By Christa VanderVelde, Doula
The average couple does more research and preparation before purchasing a new vehicle than they do before giving birth. This is understandable. With all the information available to parents, preparing for birth can be more overwhelming than magical.
As a Doula, I am passionate about helping parents sort through the information available to them and decide what is most important for birth preparation. So this month I sat down and compiled my favourite ways to prepare for your best birth.
1 – Address Your Assumptions
More important than choosing a care provider or understanding your options, (we will get there), is addressing your assumptions. Ask yourself, “What do I believe about my body?” A negative self imagine can have an enormous impact on your mental AND physical state during the birth process. Think about it – if you start with the belief that you have everything you need to birth well – it must follow that you and you alone are fit to make decisions about what is best for the health of yourself and your baby. If you were not, you must employ others to make decisions for you. This view is not only wrong, it is damaging! Take time today to look in the mirror and remind yourself of all of the great things your body does for you. Remember that just as your body knows how to grow this baby – it knows how to bring it earth side. However you decide to give birth – let it be in the confidence of your innate wisdom and ability. You have SO got this!
2 – Understand Your Options
Birth is not a one size fits all type of thing. It is a physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually transformative experience that is unique to every person. A birthing experience that was positive for one person might be traumatic for another. This can depend on life experiences, medical history, culture, religion and personality, among other things! I always encourage my clients to read books, watch videos and ask questions to better understand the different tools at their disposal.
3 – Asses your Wellbeing
Believing in your innate strength and wisdom is much easier when you get out and prove it to yourself. Consider how you are serving this marvelous body of yours with your food intake, activity level, rest and general self care. Working, studying and maintaining relationships are hard enough on their own, without the added task of growing a human being. If you haven’t yet prioritized time to better yourself, allow pregnancy to be all the motivation you need!
4 – Find Your Tribe
Whether you’re getting married, going on a trip, entering a new job or any embarking on any other life changing journey- don’t go it alone. Join a prenatal yoga studio, take a birth preparation class, find a facebook group, or whatever it is you need to do to connect with those in your community.
5 – Hire Your Birth Doula
I often get asked “If you could give one piece of advice to a birthing woman, what would it be?” This is it… “This birth journey is taking you through foreign territory. Take someone along who speaks the language.” You were not meant to do this alone!
Christa VanderVelde is a birth and postpartum doula at Two Rivers Health. If you’re expecting and have questions about how doula care can help you experience the kind of birth you want, contact us to book a complimentary doula meet-and-greet visit today.