These days it’s not enough to just hope things go well for your labour. There are many factors at play when it comes to birth and putting in place a few key things can make an enormous difference to your birth and how you feel about your birth outcome.
Without a doubt, the top three things that we have seen over the years that make for a positive birth are Safety, Support and Knowledge.
When we talk about Safety, what we mean is doing whatever it takes for you to feel safe. As we are Mammals and hardwired to respond to our bodies when we don’t feel safe in our environment our bodies will often shut down or make large amounts of adrenalin to support a fight or flight mechanism, which can wither stop labour completely or make it more painful as we are on high alert.
When a woman feels safe in labour she will relax and usually allow her body to do what its designed to do. Choosing a place that you feel safe into birth makes an enormous difference, Whether that be at home, in a birth centre or in a hospital. Each woman is different and each woman has to choose what is right for her.
Support is all about feeling that team around you is on the same page as you and are invested in you achieving the birth you desire. Feeling Supported by the team around you contributes to a woman feel safe. It is imperative that you choose care providers that are aligned with what you want. If you are desiring a natural birth, but choosing to have a doctor that believes strongly in Interventions and drugs, then that is not a good fit for what you are wanting. It also applies to the people you bring with you to the birth. If you have extra support but they don’t know how to support you or bring a lot of fear to the process, then they are also not a good fit for your support team. This is where outsourcing support to a professional Doula or Midwife can be a great option, as they are very skilled at supporting labouring women.
It is so important to get educated on what birth is all about and ways to work with your body. Long gone are the days that we lived in the community and would see our cousins, sister and aunts give birth. These days the first experience of childbirth for most women is when they are in labour or if we take our information off the television, then we believe that all birth is dangerous and extremely painful. Getting some good education around birth not only helps you make choices that feel good for you but also teaches you ways to work with your body and helps to normalise the process of birth. This, in turn, alleviates fear and helps you feel more confident about the whole process.
These three key things may not guarantee the birth you want, but they will help you to feel supported to make choices that feel good for you. And when a woman feels supported and respected in birth then she often feels positive about the whole experience.