It’s normal to experience some worry during pregnancy.  

After all everything is changing.

Your body.

Your hormones.

Your relationship.

Your job.

Your financial situation. 

Your pregnancy, birth experience and journey into motherhood can affect so many different areas of your life. 

And this can leave you feeling quite out of control. 

This week we are looking at the ‘What ifs...’ that have come up for my clients over the last decade.

1. What if have to have an induction? 

Inductions have increased from 29.4% in 2016-17 to 31.6% in 2017-18 according to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) in the NHS Maternity Statistics 2017-18 report published (25 October).

That’s a third of women in the UK experiencing inductions for various reasons.  So this is a pretty good 'What if ...' to have.  However, you are unlikely to know until the end of your pregnancy if this will be the case for you.  

The first thing I recommend you do if an inductionis offered to you is use your BRAINS and ask a series of questions that’ll helpyou decide if it’s the right course of action for you (You'll find these questions in our community Facebook group).

Secondly, I would recommend you utilise the tools and techniques we teach in our course. They are simple and effective, and become even more profound if you find yourself experiencing an induction.  If you’ve taken our signature birth preparation course you’ll have that all important self insight, emotional control, self confidence and resilience to feel empowered throughout.

Inductions can be positive experiences and in some cases it’s possible to experience one with minimum pain relief.  We have lots of positive birth stories from our previous clients on the website.  Let me know if you’d like to read them.

2. What if I have to have a C-section?

Research published in The Lancet shows that the number of babies born through CS almost doubled globally between 2000 and 2015 – from 12% to 21% of all births. 

That’s 1 in 5 women globally experiencing birth via a C-section.  And 1 in 4/5 in the UK.    

A caesarean may be planned because your baby is in the breech position (feet first) and your doctor has been unable to turn them by applying gentle pressure to your tummy.  You may have a low-lying placenta or pregnancy related high blood pressure. Or your baby isn't getting enough oxygen and nutrients – sometimes this may mean baby needs to be delivered immediately 

A caesarean may be needed during labour if your labour is slowly progressing or there's excessive vaginal bleeding. 

Again either way you are unlikely to know too far in advance.

Just supposing you are one of the 1 in 4/5 of women who go onto experience an c-Section, I want you to know there are things you can do to help yourself and make it a positive experience.

If a planned C-section is on the cards for you always use your BRAINS and ask a series of questions that’ll help you decide ifit’s the right course of action for you (again you'll find these questions in our community Facebook group). 

Secondly, I would recommend you utilise the tools and techniques we teach in our courses, they become more profound if you find yourself experiencing a C-section, planned or unplanned during labour. 

C-sections can be gentle experiences.  We have lots of positive birth stories from our previous clients on the website.

3. What if my baby becomes distressed in labour?

Approximately, 1 in 4 labours become complicated by baby being distressed.  The majority of the time the distress isaffected by a pre-existing complication. Your midwife will notice if your baby is showing signs of distress when she monitors you both.  If this is the case for you she will offer interventions to help speed up the process.

Just supposing you are one of the third of women who go onto experience a distressed baby during labour, I want you to know there are things you can do to help yourself and make it a positive experience.

Always use your BRAINS and ask the series of questionsthat’ll help you decide if it’s the right course of action for you (remember you'll find them in our group). 

Secondly, I would recommend you utilise the tools and techniques we teach in our courses as they become more profound if you find yourself experiencing any interventions duringyour labour. 

4. What if I tear in labour?

There is a myth that you are more likely to tear if you have a big baby but fact is there are many other variables that affect tearing. 

One of these is your baby’s position for birth.  Tearing can happen when the baby’s head stretches the perineum.  Most women experience a tear of some size.  There are 4 different degrees of tear.  With the first being the slightest, which heals without the need for stitches.

You can help yourself by adopting a good position for birth.  Being upright forward and open gives your baby up to 28% more room to descend.   Optimizing your baby’s position during pregnancy will also help prevent tearing.  Research suggests that women who birth in water are less likely to tear during birth.  

Most women are unaware of natural tearing during birth and only become aware when the midwife informs them and needs to stitch the tear.   

Sometimes an episiotomy is needed which is a cut in the perineum, made by the midwife.  This intervention is offered if baby becomes distressed and there is a need for a instrumental birth.  Or if baby is breech or labour has been long and you are exhausted.

Just supposing you are one of the many women who go onto experience a tear, I want you to know there are things you can do to help yourself and make it as easy on yourself as possible.

5. What if I can’t cope with the pain in labour?

Labour pains are often at the top of list of the ‘What if's... ’ with our expectant Mums.  Infact it’s one of the biggest worries associated with childbirth. We ask ourselves what if it hurts, what if I can’t cope, what will the pain be like and how will I manage it.  And whilst we are trying to find the answer we build up the worry and upset OR block it our completely and just not think about it.   

Truth is some women feel more pain than others ,this could be down to a number of things. Today, we don’t know what type of birth you’ll have.  But what we do know right now is that you can make your labour less painful when you have self-insight, knowledge, confidence and an armful of coping skills to see you through. 

6. What if I am not good enough?

Self-doubt is a beast that needs slaying before yougo into to labour.  And certainly before you go into early parenting.  Self-doubt is due to a lack of confidence and belief in your ability to cope with the twists and turns of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. 

It’s usually a distorted personal view point based on your old out dated beliefs and thought processes and not a fact. 

Although, sometimes it can feel like it’s a fact. 

Self-doubt creates anxiety and anxiety creates the stress response.  Which is the one thingis we don’t want in labour. 

So we nip these worries in the bud during our signature birth preparation course once and for all.  We replace them a good strong solid foundation of self-confidence and emotional control and knowledge.  And of course am armful of coping skills and strategies. 

The Problem with The What If's is ...

What if -ing is overthinking in a negative way.  It’s anattempt to predict the future.  We usually do it with a touch of drama too. 

Once we are in worrying mode we tend to get stuck in it, like being in an endless loop that feed the worry continuously. 

The thing we are worrying about feels real.  And that 'real feeling' reinforces the worry making it bigger. 

If these or any other 'What If's... ' come up for you the tools and techniques we teach in our course will help you find and keep a healthy perspective and strengthen your emotional resilience.

The thing with thinking along the ‘What if ...’ line is, that you’ll never find the answer until its time. 

You can Google to your hearts content. 

You can work through all the different scenarios in your head (usually negatively) and never find discover the answer you are looking. 

Because it just hasn’thappened yet. 

Attempting to predict the future can cause us more harm than good especially if we are predicting it in an unhelpful way. 

Putting your time to good use and focusing on strengthening your coping skills is a far better option for both you and baby. 

You can start to build your coping skills today by joining our Free 5-day mini birth preparation course.  

Sign up here >> https://mailchi.mp/db4737d0c3f0/free-5-day-mini-birth-preparation-jan2019

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