- Changes in environment (such as journeying to the hospital).
- Being unsure of what’s happening (a doctor or midwife who doesn’t full explain what’s happening.)
- Being made to do feel like you are going against your own preferences (such as be in a position you’re uncomfortable in, or taking drugs you don’t really want to).
This is one reason that women are told to wait at home as long as possible before going into the hospital birthing suite – often contractions will happen further apart when they arrive and in some cases they are sent home to continue laboring until the contractions are closer again.
To avoid stress during labor, there are several things you can do:
- Stay home for as long as possible, in a familiar environment.
- Have a birth partner who knows exactly what you do and don’t want and you trust to make the right decisions for you when needed.
- A birth plan which outlines what your preferences are in different situations.
- A discussion with the doctor or midwife about hospital and birthing procedures so you’re aware of what to expect.
- Requesting that as few people as possible be present during labor and that there is minimal noise (or bring some calming music) and the lights are turned down so you can relax and concentrate on the labor and impending birth.