Do you want to create a birth experience that's not only positive, but transformative as well? Education and information are vital to understanding the physiological process of birth and can help you feel more at ease.
Step 1: Create a Birth Plan
The first step in creating any plan is to know why you’re creating it. Is it to have an active role in your child’s birth, advocate for yourself in the future, or to establish clear guidelines and boundaries for everyone present at the birth to follow?
Sometimes, people decide not to create a birth plan because they understand that birth can be unpredictable and believe that planning will lead to disappointment when their birth inevitably strays from the path they laid out. But this naïve thinking can lead to feeling a lack of control and a fear of birth. Birth plans do not have to be set in stone.
Instead, you can make your birth plan adaptable, like a list of preferences. You can think of the “What If’s,” and create plans surrounding them. Your birth plan is encouraged to be flexible to give you more options.
Step 2: Decide Where You Want to Give Birth
My Family Birth Center offers beautiful birthing rooms as well as home birth services. Think about where you will feel safest when delivering your baby. For some women that may be at the birth center, where the hospital is just a short drive away. For other’s, it’s in the comfort of their own home.
The birth center offers a safe and comfortable environment designed to help you relax. It is conveniently located near the hospital to provide an added layer of security in case of emergency.
Feel free to bring any artwork or birth affirmations to the birth center to give you strength and reassurance. If you have a special items that bring you a sense of comfort, bring them along too.
Home births can give you intimacy you won’t find anywhere else. Comfortability and feeling safe in your surroundings is one of the most important aspects of a positive birth experience. What better place to offer those than your own home? You can feel reassured in your home birth with our midwives expertise, along with their homebirth tools and medicines.
Step 3: Build Your Support Team
Consider who you want present at your birth. Would you like to hire a doula? If you have older children, do you want them present? Really think about this question. Think about your child’s tolerance to seeing you in pain. Would they be okay with seeing blood? Hearing you moan through the contractions?
If you do want your child present, be sure to prepare them for what your labor may look like ahead of time. Explain how you may be in pain, but it is perfectly normal. Be sure to have a trusted adult present to care for them while your in labor. You may want to choose someone other than your partner so that they are still able to give you support if your child decides they no longer want to be present during the birth.
When putting together your support team, consider their availability, your comfortability with them, and what their role in supporting you would be. Will they be there to offer emotional support or physical support, like keeping you hydrated and applying counter pressure? Will they be trusting of your decision in having an unmedicated birth? What’s their temperament like?
As you build your support team, remember that you can remove people from your birth as well. If you decide you want your birth to include just you and the midwives, that’s okay too.
Step 4: Educate
Educating yourself in the physiological process of birth will help know what sensations, or even emotions, are normal and which ones may be alarming. Trust in your mind that your body knows what to do. When your body tells you something may be wrong, voice your concerns to the midwives.
Connecting with other women who have had births at the birth center or at home may help you understand the process on a deeper level. Read about and listen to their birth stories. There may be patterns that stick out to you.
For example, many women experience a moment of self-doubt right around transition. Knowing this information, you can apply it to your labor. When you start questioning if you can give birth to your child, you can remind yourself that these doubts come when the baby is close to being born. You can use it to motivate you and give you a second wind.
Be sure to let the midwives know if there are any cultural, spiritual, or religious practices you want to observe during your labor, delivery, and immediate postpartum.
Practicing these ahead of time will be a tremendous help in letting your body do the work for you. It can sound silly to have to practice these things, but we live in a fast-paced society and most of us don’t know how to truly relax when there’s nothing happening. Now imagine trying to soften all of your muscles while experiencing pain or discomfort. It’s not as easy, but with practice can become manageable. Labor truly is just as much of a mental journey as it is a physical one.
For more help in creating the best birth experience for you, contact us today!
Dakota Collins is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mother of two precious little girls who is passionate about freedom in pregnancy and childbirth.
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