Dr. Noushin Firouzbakht, OB/GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, says she agrees that when women are fearful and anxious about possible complications it seems to increase their labor length.
“In my experience, if the Mom is not relaxed the labor does seem to last longer," she said. "It’s the Moms who cling on to every fear, when they hear something happened to an aunt or a cousin and think the same thing is going to happen to them as well. But the reality is that’s not the majority of people.”
Learning about the birthing process and taking childbirth classes can help quell the fear of the unknown.
“Educate yourself and trust that your physician is on your side,” she said. “Have a birth plan, but also be open to things that aren’t on the agenda."
Dr. Firouzbakht offers some tips for helping decrease expectant Moms’ anxiety:
• Have a birth plan, but be prepared for the unexpected.
• Get prenatal care.
• Participate in birth classes.
• Be familiar with the place where you’re giving birth – take a tour.
• Get informed and know your options. More knowledge decreases anxiety.
• Keep in mind that everyone has their own experience with childbirth. What has happened to your neighbor, your sister, or your cousin is not going to happen to you, and what’s going to happen to you isn’t necessarily their story.
Watch KDAF (CW ch. 33) news tonight at 9 p.m. for a story on the fear of childbirth increasing labor length and get the perspectives of two North Texas Moms.