Nowadays it is very common for women to feel anxious during their pregnancies and develop many concerns about giving birth. Antenatal anxiety can feel overwhelming and leave you struggling to cope with daily tasks and interactions.
There are a few things we can do to help reduce the impact of this anxiety and instead try to promote the joy of pregnancy and enjoy the incredible journey you are about to embark on. It is important to acknowledge your fears, discuss them openly and honestly and address each and every concern one by one. First and foremost, now is the time to avoid listening to other women’s birth stories as this can often only fuel anxious thoughts.
Understanding more about how your body works, what an amazing job it is doing during pregnancy, and the magical mechanics of labour, is not only empowering for you and your body, but it is also incredibly interesting.
Find yourself a book that resonates with you (anything written by Ina May Gaskin is quite frankly the holy grail of birthing books).
Or book yourself onto an antenatal course, we run one every month in Abergavenny and in Ross-on-Wye. This is a great way to meet other mums-to-be and access honest, unbiased information about labour, childbirth and the early days of parenting. We also include elements of hypnobirthing. These practices are renowned for reducing anxiety and enhancing your Positive Experience in Pregnancy (PEP – see what we did there!) Hypnobirthing enables you to relax your mind and encourages your body to birth naturally and calmly.
Plenty of exercise and fresh air is also well known for helping to relieve anxious thoughts. Moving your body is a great way to get out of your own head and it releases happy hormones and endorphins, which can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Join our PEP Midwives community, where you will feel safe, relaxed and empowered. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @thepepmidwives, or visit www.thepepmidwives.com for information about our classes and other midwifery services.