Some people love rollers
coasters, while others hate them. The ride is the same for everyone,
so why do different people have such opposite reactions to the
You know that feeling in the
pit of your stomach just as the ride is about to begin?
Different people will describe the same feeling using
different terms -- excitement ... anticipation ... fear ... anxiety!
Your interpretation of the
feeling is what will make the biggest difference between an
exhilarating, empowering ride and a ride filled with fear and
Much like a roller coaster
ride, there may be quiet moments just before the next curve or stage
of labor, you may feel out of control, but you won't be, and, most
importantly, you will definitely want another person to hold onto
-- one whom you trust and who knows the ride well. You may trust
your partner, but does he or she know about all of the potential
twists and turns of labor and how to handle them?
Will he or she know when to
use different pain relief measures, when to use the "take-charge
routine" or is your partner likely to need some support, too?
Remember, even the most attentive, supportive partner will need eat,
use the bathroom and possibly even sleep, leaving you with no
support if you don't have a back such as as a doula.
Different women face labor
with much of the same feelings people have when they are facing a
roller coaster. From the moment they find out that they're pregnant,
some women are terrified about childbirth while others look forward
to it. A big part of why laboring with the second child is usually
faster and less painful is that women are generally less afraid of
the experience. She knows that she can and will survive the pain and
the whole experience of labor and birth.
How do you feel about the
birth of your child and what can you do to make it a better
Ask yourself the following
Do I feel safe?
Do I believe I'll survive?
Am I afraid of the pain?
Am I afraid of the experience?
Am I afraid of the unknown?
Am I embarrassed about how I feel?
Be aware that there will be
unexpected twists and curves -- will that add to the fun or to your
With the proper support and
preparation, birth can be the best ride of your life!
Tracy Hartley of
sponsored this Belly Scoop to help keep LAPregnancy's Big
Tracy loves being a Belly Scooper and is a member of DASC (Doula
Association of Southern California) and has participated in more
than 100 births.