The 6 most common birth fears (and how to beat them)

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When you consider the logistics of birth (how a fully-formed baby get out of so small a space?), it’s no wonder it makes pregnant women everywhere squirm.

But labour doesn’t have to be something to be afraid of. Honestly.

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1) "I’m scared I’ll tear"

Nine out of 10 women tear to some degree during delivery, although with everything else that’s going on, there’s a good chance you won’t realise it at the time.

Most are minor and heal on their own within around a week, while more severe tears will be stitched up straight after birth and you’ll be offered painkillers.

"Help prevent tearing by massaging your perineum [the skin between the vagina and anus] in the weeks before birth," says independent midwife Virginia Howes.

"Birth positions that put less pressure on this area, such as on your hands and knees, may also help."

Antenatal classes to prepare you for pregnancy and birth

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