Well certainly not for birth – planning for birth needs preparation – mental, physical, emotional preparation as well building knowledge about the physical act of birth.
Consider a marathon runner – what would she do to prepare for her marathon? Especially if she was keen to do it in a specific time! If you’re a marathon runner – what do you do?
I’ve never personally run a marathon (my boobs unfortunately are hitting off my knees). Having loads of friends who are runners – they build up their strength and stamina, work on their mindset, get a support team, spend time preparing for all the eventualities, surround themselves in positivity, eat and drink well, look after themselves emotionally, and there would be a fair few trips to see a physio or get a massage etc.
My friends and family work hard to complete it and prepare in every single way through research of information, physical, mental and emotional preparation. EVEN if they don’t complete it in the way they’d expected – they might reflect – I know I did all I could.
It’s the same with birth – except many people don’t prepare for it in that way. They might choose some elements of preparation – read some books (what to expect when you’re expecting seems to be the most popular!!!! I’d suggest ALL women read this instead), they might sign up to an antenatal class, they might sign up to a yoga or hypnobirthing class, they might ask their friend/mum/sister to support them, they might sign up to Babycentre alerts, they might enlist the help of a friend or doula (win!). Many just hope that it works.
All these things are GREAT – but they don’t complete the preparation that many women need. Learning about birth physiology in a class will NOT on it’s own help you to have a better birth. How can telling you that your baby is now the size of a cabbage helping you to prepare for your birth and your baby arriving? What about if your mums experience of birth was awful? How will that help?
We live in a time where we are so far removed from the primal/mammalian birth process and so geared towards medically managed birth that women are set up to fail at physiologically normal birth. That’s why we need holistic birth preparation.
I bumped into a friend at my gym the other day and chatting by the side of the pool we spoke about how we chat to mums who are about to give birth. How can we let them know what they’re about to face without scaring them to death or saying anything negative? How do we get first time mums to think differently about their birth? To be properly prepared? How can we get them to plan a much better birth? How can we prepare them to negotiate the system? Be prepared for whatever happens?
I want to say –
- What do you want?
- What’s your instinct/intuition saying?
- How are you going to achieve it?
- No you don’t NEED to be induced
- Do you understand informed consent?
- How able are you to say NO to a health care professional (come on, let’s practice)
- Have you considered a homebirth?
- Hospital is not a prison – you can LEAVE at anytime
- Do you know your birth rights?
- What are your options????
- Have you ever considered how other mammals give birth?
- Do you know about hormones and how to get them started?
- Do you know about the birth environment?
- Does your partner feel equipped?
- Do you know how to make your choices?
- Do you know where to get information?
These are what is covered in Birth Coaching preparation – we look at all of this and address any underlying fears/anxieties/worries and focus on really building that POSITIVE mindset.
I’m not for a moment ever suggesting that we don’t need intervention whatever it may be – without a doubt, interventions do save lives! Routine interventions not looking at specific situations such as planned induction at 41 weeks – don’t and can often leave mum traumatised (I know because they are my biggest clients with birth trauma recovery).
I’d encourage all mums though to take a moment and have a think about what you actually want/need – here’s what I wish I had known about birth.
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Much love, Tricia