The other day I jotted these thoughts down and I decided today that it would make for a great first blog post.
I believe that there are many things that can be done that can help all women, regardless of the kind of birth experience they have, walk away complete, satisfied, and with their heads held in confidence. Here are a few.
1. They are adequately informed of their choices and made to feel “in control” of their experiences and what happens to them before, during, and after the birth.
2. They are realistic with themselves about their health, their baby’s health, and their capabilities as a laboring woman.
3. They are surrounded by family, friends, physicians, and support groups who believe in them and their choice of birth.
4. They are adequately informed about the physiological and emotional processes of birth and the procedures of hospitals/birth centers.
5. They are exposed to a wide range of birth experiences and understand their options when choosing medical professionals and birth support specialist.
Many times after childbirth mothers are left with a healthy and beautiful baby but also with feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and shame. This is magnified when there are other women around them who were satisfied and sometimes even overjoyed with their birth experience. They will spend the years after and sometimes even the rest of their lives dealing with dissatisfaction with their own birth experience. I feel that this directly affects how we feel as women, mothers and as wives. Our birth experience is life changing. Its important.
The question I think mothers have to ask themselves is can’t we have it all? Can’t a mother go in and have an emergency c-section and still come away feeling as confident and secure as the woman who had a beautiful natural water birth in her home?
I think the answer is yes she absolutely can!!
I feel that implementing these 5 things before and during our pregnancy could help us feel confident and secure in knowing we did our best even in a somewhat disappointing experience.
This is why I love the work of a doula because they focus on these 5 things and so much more when serving a pregnant woman. A doula makes sure that regardless of what happens a woman in labor is made to feel respected, acknowledged, strong and in control. Studies have shown that women who have doulas with them during labor come out remembering their childbirth in a more positive light. Doulas inform women prior and even during their childbirth of what’s happening to them. They support the mother and they never leave her side. They reassure her that everything that’s happening to them during childbirth is normal and remind her that she is strong and she can face whatever it is that is in front of her.
I’ve seen and personally met so many women who have been emotionally broken over their birth experience and I don’t think this is the way it has to be!