Is it normal to be so worried about giving birth?

The thought of giving birth can be scary, especially if other women have been telling you about what it was like for them or you’ve been reading forums with gory stories. Remember that people are more likely to post if they’ve had a dramatic experience.

Mother and newborn baby resting.

Remind yourself that you're not going to be facing this alone. You'll have a midwife who will be there to support you and look after you. Midwives have lots of experience of helping women through labour and birth and can also offer you pain relief in small or larger doses, depending on how you feel.

Have a chat with your midwife now about how you are feeling so you can talk through your choices. Making a birth plan could make you feel like you are more in control of the situation. You could also think about things that you might like to have around you during labour that will help you to relax. This might mean music or a large, comfortable pillow from home.

Most women want someone they know well to be with them as a birth partner. This doesn't have to be your partner - it could be a friend or relative if you prefer. Choose someone you trust and who is good company. You can probably have more than one person if you like, though check with your hospital or birth centre first.

If your fear of birth is so bad that you don’t want to go through with it talk to your doctor or midwife. Tokophobia is the name for a deep seated fear of giving birth.


  1.  NICE (2014) Clinical Guideline 190 Intrapartum care: care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth


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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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