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We may not talk about it much, but most of us have some fears around labor and delivery. We surveyed more than a thousand expecting moms to learn what worried them most about giving birth. Here's what they had to say.
Not getting to the hospital in time
- "My fear was giving birth on the side of the road!"
- "I was afraid I'd have the baby in the car."
- "My fear was having my water break and needing to quickly get to the hospital while my husband was at work."
- "My fear was there would be serious complications endangering both the baby's life and mine."
- "I worried about me or the baby dying during the delivery."
The baby not being healthy
- "This was our fifth child, so the birthing experience wasn't scary – but the thought of her not being okay was."
- "I feared that there would be something – anything – wrong with the baby."
- "I was mostly concerned about the baby's health. I was horrified the baby would be sick or die. I know it's morbid, but it was my biggest fear!"
- "I was afraid of ending up with a c-section or an episiotomy."
- "I was afraid of getting a cascade of medical interventions that involved more drugs than I wanted."
- "I feared ending up with a c-section – which I did."
- "I was scared that I'd have to be induced, which ended up happening anyway since I was 10 days late."
Being in pain
- "I was terrified of the pain (it wasn't as bad as I anticipated!)."
- "I was worried about pain and not getting the epidural in time."
- "I was most scared about the pain of pushing."
Not knowing how to care for the baby
- "I worried about how my husband and I were going to take care of this tiny human being."
- "The fact that I was about to be a mom was so scary to me! I don't know why, but it was."
- "It was scary to realize that I would soon be fully responsible for another life."
Loss of modesty
- "I was worried about my water breaking in a public place."
- "Honestly, I was worried how my bladder would do. I have a chronic condition. Looking back, that seems silly, but I was worried about it!"
- "I was afraid that I'd have a bowel movement during pushing."
- "I was scared about being naked in front of a bunch of people."
- "I'm a very modest person, and I don't like to be 'out in the open,' and that's what I was most concerned with."
Facing the unknown
- "I think the biggest fear I had was that I just didn't know what to expect."
- "The unknown was really my biggest fear. I didn't know how it would hurt, just that it would. There was also a bit of 'Now what do we do?!' panic."
Not being able to give birth
- "I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it."
- "My biggest fear about giving birth was not being able to push enough for my baby to be born!"
- "I was nervous that I wouldn't be physically able to push my child out."
- "I just didn't think I'd be able to push a baby out of my vagina."
- "Tearing has always been my biggest fear."
- "I was particularly afraid of tearing."