Giving birth is one of the hardest things a woman can do. There are so many scenarios that can take place during labor and delivery, and so many things that can surprise you, especially if you are not prepared. It is natural to be a little scared or nervous. To better prepare yourself for what awaits you, here are some completely normal things you might be worrying about and some great tips on how to handle them.

What if I don’t get to the hospital in time?

A lot of women have this fear before giving birth. There are so many situations in movies where a birthmother has to give birth in the car on the way to the hospital. That is especially true for women who live a bit far from the hospital. Well, the good news is that this is nothing to worry about. The average time it takes to go through labor and delivery is more than 8 hours, so the chances of not being able to get to a hospital are pretty slim.

What is the pain is too much?

A lot of women worry that the pain of childbirth will just be too much. It is not uncommon that women start saying that they don’t want to deliver when they go into labor. Of course, there’s no going back. Although the pain of childbirth is tremendous, remember: your body was made to do this! There are also different laboring methods and various pain management options you can choose from.

What if I have to have a c-section?

Although the majority of women have regular labor and delivery, recent studies have shown that more than 30 percent of women have a c-section. Even if you do everything to avoid one, things happen and you might have to have one. But, this is not something to really fear. You can let your doctor know that you want a c-section to be a last resort, and even if it does happen, all you are looking at is a longer recovery time, some abdominal pain and a higher hospital bill. A lot of women went through it before – you will be fine too!

Is vaginal tearing a common situation?

It is not uncommon for a future birthmother to be concerned about tearing. Only 4 percent of women tear worse than a 2nd degree. Most get superficial tearing heals very easily and only requires a couple of stitches at best. Also keep in mind that though this is an unpleasant experience, if you elect to have an epidural there is far less feeling from experiences like these during pregnancy. 

What if I miss the deadline to have an epidural? 

Make sure you have a very good idea of what the timing is in order to enable you to have an epidural if that is your choice. Your doctor should be very good at explaining the reasons why an epidural should make you more comfortable during labor. If your doctor isn't available your nurse is usually the one that will be catering to your needs during the early stages of labor. Make sure you are at the hospital as soon as possible after your water breaks, and if they aren't already talking to you about it firstly, ask that question quickly upon arriving there.