I gave birth on my greatly estimated due date of May 7th to our beautiful 7.5 lbs baby girl. I had my husband, fabulous doula, midwife OB and nurse in the room while my family watched on facetime. My birth was such an emotional process and time but I was well prepared for it. I prepared for it 10 months prior and I can show you how you can do that too.
I had hoped for an unmedicated birth which did happen – however, I was hoping for a water birth which didn’t happen. Go back to my Brown Women Need a Birth Plan post to see what to do when unexpected things happen. Giving birth for the first time came with a lot of emotions, and they were mixed – from excitement, nervousness, slight fear and constipation. When most people find out they are pregnant, there are so many happy and positive emotions, but then they think about giving birth for the first time. The unknown is scary and all you hear are negative scary stories. But, if you are aiming for unmedicated, natural labour, you cannot live in fear and you cannot birth in fear because that will lead to unnecessary interventions, that you probably do not want. I have done a lot of preparations (mentally and physically!) when it comes to my labour and the birth of our daughter and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with all of you. Here are a few things to do when mentally preparing for unmedicated labour:
Find good stories
Instead of reading through the copious amount of horror stories that are out there, opt for good stories. There are so many of them! Search “positive birth story,” “water birth,” or “unmedicated birth” on YouTube, Instagram, or even Google and plenty of positive stories will come up. Reading through the great stories will help educate you and it will keep your headspace in the right spot.
Work through past trauma
If you are experiencing any mental blocks due to past trauma, make sure you work through those before you give birth. If you and your spouse are having disagreements, get on the same page before the baby is here.
Keep up with physical health
When you prepare mentally, you also need to prepare physically because it truly is a mind-body connection. Eat great food, get regular adjustments from a Webster certified chiropractor, and above all else, stay physically active as much as possible. Giving birth is the hardest workout you will ever do – mentally and physically – and everything you do now is in preparation for those hours.
Choose your setting wisely
Choosing your setting wisely is also important. You want to make sure that the place you go to give birth is accepting and motivating when it comes to achieving an unmedicated birth. So many hospitals out there are quick to push interventions on you, because things are not moving as quickly as THEY would like to see. So, choosing a homebirth, birth center, or an unmedicated friendly hospital is imperative for the majority of women who wish to birth without intervention. Homebirth, birth centers, and friendlier hospitals offer unique comfort resources during labor, including intermittent monitoring, hot showers, the ability to eat and drink whatever you want, the ability to cry/puke/poop without feeling judged, REAL privacy and deep, luxurious pools of water made just for labor to help you relax. Regardless of how crunchy or natural-childbirth-friendly your doctor or midwife is, if they are going to deliver your baby at a hospital that is not equipped to support your unmedicated labor, your chances of being successful at unmedicated birth are very small. In Atlanta, there are only two hospitals that I know of that support unmedicated water births: the hospital where I am going to and N Fulton Hospital. Both are great choices! Make sure you also ask the hard questions such as:
Do you offer water birth? Do you offer labor in water? Can I bring my own pool? Do you offer intermittent monitoring? How does your intermittent monitoring policy actually work (do you use dopplers for heart tones, or do you require multiple NSTs?) Do you have birth balls or peanut balls? Are you supportive of me using a doula for labor support? Do you offer family-centered Cesarean in the case I need a C-Section? Will you let me take my placenta home?
More than the safety of you and your delivery, you also want to make sure that the home you come back to is a safe haven as well. If you also have a business to take care of, that needs to be taken care of and protected, as well, so that you don’t have to worry about it. Whether you live in a house, townhome, or apartment, your home needs to be a place where you can comfortably rest your brain with no worry of the outside world. Especially with a newborn, you want to ensure the best for your delicate prize. Our apartment came equipped with an alarm for all doors and windows, but we also have a back porch that is over to the masses. With the back door being exposed to all the elements, finding a cover for our security was something we needed and then we found Criterion Technology, Inc. 100% made in the USA with over 30 years of experience, Criterion Technology is the industry leader of the highest quality clear component parts moulded out of polycarbonate, acrylic, and exclusive optical grade nylon. Criterion does injection molding in the USA like optical domes and enclosures that provide excellent coverage and protection for high-definition cameras up to the latest 4k camera technology. These protection domes are great for weather protection, burglar protection, and more. These are ideal for protecting your security so that you can rest easy.
How great is that? There is no use in buying an expensive security system if you are not going to invest in protecting in. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this year with a little help from Criterion Technology, Inc.