Reducing Anxiety About Childbirth: A Dash of Humor and a Dollop of Wisdom

Reducing Anxiety About Childbirth: A Dash of Humor and a Dollop of Wisdom

Childbirth can feel like you're preparing to climb Mount Everest without the guarantee of a sherpa. It’s normal to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety as the big day approaches. However, there are ways to reduce childbirth anxiety, turning those nerves into a more serene experience. Here’s how you can manage those jitters with a dash of humor and a dollop of wisdom.



Many women find screaming, singing, and yelling to have a relaxing effect. If you can channel your energy into song, it’s more of a celebration than a rage fest. Although, if you’re like me, a rage fest is actually exactly what the goth calls for. This provides distraction for you, practice for lullabies and family sing-a-longs, serenades for papa, and it also helps strengthen muscles that are typically underutilized.



The best way to work through emotions, scientifically proven, is journaling. Nuff said.


Artistic expression:

Painting, dancing, crochet, woodworking, embroidery, photography, taxidermy, witchcraft. The world is your oyster. Let the foggy pregnant brain create something really out there that.



Listen to women talk about their experiences good, bad and otherwise. Find a unsophisticated, unmythical, no-nonsense sherpa. I typically prefer someone grouchier than optimistic; they’re better informed about risks usually. The more you know, the less you fear—usually. Attending childbirth classes can demystify the birthing process. These classes cover everything from labor stages to pain relief options. It’s like a spoiler alert for birthing, and who doesn’t love spoilers?


Become a recluse: literally just stay home.

Limit and filter all the information being served to you. Daily life is a clusterfuck of influences prying at your emotions to get you to buy things. Avoid them at all costs. This includes avoiding anyone sharing scary medical stories or stranger danger fear mongering.


Dicern internal sensations:

Work on picking out the difference between intuitive whispers, emotional pleas, or physical alerts. All of these will be in overdrive telling you what you need to do to get the baby out of you healthily. Listen to them.


Practice Breathing Techniques: Inhale Calm, Exhale Panic

Breathing might seem as basic as, well, breathing. But mastering certain breathing techniques can be a game-changer. Techniques like Lamaze or deep belly breathing help maintain calm and can control pain better than a misplaced epidural.


Tour the Battlefield: Visit the Maternity Ward

Take a tour of the maternity ward where you plan to give birth. Knowing where you'll park your car, which door to waddle through, and where they stash the good ice can reduce anxiety by making the unknown familiar. It’s like scouting the best escape routes at a party, just in case. In 2023 I sung with Prism Men’s Chorus at the Detroit Tigers game. We got rained out the first time, but I did make the trip before going home. On my second trip, I was much less scared simply because I knew how confusing downtown Detroit can be in that specific area.


Talk It Out: Get Chatty with Healthcare Providers

Have a sit-down (or lie-down) with your doctor or midwife to talk about your fears. They’ve seen more action than a seasoned stunt double and can provide reassurance tailored to your concerns. Remember, there are no stupid questions, except maybe, "Can we keep it if it's cute?"


Create a Birth Plan: But Keep it Flexible

Drafting a birth plan gives you a sense of control. It’s like planning a vacation itinerary: everything won’t go to plan, but it’s good to have an outline. Just remember, like all good plans, it should be flexible—think yoga instructor, not drill sergeant.


Connect with Others: There’s Strength in Numbers

Joining a support group or connecting with friends who’ve been through childbirth can offer comfort. It’s like joining a cult, but the only thing you’re worshipping is peace of mind and shared experiences.


Stay Physically Active: Walk or Waddle

Regular exercise appropriate for pregnancy can boost your mood and improve your sleep. Whether it’s prenatal yoga or just a gentle walk, staying active can help keep anxiety at bay. Think of it as practicing for when you’ll be chasing a toddler around the house.


By integrating these strategies, you can approach childbirth with more confidence and less anxiety. Remember, it’s okay to have moments of fear, but with preparation and support, you can turn those fears into just another part of the adventure that is parenthood.

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