Fear of being pregnant again?
Thinking about or being pregnant again after a negative or traumatic birth experience affects everyone differently.
Some people feel OK about subsequent pregnancies while others are quite fearful. Many women go on to have very healing births following a traumatic one.
The decision around having another baby is yours to make - people will likely question and comment (most often from a place of care), but ultimately only you and your partner can make that decision.
It is absolutely understandable that you may be feeling fearful about getting, or being, pregnant again or about a birth that is about to, or may, happen.
It can be a tricky place to be in where you, or your partner, may wish to have more children but your previous traumatic birth leaves you feeling like this might never be an option.
Fear is a very natural emotion and one that serves a purpose. Fear can show us exactly where challenges might lie and where we then need to focus time and energy in order to heal. Fear can be an opportunity to be courageous - fear can be powerful!
Processing your previous negative or traumatic birth experience may well reduce your fear around getting or being pregnant again as well as the birth of another baby.
It is important to remember:
- Some women and families choose to have further children and work through their previous experience.
- Some women and families choose not to have further children.
- No two births are the same but whether or not you chose to have more children is up to you and your partner only.
If you are wanting help to heal a negative experience around birth, try the suggestions below. You can also head over to Strategies for additional suggestions, or External Resources for organisations that may be able to help.
Strategies to help during pregnancy or planning pregnancy
Talk to your midwife
Talking over your previous experience will make your fears and concerns clear to your current LMC so you can discuss together how they are best able to support you.
Talk with them about strategies that might soften your concerns or ways you can both manage any fears you may hold.
If you are not feeling “heard” or respected by your current health professionals, remember you may change LMC, or others, at any time.
It's important that you go into your new pregnancy and birth feeling trust for your support team and confident and empowered in choices you make.
Talk to your partner/ SUPPORT TEAM
Talking openly and honestly about your previous experience means you know where the other is coming from and what your fears and needs are.
You might be able to create plans to alleviate some of your individual or mutual fears, or to gather support to help you do this.
In being clear, and on the same page as, your support team you can make plans around possible situations and outcomes. For example, "if X happens, we'll try our best to do Y".
Write it out
Writing about how you are feeling gets it "out of your head", and can allow you to look at things from a different angle to help process what you're feeling.
Keeping a journal that you write in regularly will give you some space to process your feelings and this may also become a treasured item.
Writing out your fears and concerns also creates a physical representation of your feelings and experiences that you can revisit and look over, figuring out those things you can control, and those you can’t. This may provide clarity to your decisions.
Creating something can focus energy and thought on building up and focusing on what may come as, opposed to focusing on what has been.