Birth: Know Your Options
"I don't really want an epidural, but my friend says I won't be able to do it without one."
"My mom wants to be in the room, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that."
"My doctor offered to induce me at 39 weeks, but I might want to wait until I go into labor on my own."
"I love the idea of a water birth, but I don't know if my local hospital will let me do that.
As doulas, we hear statements like these from almost every pregnant woman we speak with. "I want this, but someone else says otherwise." or "Someone is telling me I need to go this route, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that." Allow us to clarify- we’re not speaking of necessary medical procedures that a doctor is recommending. These quotes are all based on different options and choices involved with labor.
There are many parts of pregnancy and labor that we have very little control over. But sometimes we get so caught up in the 'lack of control' that we take a back seat to our own pregnancy. We throw our hands up and say, "It is what it is." We allow others to make decisions for us or to push us in a direction that doesn't feel right. We set our dreams and our wishes and our hopes aside because we don't see the options and choices that we have.
Do YOU a favor.
Grab your keys (Or dig them out of the bottom of your overflowing purse) and put your behind in its rightful place... The driver's seat of this pregnancy.
Where would you like to give birth? Are you most comfortable in a hospital or does being in your own home sound more appealing to you? Is there a birth center in your area that you can tour?
What type of provider is the best fit for you? Is there an OB/GYN that comes highly recommended? Are you interested in seeing a Midwife? Are you wanting a provider who focuses on the more medical end or someone more naturally minded?
What type of support do you think you'll want during delivery? How does your spouse/partner handle medical situations? Do you want other members of your family or friends present? Have you considered hiring a doula to support you?
What comfort measures appeal to you? Are you aware of different positions that can assist in labor? Do you have someone who can assist with accupressure? Are you considering medication for pain relief? Does water sound like a good option for you? Are you planning to use a specific childbirth method- like Hypnobirthing?
The decisions you make will have a direct impact on your Birth Story. Be informed. Know your choices. A childbirth class taught by someone familiar with local policies and procedures is an excellent way to start.