Roughly one third of women admit to being fearful of childbirth with anxiety peaking in the last trimester.
Reasons for this fear and anxiety may include:
What can this anxiety look like?
Anxiety can occur prenatally, during birth or your postnatal period and will present differently for everybody but some common symptoms are:
Most women can cope with some low levels of anxiety and stress during birth, our bodies will release beta-endorphins and other hormones (chemical messengers) to help us adapt and provide us with strength and energy if needed. Too much anxiety and stress however, is counterproductive to birth - your body will release adrenalin which can interfere with oxygen getting to your baby, cause your contractions to slow down or stop and may create a sense of panic and increased pain.
(See the resources below for a detailed guide to your birth hormones)
What Can A Doula Do
Research shows that mothers who are supported by Doulas demonstrate less anxiety.
If you are worried about how you will cope during your pregnancy, birth or in the early days with your baby, please get in touch with Kelly to see how you can work together.
Further Resources for you
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR BIRTH HORMONES
PANDA - Perinatal anxiety and depression Australia: An online information source and national helpline www.panda.org.au/
Beyond Blue - Another Australian resource providing online information, chat service and helpline
Have you experienced anxiety? You're not alone. Perhaps you'd like to share some ways you cope in the comments below to help others who may be going through the same thing.
Prepare for an easier fourth trimester with these 25 Secrets From A Postnatal Doula!
Kelly Harper is the owner of Elemental Beginnings Doula & Placenta Services in Adelaide. She provides placenta encapsulation and doula services to families during pregnancy, birth and in their fourth trimester.