Birth Preparation – YAY!
Preparing for your birth can be so overwhelming. Unmedicated, epidural, cesarean: we can all agree that we want to know all the information we can get our hands on. You want the best experience you can dream of. Everything to go smoothly and have a healthy baby. Everything to be perfect. Is that possible for every one of us? Probably not. BUT there are so many preparations you can do that make such a HUGE impact on the outcome.
Today I wanted to share some of the support that will do WONDERS for the preparing of your birth, as well as, during and after labor and delivery. Four things that make a big impact: doulas, birthing classes, fellow supporters, and books (sometimes even movies). I wrote about some material that helped me with my first birth in this blog.
In my opinion, Doulas are necessary for any birth experience. When things don’t go perfectly, doula’s are your bonus cheerleaders alongside your husband and family. Doula’s are solely there to support and guide you through your labor and postpartum. My midwife requires all first time moms to have a doula. As a first time mom, everything is literally foreign. I had absolutely no idea how a contraction felt, what active labor would be like, what sort of outcome my birth would be, how well my baby would latch so I could nurse, how the healing process would be. Literally no idea. Doula’s help you through the unknown. They help encourage your husband and attending family who may start to worry when things don’t seem quite right or hours have gone by and everyone is tired. I see the extreme importance of what a doula does now that I have experienced an unmedicated birth. Unmedicated births especially need a doula; in or out of the hospital. If you truly desire to have an unmedicated birth, you need all the support. Labor is hard, but so empowering.
My mom played doula for me. She had 5 of her children without epidurals (the other 2 were cesareans) so I knew she would be my biggest cheerleader and help me through. Plus she has attended all of her daughters births before mine, so I knew she would encourage my desires through the end.
I also had so many self pep talks that unless death was on the line, I would not give in. Talk about extreme inconvenience for giving in and having to travel to a hospital to finish it out. In my opinion, with the high statistics of successful unmedicated home births, if you are determined to have an unmedicated birth you want to consider having your baby outside of the hospital. I believe there is so much more motivation when alternatives are not with a push of a button.
Birthing classes, nursing classes, postpartum classes. Anything you can get your hands on to help your experience and transition be a little easier. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by a mom, mother in law, sisters(3), sister in laws(5) who are experienced birthers and nursers haha! I’m fully aware that very rarely do other expectant and new moms have that sort of support, therefore it is so important to find your supportive community. Community that can give advice, support, and a listening ear when you need it. Sometimes becoming a new mom can get so lonely. Unless you have someone close to you that had a baby within days that you did, you feel like nobody else is going through what you are going through. Finding a class with other moms in the same season as you can be so affective in your labor and postpartum journey.
This goes along with the community you will have by attending a birthing class, but you still want your friends and family to be a part of your community. If you do things different from the rest of the world, prepare yourself with the crazy looks you’ll receive from people around you. I am 100% fine with any response or look I receive, because I know that my pregnancy/birth path and outcome turned out exactly the way I wanted and I have zero regrets or concerns about the decisions I made for myself and my family. The only thing I can suggest to those who may struggle with others questioning your decision or desires: find some information that lines up with your intentions to educate those you love that whether they agree or not, you really just want their love and support of your own personal decisions and to not express any negative concerns that could cause you to question yourself. It’s almost like when your pregnant and everyone wants to touch your belly. If that makes you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to let them know. It goes hand in hand with making your personal decision of how you want your birth plan to be.
Lets pause for a second.
I feel like I’m preaching again haha. I’m not sorry I am though. These topics are something you don’t want to take lightly. In our last prenatal session we talked about support. My midwife has seen all the spectrums and she sees the effect it has on the expecting moms. It breaks my heart into pieces when I hear expecting moms talk about how they gave up because they didn’t have the support or information to help the situation and they gave up on something they had so much desire to achieve. I don’t know what truly attributes to postpartum depression because I don’t feel that I experienced it, but I can imagine that failure to achieve what you thought birth and motherhood would look like doesn’t help the situation. I believe as an expecting mother I need to be on purpose to find information and a community that supports me. As much as we want to find that support and information from our doctors, I see so many sadly disappointed women who feel lost when labor and delivery come and they don’t know what is happening or will happen through the process.
Okay now that we all know I’m preaching, lets proceed.
In the link above referring to the previous post I wrote about some information that helped me through my first birth, I referred the book “Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin. Still love this book and 100% recommend you read this. The book is broken up into two sections: Personal birth stories from women & how to prepare for birth and some statistics of home births. I can’t even begin to describe the motivation that book gave me. I have read some of it this pregnancy. Not as much as I would like, but having a toddler running around doesn’t leave me with as much free time to sit and read.
Also, my midwife has given us some new reading material this go around so I’ve been reading more of those. My midwife, Carolyn, wrote a guide book that lays out several things: a nutrition guide that breaks down protein of most foods, topics for each prenatal session, and prenatal care throughout your pregnancy.
Alongside her guide book, she had us order Mama Natural’s “Pregnancy & Childbirth” Week to week guide. Genevieve Howland is so relatable and funny! Each new week of pregnancy you can see what is new with baby that week, whats going on with your body, a recipe, and other helpful information. It is written out in such a cute format, you just want to keep reading. I feel like I can relate to her so much, because growing up I didn’t care about nutrition or safe products and then I became aware of some of the toxins that we put into and use on our bodies everyday, therefore I’m striving to be “A little more natural”. She had a similar revelation and realized how important health was and strived towards a healthier lifestyle so of course when she became pregnant she wanted to be natural through her pregnancy and with her kids. She relates things in 21st century text and I love it!
Those are my three books that I’m using this pregnancy and I know you will enjoy them too. My midwife’s book isn’t for resale, but the other two are must have’s for pregnant mama’s.
This was a lengthy informative post but for those who are planning children, currently pregnant, or in the postpartum stages I hope this helps!
Photography by: 2b Photography LLC
Im currently 24 weeks so I feel like this post is getting so real as I prepare for my second birth. Even being my second time, it’s still a little scary to think about. Probably even more scary since I know a little more of what to expect. We go next week for our next prenatal session and the amount of sessions I have left are so few which makes it seem even more real! Im only 4 weeks away from my 3rd trimester which seems crazy!! Baby girl has popped out and does not want to be hidden anymore. I have no more nausea or dizziness anymore praise the LORD! She is very active these days. Her favorite time to have a kicking party is around 4 A.M. Anytime I try to get Joel or Kate to feel her she immediately stops moving. I can definitely tell getting up and down takes a little more effort haha. No waddling yet, but definitely feeling the growing pains. Kate is all about her baby sister. She kisses & hugs my belly, talks to her and tells her how much she loves her. We start this week with the transition of rooms. Moving Kate into her play room and personalizing the nursery to our next little girl. I’ll be sharing updates and before & afters on my Instagram.
24 week bump!