Common pregnancy worries and why you should let it go
Although many of these concerns during pregnancy are common, here's why not to sweat it
Worrying about giving birth to your baby is only natural – so hands up if any of these delivery room worries have crossed your mind while pregnant.
1. I want my hair to look good
So you’ve washed and straightened your hair while puffing through those early contractions in preparation for the serenely beautiful post-birth photographs with your new arrival? Don’t bother. Really. All that (ahem) gentle perspiration during labour plus the liberal application of cool flannels on your forehead will mean you’ll have bed head hair. But no one will care, least of all you, when you’re holding that precious bundle in your arms.
2. I’d better put on some make-up
See above. Totally pointless to apply before the big event. Labour is a pretty active business, so it would be like running a half marathon in full foundation and contouring cream: it’s not going to last the distance. Ditto fake tan. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t pack a bit of make-up in your hospital bag to dampen down the shine for those first photographs….
3. I’ll rant and swear
Lots of women report using language they’d never dream of using normally (usually directed at their partner), but it probably won’t be anything the midwife or doctor hasn’t heard before. Swearing can have a natural painkilling effect, especially if you don’t normally do it, according to a university study. So – all in a good cause.
4. I’ll, umm, evacuate my bowels while pushing
Sadly, it’s true - some women do, because we’re using the same muscles for both actions, and there’s a lot of pressure from the baby moving through the birth canal. There’s no point in worrying about it: midwives will have seen worse. And if it does happen, it’s likely to be only a small amount.
5. I need to shave my legs/sort my bikini line
Really, it’s too late to worry about this – chances are you can barely reach your legs with the razor at this point, and as for being able to see the critical bikini area…. well, good luck with that. If the midwife gets stubble burn from touching your legs, it probably won’t be the first time.
6. I might like gas and air too much
Entonox is a mix of nitrous oxide and air – so it could be the most legal high you ever had. It’s used by 80 per cent of labouring women to take the edge off the pain: some report feeling giggly and light-headed, some even hallucinate. But for others, it just makes them feel sick.
7. My other half will get a right eyeful
Some men are put off by being at the business end during labour – but most will simply be full of admiration that their partner has managed to produce something so beautiful. If you’re worried about his reaction, insist he stays at the slightly more genteel end.