It is important to recognize that no labor is the same. Every woman’s experience is different and that’s what makes childbirth an incredibly unique experience for each family.
In 2019, before the arrival of the new royal baby Archie, it was reported that Meghan Markle would be breaking royal tradition by hiring a birthing partner. Reports announced that she would hire a birthing partner to give her “emotional support” during the birth of her first baby to Prince Harry. Birth and postnatal doulas belong to a well-established organization in the UK and give support not just to the mother but to the whole family during pregnancy, birth, and the early weeks with a new baby. Every family’s choice will be different and expectant mothers should always consider all of their options and go with what feels right for them. Would you consider hiring a doula during your pregnancy and/or childbirth?
Preparing for labor can be a scary time for lots of women. The unknown is where a lot of our fears stem from so it’s no wonder why labor can seem frightening. Hormones are off-balance for many women also during pregnancy so the different emotions we experience in the lead-up to childbirth can be equally overwhelming.
Let’s start with the point that no two births are the same. Understand your options and do some basic research, but do not get too hung up on another woman’s birthing story. You want to feel in control and less worried about what is to come, so try to avoid comparison.
Birth plans… but knowing they might not go to plan
It’s important to prepare and plan for the kind of birth you want and consider your options. Things like water births and pain relief will be on your notes which should help you feel more organized and clear about what to expect. It is also just as important to understand that it might not play out as you have planned and to be open to change and complications on the day.
Taking care of your emotions
The fears and worries that women are presented with during pregnancy and the lead-up to labor is very common. Talking about your feelings, writing them down, taking the time to be open and honest about your worries are the first steps to overcoming them. Taking time and being kind to yourself is really important so you are able to be your best self when you birth your baby.
Deep breathing exercises
Breathing exercises help to strengthen deep core muscles in the pelvic floor and can help to decrease lower back pain. Deep breathing is also relaxing and stress-relieving, and any time you can take to concentrate on your breathing can be hugely beneficial to you in the lead-up to childbirth.
Your birthing partner
When you have chosen who your birthing partner will be–although they won’t be a professional who specializes in emotional support–opening up to them, and most importantly, communicating with them will help you both mentally prepare for labor. They will be your biggest supporter during labor so it’s important you are open and honest; they will be able to help you in any way they can.
Thanks to guest blog writer, Amelia Cunningham.