Why do I keep harping on about Informed Birth Preparation?
Because I am on a Mission :
To provide all women with the means to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancy care, labour, birth and parenting.
This matters because the current maternity system does not encourage women to own,
trust or actively participate in their birthing.
How we experience birth matters, because it stays with us for a life time.
Women and their partners are at their most vulnerable AND most powerful when pregnant,
giving birth and parenting.
Informed Birth Preparation helps a woman find Her Way and then make the choices to ensure she receives the care she needs. You wouldn't book an independent midwife for a planned c section, and likewise you don't need an obstetrician if you are planning a natural birth, and of course there are the many options in between.
Informed Birth Preparation starts with the general considerations, such as:
It can take many weeks to go through this, the earlier you start thinking about it, the better: trying to conceive? get the guide!.
Once you have set the scene, take time to explore each stage of labour:
What are the standard procedures?
What are your options?
Where do you need to provide consent?
Based on your expectations, you develop a BIRTH MAP that reflects your needs.
What makes you feel safe and cared for?
The next step is to consider deviations from expectation.
The contingency planning is vital.
You do not want to make on the spot decisions. You want to make informed ones.
This part of the guide is not about creating fear, but alleviating it.
Knowledge is power.
Once you have your plans sorted, it is important to relax.
You are now Informed, Supported and Confident.
At this point, you may want to have a 'gathering of support'.
Unlike a baby shower, this focuses on supporting the family, relaxing the mother to be, and paving the way for a positive transition. I recommend filling the freezer with meals!
I encourage parents to think beyond the birth, to set up their 'village' and know where to find support.
And then, after baby arrives, take a moment to write down the Birth Story.
A story that is an ending, and a beginning...
Informed Birth Preparation means your support team is onside, no matter what.
Many partners love the 'if this, then that' approach, it gives a map to follow and refer to.
Informed. Prepared. Confident.
This matters to all of us because the well being of Mothers is the well being of babies, of children and of Society.
Find out more at www.bellabirth.org and join the bellabirth community.
Yours in informed Birth Planning
Selected Articles by Catherine
around the web:
birth without fear
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