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This content is taken from the Trinity College Dublin's online course, Journey to birth. Join the course to learn more.

Feelings about Birth

In Step 1.4, we asked all of you to think about words to describe any anxiety or fear you may have about birth, and how much you are looking forward to the birth. The results were then shown on word clouds in Step 2.7.

In Step 5.11, we asked you once more to rate your levels of fear or anxiety about birth and the degree to which you were looking forward to it. Again, we asked you to put down whatever words you think describe your feelings around birth. Here are the results from all responses:

What makes you most anxious about labour and birth?

Word cloud showing words such as "pain", "being induced" and "vaginal damage"

Are the words in this word cloud different to those in the word cloud at the beginning of the course?

Now, ask yourself:

  • Am I feeling less anxious now?
  • Am I feeling less fearful?
  • Is my anxiety and/or fear at an average level or do I need more support from friends and family? Do I need to talk to a healthcare professional about my concerns?

If you would like more information and help about anxiety in pregnancy and after birth, here are the links to the videos we showed you in Week 1:

Some sections in Week 3, such as Step 3.4 and Step 3.5, will offer you more information and help about reducing fear of childbirth. You can also access the links to the fear release tracks for hypnobirthing in Step 4.8.

Woman walking in a field with her dog

We also asked you to think about words to describe what you are looking forward to about the birth. Here are the results of those responses:

What are you most looking forward to about labour and birth?

Word cloud showing words such as "start new adventure" and "us meeting baby"

You may see some of the words you used, and you may see words that other women have used that you can relate to. It’s very easy to focus on feelings like anxiety and fear more often than on good feelings, so please try this exercise:

  • Choose four or five words that you can relate to and write them onto post-it notes.
  • Stick them up around your office, bedroom, kitchen or someplace that you will see them frequently, to remind yourself of the positive feelings you have about the birth.

Finally, go through your ‘Journey to Birth’ map again, and fill in the last section from Week 6. Now you have a complete birth plan, which you can adjust and add to as you wish over the last few weeks.

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This article is from the free online course:

Journey to birth

Trinity College Dublin