"Women today not only possess genetic memory of birth from a thousand generations of women, but they are also assailed from every direction by information and misinformation about birth". - Valerie El Halt
Here are my top tips in achieving your happy birth experience
1. Knowledge is powerful, but what you do with it is even more powerful
Knowledge is power, what you do with it is even more powerful. A good labour and birth course is a must. Do your research about the various birth courses available and pick one that feels right for you. Have a good understanding of what will be covered in the course. Before you commit, talk to the educator to see if you like their style of teaching, the perspective they’re coming from and that you connect with them. After all, most birthing courses go for about 10-12 hours so it’s important to like your educator.
Topics that a course should cover are:
Physiology of labour and birth.
The different road labour choices can take.
Preparing mind and body with various techniques such as relaxation, positions and breathing.
The role of support partner and guidance on how the support partner can support birthing mother as well as the value of their solid instructions.
A brief overview of post-natal topics such as breastfeeding and taking care of a newborn.
2. Your support
A support person is important. Whether that person is your partner/ a doula/ private midwife/ family member/ friend, it’s good to have someone that can assist you during the birthing process. The role of a support person in labour is to help you with your comfort and confidence … so choose wisely.
3. Discussions with care providers?
Make sure your care providers understand your preferences by having had a good discussion about your desired birth experience and outcomes. However, before you do this, it’s important to have completed a labour and birth course OR at the very least be confident in your knowledge about the process, birthing stages and the different roads labour and birth can take. Only then can you have an educated discussion about your birth preferences with your care providers.
4.Only engage and expose yourself to positive language and associations to the topic of labour and birth
STOP engaging in conversations with individuals whose birthing experience was dissatisfying, traumatic, frightening or less than ideal. Nothing positive can come out of such conversations. Leave such conversations for after you’ve had your birthing experience. In addition, avoid programs, blogs and forums that could cause similar feelings within you. Only engage in birthing conversations that will inspire you and give you confidence and trust within yourself. As your birthing day gets closer, smile and think happy thoughts.