An Open Letter to Every Momma Preparing to Give Birth
(Yes, we’re going to be on “friends” basis after you dive into this article.) I would say this to any one of my friends, and if they know me well enough then they know everything I say when it comes to the topic of child birth comes from a place in the deepest parts of my heart.
My heart beats so fiercely for the topic of childbirth. Ever since having my first son I've become completely mesmerized by the strength women carry with them, some never knowing even through childbirth what they're capable of. I will advocate for whatever your wishes are in your birth experience, but I will also urge you to never stop educating yourself. There is an unnerving amount of misinformation and twisted "facts" floating around not only the internet, but also floating throughout doctors offices, hospitals, OB offices, and even midwifery practices. My best piece of advice I can possibly give anyone when it comes to their bodies and their children is to always trust your gut and research everything. I cannot stress this enough. I will never stop urging women to learn and fight for what they want in their birthing experience. The possibilities are vast and wide, even though culture tends to tell us otherwise.
In my humble opinion, the birth of your child(ren) is one of the biggest privileges you'll come across in life. Women find their inner strength during this pivotal time. Either a woman learns how strong they are, or they can alternatively learn how weak they can be made to feel instead. These two scenarios are greatly influenced by who you choose to allow on your birth team and especially by whom you choose as your primary care provider.
If you haven't booked a doula yet, please re-consider that choice. Having someone there for you every step of the way from pregnancy throughout postpartum and available to answer all of the questions that arise, supporting what YOU want, is invaluable.
Is your partner going to be your main supporter? GOOD, that is absolutely fantastic. But, I'll warn you that even a partner with the very best of intentions who would do anything for the mother of his children....if that man doesn't have the right education he needs, he'll be clueless on how to help you when the going gets tough (many experienced birthing momma's know this to be true). I've witnessed this in it's rawest form, and it broke my heart. I watched as a new father did everything he could for his wife, but due to the lack of proper and real education on the subject of childbirth as well as lack of a doula for support, at some point he lost ability to effectively support her in that space. This is a scenario I don't want to play out for any family. There are multiple resources on how your spouse can best prepare to be your main supporter (another blog post Im working on).
Question everything, research everything, and stick to your instincts.
If you don't know what your options are, you don't have any.
You already have an image in your head of how your birth experience might play out. You already have a “plan” in your mind that you are envisioning. There is nothing wrong with explicitly laying out those expectations in written form. This brings clarity for yourself, and your birth team. If you’ve been in labor before, you know there’s a point that you get to where communicating isn’t your forte anymore, some might even call it impossible to communicate at some point in labor. That plan will give you a voice when yours is able to do nothing more than roar and instinctually give birth. What you want MATTERS, Momma. Please, here me.
WHAT YOU WANT MATTERS.
The reason behind a birth plan has very little to do with control, because birth can sometimes be very out of control. However, much of how you desire your birth experience to look like can be expressed and expectations can be made clear ahead of time to provide you with better support.
I want for you to experience one of the best days of your life as exactly that, one of the best days of your life. I don’t want you to experience a misunderstood and traumatic version of child birth that far too many women in our culture today face. My guide on preparing for an empowering birth experience will provide you with more tools to best prepare for what can very well be the best day of your life.