8 childbirth fears all mums-to-be face

Anxious as to what to expect during delivery now that you’re expecting? Our expert advice should soothe your fears!


Even the most confident of women will likely feel some stress or be jittery about the prospect of giving birth.

For some mums-to-be, their fear arises from not knowing what to expect during labour and delivery. For others, they’re scared of being ill-prepared to care for a newborn and if they’ll be able to pay off their hospital bills.

SmartParents expert and Gleneagles Hospital ob-gyn, Dr Christopher Chong, and Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness, both tell you how to stop your feelings of panic:

Before giving birth

1) Fear of the unknown

WHY Whether you are giving birth for the first time or an old hand at delivering babies, it’s bound to be a scary experience because each labour and delivery process can differ. Nor do you know what may go wrong.
WHAT YOU CAN DO During your prenatal visits, put your questions to your obstetrician-gynaecologist to clear up any doubts. Otherwise, Dr Lim advises that you make use of resources like attending prenatal classes and reading online parenting resources to learn more. And remind yourself not to worry unnecessarily as it can compromise your health, which will harm your foetus, too.

Spousal support is crucial during this time. Dr Lim notes that husbands can help by encouraging their spouse to speak freely about their fears, listening to them and being empathic. “Knowing that their partners will always be by their side during birthing will allay their fears greatly.” So, go for prenatal check-ups and classes together. This should help you get familiar with the birthing process.

“Knowing that their partners will always be by their side during birthing will allay their fears greatly.”

2) Fear of labour pain

WHY Those powerful contractions in your uterus is how your body tells you that your bundle is about to arrive. Also, the pressure exerted on your cervix by the baby and the stretching of your lady bits to accommodate his form means that you’ll definitely feel pain.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Talk to your ob-gyn about your pain-relief options. Dr Chong points out the three most common pain relief options are:
   * Entonox, commonly referred to as laughing gas.
   * Pethidine, a form of intra-muscular injection.
   * Epidural anaesthesia, where a spinal catheter is inserted for pain relief.

Dr Chong notes some patients also use — to varying degrees of success — heat packs, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy and massages. Again, it’s best to check with your doctor before trying these alternative forms of pain relief.

3) Fear of going into labour unexpectedly

WHY During your last couple of gynae visits, you’ll be told when to expect regarding your baby’s arrival. But your EDD is just that, an estimate as it’s anybody’s guess when you might go into labour.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Know what the early signs of labour are. This includes observing sticky blood coming out from down there — a bloody show — and feeling contractions. Dr Chong suggests that you see your gynae immediately if you experience a drop in foetal movements, if there’s water leaking from your water bag, or abdominal pain that increases in frequency and intensity. “You need to be vigilant but don’t panic. Fortunately, Singapore is a small country and it takes a short time to reach medical help.” Organising your hospital bag ahead of time will put your mind at ease. Click here to see what you should and shouldn’t include