Fast Birth happens. Roadside birth may make for a good headline, but a dramatic birth is not a safe birth. Are you prepared for an unassisted birth?
First and foremost: what is meant by 'Unassisted Birth'?
Very simply, it means that there is no medical attendant. An Assisted Birth will have a midwife or doctor present, usually directing 'the show', but even if they are just quietly observing, their presence means that the birth is 'assisted'. There is usually a psychological aspect regarding the very presence of medical attendants. This can be reassuring for most women, but can be disconcerting for some.
For the few women who plan for an unassisted birth, it is not done on a whim. Those that plan to birth unassisted are usually well researched and have set up a good support around them. They have considered various scenarios and have back up plans in place. There is no formula for what this planning looks like, as it depends on the circumstances of the woman doing the planning. Just as with any birth, it is Her Birth - Her Way. This post is not about these women. It is for those who are planning for an assisted birth.
So if most women are comfortable with medical attendance, why would I propose the question:
Are you PREPARED for an Unassisted Birth?
You will have heard or read stories of roadside births, hero helpers and ambulance officers or even children 'delivering' the baby. These stories rarely mention the actual mother. And usually have some kind of statement regarding the cord (the 'dangerous' cord!).
You may have heard stories of women who have accidentally birthed at home.
For these women, and their partners, the experience can be traumatic and cause for panic.
It may make for an exciting story, but it can also leave parents in shock.
Whilst these stories are not so common, it is wise to prepare for this scenario as part of your Informed Birth Preparations. By preparing for an unassisted birth, you need to understand the normal process of birth, consider cord care, be able to recognise normal and 'not normal'. Having a plan for how to respond means less panic, less panic means a calmer and safer birth.
The great advantage of preparing for an unassisted birth, means that you have to OWN your birth. You come into your power by taking on board the responsibility and UNDERSTANDING of your birth. This has a flow-on effect for you, and your partner, so that if your expected plan is to birth with a medical attendant, you can still own your birth. You are more aware of your body and what is right for you. Your birth partner is more able to advocate for your needs, as they will also have a greater understanding of the process and will have your Birth Map on hand to guide the decision making.
I have seen the awesome effect that having a 'fast birth pathway' has on a birth overall. When your birth partner is cool, calm and collected, they release hormones that help keep you relaxed. When they are not prepared for an unassisted birth, they are more likely to release the contagious hormone, Adrenalin, which inhibits the birth process. I have seen many a birth partner go from scared and unsure about birth to confident and prepared, simply by considering this pathway.
Do yourself the honour of owning your birth, even if your expected pathway is to birth with medical attendance. Give yourself and your birth support the confidence to birth YOUR WAY.
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