Preparing for Pregnancy & Birth: Top 10 Tips
1. Don't panic. You've got this... Your body knows what to do. Birth is a primal instinct. Primal = Innate = A Power Within Us. Our animal brain will kick in and know what to do.
2. Choose or Change Your Provider to one who is in alignment WITH YOU... not one YOU have to bend to their policies. A provider can be nice, have been your provider FOREVER, you feel bad leaving... all not reasons to stay
3. Get familiar with the facility "policies" so you know where you need to place your focus and energy when advocating for yourself. "Standard" policy and procedure don't always follow the most up to date, evidence based research, is out of date, irrelevant, or simply not in alignment with you... and that's ok. You do you (and keep reading!)
4. Know Your Rights... as a human. As a pregnant person. As a patient. Informed Consent also includes informed refusal. Educate yourself on benefits, risks, and alternatives... Policy is not law and you are allowed to accept or refuse ANYTHING YOU WANT.
5. Build Your Support Team. Your provider will not be with you for most of your labor. Who will be supporting you in the moments in between? How do you want to be supported? How will your team's energy impact you? Are they a good fit? Is your partner prepared for the task? Consider hiring a doula for you, and also partner support.
6. Don't Forget to Prepare the MIND! Pregnancy can be so much fun... having a shower, receiving gifts, decorating the nursery... Don't forget to do some mental and emotional housekeeping. Birth is highly physical, yet mostly a mental challenge, above all. Unblock emotions, reframe fear and anxiety NOW. You don't want unresolved emotions coming through during one of the most intense journey's of your life. Check out my PREP program for emotional processing prenatally and postpartum HERE
7. Educate Yourself. Take a childbirth education class that goes beyond "how to be a good patient," that teaches you about your body, the process, what to expect physically, mentally, emotionally, birth planning, coping & comfort, preparing for postpartum, breastfeeding, and more! Check out my educational options HERE
8. Surround yourself with POSITIVE birth stories and support. Watch natural birth videos (this also helps unblock emotions and prepare mentally), read positive stories, practice mindfulness and relaxation throughout pregnancy, take care of YOU- massage, chiropractor, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, affirmations. Check out FREE birth affirmation downloads HERE
9. Don't be afraid to set Boundaries for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. This is a sacred, special time, whether it's your first or beyond... You're allowed to protect your space when everyone suddenly becomes an expert about YOUR experience. When other's try to tell you their horror story, a simple "I'd love to hear about your experience and support you in any way. I'd also prefer to hear about it after I go through my experience, so I can stay in the proper mindset. Thank you!" When people invite themselves over postpartum, "We are not receiving visitors for the first (how may days) as we adjust to this big life change. If you'd like to leave food, gifts, notes, at the door, we appreciate your thoughtfulness and will be in touch when we are ready. Thank you for your understanding!"
10. GET EXCITED! It is my mission as a doula, to get families excited about birth again... Fear is contraindicated in birth, and actually inhibits this beautiful, natural process. It is my wish for you that you feel empowered, in control, at peace, excited, powerful, strong, and MAGICAL during this process. We are the strongest we ever will be when we are growing a human. My favorite quote sums it up:
"The female being has been chosen by the Creator to be a portal between the spiritual realm and this physical realm. The only force on Earth powerful enough to navigate unborn spirits onto this planet"