One thing that I’m passionate about is helping women have the births that they want. (Good quality in a doula, right? lol)
What is the secret to getting the birth you want, you ask? Well let me tell you!
First thing you should know is that birth is unpredictable and does what it wants. That doesn’t at all mean that you can’t create a better environment and chance of getting your “perfect” birth. But it does mean that you really need to realize and accept that changes can need to happen and if so, they will be what you and your baby needs. Because remember – this is not just your birthing experience, it’s theirs too!
Alright! Now we can talk about the good stuff! What exactly can you do to positively effect the progression and outcome of your birth?
- Find a provider you trust. Whether that’s an OB or a Midwife, you need to trust them. Trust them to treat you with respect. Trust them to follow your wishes. Trust them to ASK BEFORE TOUCHING YOU.
- Birth Partner/Support Person/Doula. Choosing your birth partner/support person is as important as picking your provider. If you pick an OB, they will likely only show up every once in a while or not until the end where they come in to preside over the delivery. Your support person will be there with you the whole time. This person needs to know and support your wishes. They need to know how to help you when you are in a tough spot. How to help you advocate for yourself. How to be your rock. How to encourage you. As much as it sounds awesome to have your mom be there, you have to ask yourself if she can be those things for you. If you have a significant other, you still have to ask yourself those questions. If the people you have available don’t meet those qualifications, they are then going to effectively be working against your ideal birth. I would suggest hiring a doula then. In fact, doulas and other support persons do well together too! Doulas have wonderful skills to help in ways that your other support persons don’t likely know about.
- Know your options. There’s an old saying that says “If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.” It is so very true! Look up your options! If I may suggest, check this website out: CLICK ME. It gives all the most recent and updated evidence based information about birthing you can find.
- Have a Birth Plan. Or a Birth Preferences list. Or a Birth Wishes list. I don’t care what you call it, but have one. Some doctors/nurses look at you funny for having it but those are normally the ones you want to avoid anyway. In the midst of delivery is the wrong time for the nurses to ask you if you are planning on having your son circumcised. Having a printed out plan on the front of your chart, taped to the door, tattooed on your forehead, etc will prevent a lot of unnecessary headache (well unless you really do have it tattooed to your forehead…). Bonus – then you can remember all your points when you go to your prenatal appointments to talk to your provider about.
- B.R.A.I.N.D. Benefits. Risks. Alternatives. Intuition. Nothing. Decide. These are all things that have to be considered when a provider asks if you want to do something at the hospital/place of birth. Example: Doctor comes in and suggests you start Pitocin. You then ask “What are the benefits and risks of this? What else can we do? What happens if we don’t do that?” Then you take the answers to those questions and use your intuition and logic to decide what the best course of action is. You’d be surprised how many times the answer to “What happens if we don’t do that?” is nothing. That everything will just continue going along on its course the way your body needs it to.
Those are the biggest points you’ll need to consider. If you need any help with any of them, there is help for you! Reach out to a local doula. Like me! We are trained to help with all of that.