A Birth Map is the result of Informed Birth Preparation. It is a powerful document that works like a 'choose your own adventure', where the birthing woman is the author. It is the advance care directive of birth. It benefits woman, their partners and the Care Provider.
Knowing what to ask, and being able to ask well in advance, means freedom to explore the options. Understanding the various pathways and how they intertwine, means the power to make Informed Decisions. Section One: The Insights, gives the foundations for understanding the maternity system and your options within it.
Section Two: The Questions, takes you through each pathway (fast birth, expected and contingency). This is where the personal Birth Map is developed. The advanced care directive approach creates an 'if this, then that' series of decisions to be used by your birth team and care providers during your labour. It is your birth, your way, no matter what.
Section Three: beyond the birth, provides a reality check and helps to set up a support network for the early days of parenting. It covers preparing for siblings, 'what is normal' and breastfeeding.
An appendix gives you a glossary of medical terms, a list of recommended reading, and resources for special circumstances. The book has been designed to be written in, make notes, add affirmations, decorate it. Journal in it. There are pages dedicated to Your Birth Story.
More than 'just another birthing book', The Birth Map is linked to the free Member Area on bellabirth.org: a portal of resources and a hub of support.
When you know the questions you need to ask you can find the information you actually need and apply it to your unique circumstances.
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Catherine is a member of the Doula Network Australia
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