Updated: Dec 4, 2019
1- Your Care Environment
Here's the truth: Your Care Environment Matters.
Having the best experience of your lifetime - feeling stronger, more bonded to your partner, more cared-for, more involved, and more powerful than you've ever known - starts with choosing a care model that can create that WITH YOU.
Community Birth with Community Midwives has been proven statistically and in women's and families stories to be THE BEST care environment for closeness, kindness, belonging, and safety in birth.
If you choose to birth in the hospital, you have to know: they are also CARING, many times, but you cannot predict many important factors there.
First, You cannot predict what doctor, nurse, newborn nurse, midwife, or other staff member you will have. Each of these people bring with them their own attitudes, biases, skills, and training in "evidence-based" care. When shift changes, the policy can change. The previous midwife may have been caring and flexible, but the new shift brings a midwife you don't feel good with, who speaks "down" to you, or who doesn't agree with your plan to birth in your own way.
You cannot predict what limitations the hospital will put on you in order to "manage" YOUR labor and birth. The most common example is: If your water breaks first, they have rules about "coming right in" and then being in labor by 24 hours. These limitations (and this is just ONE OF MANY HIDDEN RULES) are NOT necessarily based on YOUR situation, but on many factors such as ease of managing many "patients" and many practitioners. This is why some people call hospital delivery "factory birth." They cannot tailor their care to individuals because there are so many moving parts: patients, rooms, and nurses, doctors, midwives and administrators, not to mention lawyers.
In birth, the truth is: "it all depends." Hiring a care provider who can be FLEXIBLE and attend to YOUR unique body, risk factors, family, and feelings is the first step, truly, in preparing for Labor and Delivery.
2- Believe. In. Yourself.
You may have heard it hundreds of times in your life. "Believe in Yourself." It's almost cliche. AND, in birth, it is more true than ever. What if you REALLY BELIEVED in YOURSELF, and your wild, complete, incredible ability to birth your baby? What if your whole life, since you were a child, you'd heard women telling stories of their own strength and softness, delicious and unforgettable moments of birthing their babies? What if, when you were birthing, and it got hard, and you doubted yourself, there were people standing beside you, behind you, gently saying, YOU CAN DO THIS. What if your partner was so convinced of your ability that they, too, stood WITH you and offered you their strength, and you could FEEL that, and then YOU felt stronger too?
This happens in other parts of the world. In the U.S., rarely does this happen because for 2 or 3 generations, we have been having drugged and doctor- managed (rather than mother-respected) births.
What if your care provider was a midwife who was there with you THE WHOLE TIME, offering you quiet assured support? What if you trusted her to help you transfer to the hospital in plenty of time if something was wrong? What if your chances of having a BEAUTIFUL birth were over 90%? And your chances of having a surgical birth, or c-section, were 5%?
Once you have a birthing environment where you feel safe, and your body relaxes because your providers are truly there for YOU, and you believe in yourself, there's just 1 thing left to do:
B. r ea. the.
Your body knows what to do, girl. Trust it. Deep breathing. Encouraging your body to relax so that the process can move through your muscles, ligaments, mind and body, deepens you into the wild and transformative process. And it unfolds as it will.
4- Spin Your Baby
If you haven't already, check out the Spinning Babies website, videos, or classes. We offer them at Birth Local, as we've been doing Spinning Babies with our clients for over 8 years and regularly find the simple body movements to be key in helping babies move through the pelvis and the soft tissues and muscles with ease. It's really invaluable. We can't recommend it enough. Schedule a Spinning Babies sesh with us now if you'd like!
5- Watch Videos, Read Books, Talk with New Moms, READ REVIEWS online about your intended Place and Providers of Birth!!!
Here's a Great video & book list; and sources to talk with new moms who've had great births:
It’s My Body My Baby My Birth
Birth In the Squatting Position
The Business of Being Born
Ina May's Guide To Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
Birthing From Within by Pam England