First time mothers have a lot of questions as they progress through the nine months leading to birth. There are physical changes that are happening within the body, emotional changes that seem to spring out of thin air, and an eventual new life that can feel fragile, alien, and confusing. One of the greatest fears that new mothers have is that they will be unprepared, or that they will not know how to get it right. This will usually center around the raising of the newborn, but going into labor and giving birth is another unknown that can raise feelings of fear and concern.
Many of the questions that new mothers have can be answered by other mothers, and support groups are a great way for women to start a peer network, learn about experiences of others, and have get a good sense of what to expect when the big day comes. Midwives are another wonderful resource for providing information about what happens during birth, and an educated mother is usually a much more relaxed mother. Having a sense of the experience in advance can help to allay fears and shift the focus back to the wonder of new life.
The greatest concerns that new mothers have about the birth of their child are safety and pain. The issue of safety can be assured by partnering with an experienced midwife and a caring obstetrician. This ensures that the child’s growth in the womb is well monitored and that the mother’s health is maintained. It also allows for possible complications to be addressed in advance so that the necessary precautions may be taken. As labor begins, the midwife can coach the new mother, and the mother can trust that she is well taken care of by someone who knows what to expect.
The concern of pain is one that will be experienced differently by every mother, and often, every birth can cause varying sensations as well. Some mothers find that breathing exercises and visualizations can ease the pressure of contractions and the opening of the cervix. This is due to the fact that these practices create a sense of relaxation, and the less tension that the mother feels, the less tension will be present in the pelvic muscles.
A common reaction during contractions is to clench, but this action causes a resistance within the entire body. This resistance can make birth more difficult and more painful. While every mother will have a different experience during labor, knowing the basics of what to expect will go a long way in easing fear and stress, and reducing tension.
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