Getting clear on what supports you to feel calm and relaxed can support you to have a better birth with less chance of medical intervention.
EVERYTHING LOOKS soooo cute when it’s tiny and new doesn’t it? It’s sooooo easy to get carried away with minuscule vests and teeny-tiny nappies and tiny socks and tiny e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that makes your heart swell with joy when you’re having a baby.
It’s so tempting to plan all the stuff that you CAN SEE because that’s a really easy measure as to how well it’s coming together. What colour will the nursery be, what type of sling or pram is best, what’s the best steriliser or baby monitor? All of this stuff is ‘acceptable’ and relatively safe chat in that people have opinions but they aren’t usually heated, and if buy the ‘wrong one’ you just get another.
That stuff doesn’t feel stressful even though there’s lots of it – it’s massively exciting and don’t you love a good splurge and seeing it all take shape? Christmas is a bit like this too. We dream of sitting by a cosy fire with the presents all wrapped up glistening under the tree lights, but we rarely plan enough time to go shopping with a clear list and ultimately find ourselves in the queue on December 24th wondering how it came to this (admit it, it’s happened to you at least once, and chances are you’ve had at least 10 christmases as a semi-responsible adult to know what you need to do to be ‘ready’!!)
The tiny, cute stuff is where most mums-to-be like to hang out because it makes it easier to IMAGINE a baby in your arms when they’re already part of your day to day life and that’s really important, but what about birth itself? What about the physical and emotional side of it – pre and postpartum. It can feel a bit more scary. We’ve heard stuff from friends, we’ve seen their tired faces and how much their entire world SHIFTS as soon as the baby boss is born. It’s unpredictable; you just don’t know how you’ll feel until you’re in it (at which point you have quite a bit on your hands).
Favouring only the cute and cuddly isn’t going to support you so well in the long run. Fast forward 30 years, can you imagine saying ‘oh that pram was just the best’ or ‘that baby blue colour in the nursery was amazing’. You’ll remember how YOU FELT, the SUPPORT you did or didn’t have, the PEOPLE who walked by your side and championed you to keep going when your nipples were cracked or sleep regression kicked in, and Christmas adverts made you cry (more than usual).
Think about birth prep in terms of getting married. Unless you’re on a reality TV show you don’t plan a huge big glam wedding without carefully choosing who you are marrying.
The fancy dress and flowers and venue – all that stuff is the fun part, but your husband or wife? They’re hopefully in for the long game, and that’s what makes your wedding amazing; the love that you actively share. In a decade you might not even be in regular contact with most of your wedding guests – they are important, but not THE most important.
Lovely, if you want to sleep better, enjoy your pregnancy, feel more calm and relaxed in the run up to birth and increase your chances of a better birth please please bite the bullet and do your birth prep. YOU will feel so much better when you understand what is happening in your body and how best to support it to do its thing.
- When you know your birth preferences and decide on a plan it starts to become more real = less shock when it is real!
- When your birth partner knows what’s expected of them they will step up (uncertainty = no help) to support you.
- Everyone has a ‘dream birth’ in their mind. If on the day that one can’t happen then knowing your second and third choices in advance takes the stress out of it. You’re informed and know what to expect. You have the information you need to make good choices for you and your baby.
- Education: arming yourself with information and wisdom gives you a voice. When you don’t understand the lingo you can’t ask for what you want; it’s harder to speak up for yourself because you have no foundation to base your questions on.
- A curveball (suggestion of unexpected medical intervention for example) can put you into shock which makes you more likely to follow the person who displays authority – whilst your caregivers are there to ‘care for you’ they are also there to meet targets and manage patient flow. It’s good for you to know how best to question what you’re being told and have the final say.
- Whilst absolutely no-one can guarantee you your perfect birth you are far more likely to have it when you are mentally, emotionally and physically prepared.
- You want your baby to be born into love, not fear; when you are prepared you are far more likely to pick them up with calm, loving arms. Being calm and relaxed throughout labour can help your body to do what it needs to do with less risk of unnecessary medical intervention to ‘move things along.’
- Being prepared stops you terrorising yourself with worry thoughts because you are using your time far more effectively.
Ready to move away from the devil of doubt? Bite the bullet and prepare for birth. You’ll be thrilled you did!