Whilst the far majority of people plan an assisted birth for their primary pathway when creating a birth map, the benefits of considering unassisted birth are undeniable.
Regular readers of 'Bellablog' are not strangers to my feelings about preparing for unassisted birth. Whilst the far majority of people plan an assisted birth for their primary pathway when creating a birth map, including an unassisted birth pathway has many benefits.
Here are five reasons being prepared for unassisted birth is wise:
1. Knowledge is Power
When you consider the 'what if' of unplanned unassisted birth, you discover just how simple birth can be. In most cases of unplanned unassisted birth, the labour was short ('fast birth') and all was well. An understanding of cord care and placentas is useful. Understanding the biology of birth helps alleviate fears and concerns, which in turn helps you relax, which has a positive influence on how your labour and birth progresses.
2. A Relaxed and Confident Partner
In considering unassisted birth, your partner has to 'step up', and claim knowledge of birth and how best to serve you. This helps ease their fears and concerns, which means they are less likely to bring adrenaline into the birth space. Adrenaline is contagious, and will inhibit oxytocin (for more on birth hormones, see this article by Dr Sarah Buckley).
3. Fast Birth Happens!
I am sure you have heard or read about roadside births. If you are prepared for an unassisted birth, you will be better able to stay calm and simply birth. You may recognise when time has run out, and choose to stay home - safe and warm - rather than risk a panicked and speedy trip to hospital (understanding birth hormones helps).
4. Your Assisted Birth
When you claim birth knowledge, through preparing for an unassisted birth, you will find it easier to retain your power during an assisted birth. Your Birth Map pathways will contain your Informed Decisions, made through careful preparations. You will be more relaxed, and better served (see Reason 2), which has the hormonal advantage!
5. The Carry-Over Effect
The transition into parenthood can be alarming. When we prepare for unassisted birth, we gain confidence for 'unassisted parenting' (not unsupported!). This effect is positive, and is likely to reduce the chance of experiencing PND.
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