I am excited about the shifts in our current birth climate! Woman are taking their birth experience back and realizing the value of being proactive about their birth experience, which is really thrilling!
For too long birth has been behind closed doors and seen as something to avoid at all cost. We shower baby and prepare for their arrival without giving much thought to how baby will come out and what it means to give birth.
Birth is amazing - the process is incredible, transforming, life changing, and a major part of our human experience. So for those that want to experience their birth as it was intended and desire a natural or less intervention birth, here are the basics in achieving your birth, your way!
Your doctor's practice and policy has everything to do with your care. You need to trust them! While they experience birth all the time, you may only have a few babies so your birth experience needs to be important to your doctor. They need to know what kind of experience you desire otherwise your experience will be theirs. For some people this may mean finding a midwife or birth center to achieve their birth, their way. You care provider will dictate the experience you have.
Eat well and exercise. You are growing a baby from the food you eat so eat well! Every time you have an appointment with your doctor they are testing you for a myriad of things. If one of these tests comes back high risk, your options in birth become fewer and fewer. You also want to say fit even if that just means walking 10 minutes a day. Birth is a complete physical experience and your body will need stamina for the journey.
Take childbirth classes so that you are ready for your labor when it happens. When you do not know the physiology of labor or how to manage it, labor can become scary and overwhelming. There are many different childbirth classes out there to help you prepare for your birth experience. I LOVE the Bradley Method® because it addresses all aspects of labor and prepares you and your coach (husband/partner) for the experience that you want.
Investing in a birth professional that can help you make needed decisions or chooses in the heat of the moment is invaluable. A doula is there is help and assist your coach as well. A doula can actually make your coach a better coach simply by giving them the confidence to continue and support you in ways they haven't thought of before. A doula gives you continuous support, encouragement and reassurance to help you achieve your birth, your way. I have never heard a woman say I had too much support in labor but I have heard her say that she didn't have enough!
Even you do not want an all-natural birth, being proactive about your birth experience will make it a better experience. Knowing your options and what to expect gives you choices! Embrace your birth experience and you just might be impressed, inspired, encouraged, and surprised at how strong YOU are and how incredible birth really is!!
It is YOUR birth and it should be YOUR way!