Pregnancy
30 weeks and 7 days pregnant

One leg is shown here crossed over the other. Your baby can still stretch her legs out fully and even curl up in such a way that the feet can rest on top of the head. However, she’ll often be seen with her legs in this crossed position.

Epidural is a common form of pain-relief during labour and may be an option for you if you have a low pain threshold.

Many women have decided that they want a pain-free delivery with an epidural even before they go into labour. It’s worth knowing, however, that labour has to be well established before you can have an epidural, so you’ll still experience some painful contractions. Epidurals generally work well, but sometimes the block isn’t complete or is more effective on one side than the other. Some women decide to have an epidural because they know they’re unlikely to cope well with labour pain. Many women start off saying that they don’t want an epidural and change their minds halfway through – if it’s your first pregnancy, you can’t possibly know how you’ll feel.

An elective Caesarean is one that is planned and generally performed for medical reasons – for example, because of a low-lying placenta – and not simply because a woman wants to have one. Having a Caesarean is major abdominal surgery and in most circumstances it is safer to have a vaginal delivery. Recovery after a Caesarean usually takes longer than after a vaginal birth, so one is only performed if necessary.

This condition is an intense fear or dread of childbirth.There are two types: primary tokophobia pre-dates pregnancy and can start as early as adolescence; secondary tokophobia is associated with an earlier traumatic experience in childbirth. This fear can manifest itself as nightmares, intense anxiety, or panic attacks.

If you have tokophobia, your midwife will refer you to a consultant obstetrician who deals in mental health issues, or you may be referred directly to a psychologist to discuss your fears. Some experts believe that hypnotherapy can help to tackle any subconscious fears of childbirth. An elective Caesarean may be recommended if your fear of having a natural birth cannot be overcome.

You may need to experiment to find lovemaking positions that are comfortable. Most women find that the missionary position becomes increasingly uncomfortable as your partner presses on your bump. You may find being on top is enjoyable and does not put pressure on your tummy. Lying in the spoons position, with your partner behind you, can also be pleasurable. Other positions that don’t restrict your pleasure and are comfortable include sitting together, kneeling while your partner enters from behind, and lying side by side with your legs entwined.

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