Birth! Why Not Wing It?
Expecting a new baby is so exciting especially if it’s your first time around. You have 9 entire months to grow this new little one and during this time, we usually spend most of it preparing for the new arrival. We read countless baby books and spend hours searching the internet. We purchase cribs, cute little newborn clothes and of course lots of diapers! We want the best and safest car seats and strollers that our sweet lil monkeys will just LOVE to ride along in. We dream of what it will be like being a new mother and start building the vision of bringing our beautiful babies home, to begin our new life as a family.
For most first timers though, the thought of actually giving birth seems to be either terrifying, misunderstood or really undervalued in the sense that its simply viewed as a physical experience in which you receive a child vs. the complete breakdown of the women, who is only to rise again as a strong, capable new Mother! Instead of looking into the birth process with the same dreamy fairy tale that we do a newborn baby, we tend to just push it off to the side with the idea that, it will just happen and everything will be okay. That’s accurate right? You just show up at the hospital. The busy nurses and your wonderful husband, who most likely has never actually attended a birth before in his life, will have all the time in the world to help take care of everything you may need during your labour. Supporting you through every contraction and before you know it you will be snuggling your sweet new born! Right?!?!
I love talking with expectant parents especially first timers but when I do,I sometimes hear this same idea which is almost always said in a semi panicked or nervous tone “Well I’m just going to wing it!” or “I’m just going to see what happens and roll with it”. With no previous birth experience, and most likely having only heard somewhat traumatic birth stories from the women surrounding them, who can blame them for feeling this way? Maybe it’s more like, if they don’t “plan” for it, they won’t feel let down? I think there is a few key things that most women don’t realize when it comes to their up coming birth that, can ultimately change things from the dream fairy tale to a somewhat negative or even traumatic experience in a real hurry…
#1 Just how intense labour can be! Birth is normal of course but, boy is it a lot of work and can change in a hurry. When you don’t have anything to compare it to, you don’t really realize that it’s something that completely takes over your entire body. For most, the feeling of losing control can be terrifying. Having a calm, supportive female such as a Doula who really trusts birth, believes in your abilities and can help you through every contraction by easily making suggestions to help you cope, is priceless! It’s not as scary when you aren’t feeling alone.
#2 Hospital protocols. You usually aren’t thinking about, what showing up to the hospital in labour will really be like. Hearing all the noises, answering ALL the questions, meanwhile you are in active labour at this point!!! Trying to stay calm and relaxed may be easier said than done without extra support and planning ahead.
#3 INTERVENTONS! Of course this is the biggest thing on the list. When you go into your birth with the “wing it” idea, you are completely unaware of your choices, uniformed about possible side affects or negative outcomes of a certain medication or procedure. Your birth can quickly go from, “I’m going to go with the flow” to the all so common cascade of interventions that so often leads to an unwanted “emergency” C Section!!!
There is a BIG difference between being “informed and open minded” and just “winging it!”
When I talk to moms about their birth plans, and I hear the fear in the back of their throat as I begin to explain the importance of planning for it, I always remind them that information is POWER! My goal is to provide my clients with the information they need so they can feel strength in the choices they will HAVE to make for their self and their baby at some point during labour. There is no right or wrong way to have a baby. It always comes down to making informed decisions that work best for your family at the given time.
I want to help the women I work with avoid being in a position looking back and asking themselves, “If I had only known, would I have made the same choice? ”
So, if you are pregnant right now and are on the fence about making a birth plan or hiring a doula, consider giving it more thought. Your birth is something that changes you completely and stays with you for the rest of your life. So I really encourage you to work towards letting go of the fear and really embrace what is just around the corner. The more you educate yourself now, the higher your chances are of walking away from your birth with the amazing, powerful and positive experience that it is truly designed to be! You will be amazing!