Nervous about labour
Q. I’m pregnant with my first baby. I’m quite nervous about the whole labour process and how my baby will be monitored during labour.
A. It’s not unusual to be nervous about labour – it’s such a huge life event. But there are some things you can do to get a handle on your nerves and really enjoy your pregnancy more.
The GentleBirth programme is a great way to prepare for your baby’s birth and changes fear to confidence. You’ll learn practical ways to reduce anxiety and start feeling more excited about the big day ahead.
Antenatal yoga is a wonderful way to connect with other mums, who no doubt have the same concerns as you do and you’re also getting in some gentle exercise, which is good for you and your baby. If you and your baby are well, your baby’s heart rate will be monitored in labour with a hand held Doppler or a little trumpet like instrument called a Pinard every 15 minutes in active labour (6cm+).
The midwives will listen in more frequently in the second stage (pushing), as your baby is emerging. International best practice recommends that your midwife listens in instead every 15-20 minutes.
The more relaxed you can be during labour, the more oxygen your baby is getting and the uterus – that wonderful muscle that is doing all the work to bring your baby to you!