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What we can all learn from the birth of baby Sussex

May 08, 2019

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, wanted to take charge of her birth and postpartum experience. She sought out support that felt right for her. She knew that she would remember the birth of her precious baby for the rest of her life and she was determined to make it a positive experience.

She researched her options and made the choices that felt right.

She chose a birthing place that felt safest for her, not what other people may think is best for her. We know that labour is usually shorter and flows more smoothly when women feel safe and undisturbed. It’s crucial that the birthing person feels safe so that the right hormones; oxytocin and endorphins can be released effectively.

The last thing that Meghan (and any other birthing woman) needs or wants is to feel ‘watched’. This can slow labour down. So, I commend Meghan for choosing to stay out of the spotlight and to birth on her terms, in her own time, where she wanted. She obviously understands how birth works.

Prince Harry was beaming when he shared the birth news “It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined." He added: "How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension”.

It’s so wonderful to hear what a positive experience the birth was for Harry and Meghan.

The Royal couple also understand the importance of taking time to rest and recover after birth so the postpartum time was also carefully planned.

It’s reported that Meghan read the The First Forty Days and it became like ‘her bible’. This incredible book by Heng Ou is a game-changer when it comes to preparing for postpartum. It outlines the importance of taking time to heal and bond with your baby instead of pushing yourself to 'bounce back' too early. It also has many delicious recipes to help a new mother heal and feel nourished.

Many cultures believe that the first forty days after birth can help or hinder a mothers health for the next forty years of her life. So it is worth taking time to rest, recuperate and heal so that she can replenish her reserves. 

It’s important for any new mother to try to decrease stress levels because stress actually reduces oxytocin. This hormone is incredibly important during postpartum. It helps milk to flow, helps mothers bond with their baby and be more sensitive to the non-verbal cues they are sharing.

Meghan also wanted her postpartum time to be calm. So it makes perfect sense why she would want to avoid being outside of the ‘postpartum bubble’, in the cold, and answering reporters questions. At this sensitive time, this could negatively effect bonding with her baby and the delicate process of recovering from birth. A time that she will not get back. I commend her for waiting until she was ready. 

We could all learn a lot from her choices!

This is a positive message for the world to see and hear. Birth and postpartum is a private event that deserves time and respect in order to be safer and more enjoyable.

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This natural birth checklist will help you to feel more confident planning your own birth.