When it comes to preparing for birth, do you risk knowing too little or too much? Even if you aren’t actively preparing for birth, you already know a lot. Beliefs and ideas are formed from hearing stories and being exposed to media. Depending on where you grew up, your exposure to birth culture will be different and this effects how you feel about labour and parenting.
Birth can be beautiful
Imagine saying that you loved giving birth. Some women enjoy birth so much they say they could do it over and over again. It can be hard to believe, when popular culture often portrays birth as scary and painful. It can be overwhelming to sift through the information and stories being told to you and it can be a challenge to stay positive. But I want you to know that birthing your baby can be one of the most empowering and joyous moments of your life.
You do have a choice
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to giving birth and parenting. Through holistic preparation, you can discover your options so you can choose what feels best for you. For example, would you like to birth with a midwife or obstetrician? Would you like to birth at home, in hospital or a birthing centre?
Birth runs more smoothly when you feel safe and secure. Wherever you choose to birth and whoever you choose to support you, it’s important that you feel comfortable. If you feel like your care provider isn’t on the same page as you, try to find someone that you can connect with and keep researching your options.
Ask for guidance
Often partners can feel that birth is ‘womens business’ and they feel quite under-prepared for what is to come during labour. I think it’s important to have an understanding of what labour can look and sound like and to know how to be helpful. With adequate preparation, partners can feel more confident in their role and can have a positive impact on the birth.
However, Pam England from Birthing From Within says “Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!”
It is for this reason that there is a growing trend for women to also hire a doula for extra support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I have over ten years experience helping couples to feel more confident about birth and parenthood. This holistic support helps you to understand your options and to feel well supported throughout your entire journey.
Understand your needs
The nine months of your pregnancy are perfect to prepare for birth and postpartum. It’s an opportunity to understand yourself better and tune into your intuition. What do you need as a person? Are you someone who prefers to be alone or surrounded by people? What makes you happy? What do you feel you need to know to give birth?
If I could wave a magic wand and give you any quality you desired, what would you choose? Many women choose ‘confidence’. I now invite you to ask yourself ‘how am I being confident right now’? What can you do to start fostering your chosen quality in your day to day life?