still get (happiness) teary eyed every time I think about it. Somehow the birthing experience is actually an absolutely wonderful thing and a time you will always treasure. Congratulations!!! It won't be that bad don't worry, you'll get through it:-)



answers from Boca Raton on

Childbirth is the most wonderful thing! I went to classes the first time and after that I didn't need to--the experience I had the first time was the best teacher. The breathing is the same process you use every day; you are just more conscious of it to help you get through a contraction.

Have you ever had a workout session with a personal trainer? The breathing techniques for weight bearing exercises are similar. Inhale slowly deeply with your mouth closed to help gather your strength, and then exhale slowly through your mouth which is pursed like an "O". Have your husband hold your hand and stroke your tummy gently and play your favorite music for you and tell you how wonderful you are.

At first your contractions will feel a lot like cramps, which you probably endure without saying much as you go about your work. They will start at about ten minutes apart, last for about a minute, and then gradually get closer together and more intense but it is good to use the breathing techniques while waiting for your epidural to take effect.

You probably won't need to worry about the next stages, but in case you decide to go a little longer au natural, this is what to expect. As you get closer to the second phase (you will know when it is; it is no longer just beginning), you will respond by breathing out more intensely and you will quicken the pace. This phase usually doesn't last long, and then soon it is time to meet your little angel. You will assist the process by pushing as though you are a mother hen laying a golden egg.

The nurse will massage your tummy to move along the afterbirth, and then you will be holding your baby in your arms and your husband and the nurses will give the baby a bath. My first baby just loved it; my second baby sucked his thumb and gave a little sigh; my third baby (a plump little cherub) had two big brothers to welcome him. I was so happy I couldn't let go of my baby.

When my middle son was three, he once cheered me on as I struggled to figure out how to put together a table and chair set with the memorable words, "Come on, mom, you can do it. I know you can!" He most recently repeated those words when I called him up to ask him to walk me through the process of unclogging a toilet. My boys are such blessings!

So you don't really need to learn how to breathe; you just need to concentrate on doing what comes naturally and that will help you take the edge off the labor pains (and I won't pretend it doesn't hurt), but it wasn't the worst pain--it was far outstripped by the joy I had not long after. And remember, no matter who wins the election, your taxes will be lower this year to help take care of your baby.

Good luck, and remember, you have a team cheering for you and your baby and helping you along the way.



answers from Boca Raton on

Hi H.,
I wanted to join the chorus of those praising hypnobirthing. I took the classes at amazing births also and my birth was incredible. Besides all of the breathing techniques I learned, that allowed me to have a completely unmedicated birth, I learned so much about the birthing process. I felt so much more empowered with the knowledge. For me that helped ease the fear that I am sure all expecting mothers experience. You may not have time to take the classes, although I think they do the series in a weekend course. Even if you are getting an epidural, reading books on natural birthing techniques like Hypnobirthing and the Bradley Method will give you information that will help you be able to relax through the experience. One thing that was so valuable to me was learn what my rights were in the hospital and what I could ask for and refuse, etc, instead of just showing up in the state of labor and being at the mercy of the doctors and nurses. I had a say in my birth and that made all the difference in the world to me and my husband, and most importantly, my new baby. Good luck! Your birth will be great! Good for you for educating your self, you will be so greatful that you did!! :-)



answers from Miami on


I gave birth to my daughter in January this year (first child as well). My husband and I did not take any birth classes so I was a bit nervous. The nurses at the hospital told me exactly what to do once the contractions started. I did get an epidural as well and ended up having a c-section. Do not get upset or nervous, everything will end up just fine, you will receive alot of help and support at the hospital.

Congratulations and Good Luck!
P. W.


answers from Boca Raton on

Hi H.,

I don't really have any breathing tips for you ( I never took any of those classes) but if it makes you feel any better I was SUPER nervous about labor and the breathing just came naturally.. The nurses and doctor will tell you how to push and the oxygen will help you breath.... Also if this helps you feel better, my labor was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy... Not all labors are horrible screaming movie scenes like you think... I didn't get an epidural until I was 7 centimeters and only because the nurses scared me into it... I expected the worst and got the best... Good luck!



answers from Miami on

I loved this book (the Bradley method); it is a natural chilbirth book, but the breathing and relaxation techniques are applicable to any birthing method. You will feel much more in control of your labor if you practice the techniques outlined in this book:

Good luck!

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