When giving birth has you scared sh******, do this:
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS THAT SCARES YOU
Fear about giving birth, whether it's your first time or your fifteenth, is totally normal. The only way through it is through it, but you have to know what "it" is first. Are you afraid of being in pain? Do you fear the unknown? Are you scared of unwanted interventions?
What is it exactly that has you trembling? Put your finger on that fear, and then:
2. LEARN MORE ABOUT IT
Knowledge is power. Now that you know what's scaring you, learn more about it! Research it, talk with your care providers, take a Childbirth Education course. The more you know about the thing that scares you, the more prepared you are to take the next step in dealing with it:
3. MAKE A PLAN
The only bad plan is no plan! Maybe you're thinking, "But I do have a plan, that's what I fear: that things won't go according to that plan!" A birth plan is a fantastic tool and I am so glad to hear you have one. But here I'm asking you to plan for the things not on that list; heck, those fears are probably what inspired your birth plan to begin with!
Make a list of the things you are afraid of and brainstorm about what you can do to a) prepare for them, b) respond to them if they happen, and c) recover after-the-fact. And then:
4. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR BIRTH TEAM
Being afraid is already terrible, don't think that you have to deal with it alone! Your birth team is there to support you. Making sure that whoever is on that team—a partner, a midwife, an OB, a doula—is clued in to what's going on with you (including inside your head) is going to help them better address your needs.
5. HIRE A DOULA
From figuring out what scares you all the way to recovering from facing that fear, a doula can support you through it. Support is literally what we are trained to do! In fact, hiring a doula has actually been shown to decrease the likelihood of a lot of the feared occurrences during childbirth to begin with! How about that?