We sure do like to throw the word AMAZING around over here at Birth Boot Camp. Perhaps you’ve noticed? As we begin a new year, we thought it might be a good idea to take a few minutes to dive into the reasons why we love this word.
First, we really do believe that birth can be an amazing experience – even a life changing one. Obviously, it’s amazing because you are getting a new little human in your life. That alone will change your life! But it’s more than that.
Preparing for birth is an opportunity to learn new things, including:
- The process of birth
- The questions to ask your care provider
- How to advocate for yourself
- It’s a time of growth and self realization
- Learn how to relax your body and your mind
- Grow closer to your partner through conversations and activities you’ve never done before
Your childbirth educator will guide you through the list above. If you haven’t signed up for a class yet, you can find an in-person class through our instructor directory, or even better, sign up for one of our comprehensive online birth classes!
Second, birth is about you. Believe it or not, during labor you’ll actually forget about the baby. You will reach down deep inside yourself and find out how strong you are. The more you have prepared, the easier this will be. You’ll know where to go, so to speak. And your partner will actually be helpful.
Sadly, so many women skip this preparation. They sign on for the epidural before they are even in labor. Now, if you think you may want an epidural, that’s fine, but don’t let that “security” cause you to skip the preparation. Again, pregnancy is an opportunity for growth – literally and figuratively. And you have 9 months to prepare! Don’t wait till the last minute.
Understanding what is happening in the labor room is empowering for both partners. It makes you an active participant. There is a very real possibility that mom will not be communicating much with staff, but dad will be, and because he is prepared, he’ll be able to ask good questions and make informed decisions. Believe it or not, women will usually do whatever they are told to do in active labor. Decision making during active labor is very difficult. Again, this is why good preparation is so important.
Let’s talk about doulas for just a moment and their role in your birth. Our tagline for our doula program is “Amazing Support for Births.” They are well trained to help you have an amazing experience. It’s comforting to have a member of your birth team working with you before, during, and after the birth. Nurses come and go, and generally, you’ll see your midwife or OB even less. But your doula will be with you constantly. We often refer to a doula as a translator in the birth room.
If things don’t go the way they had planned or hoped, most couples find that they understand things as they are unfolding. (The doula is helpful in this, too.) They are able to make informed decisions about interventions, medications, or even surgery. After the fact, couples who were prepared before birth tend to process well after the birth. They are less likely to speak or think negatively about their experience. In fact, most prepared couples will still describe their birth as “amazing” even when things didn’t go the way they had planned.
Birth can be a lot of things – euphoric, difficult, peaceful, or powerful. There’s no crystal ball to know exactly what to prepare for so preparing yourself on all levels – physically, mentally, and emotionally – is important. There are many factors to having an amazing birth, but preparation is key. No one ever regrets preparation!
The word “amazing” can encompass a lot of situations surrounding birth, even hard ones. The experience, overall, is amazing and yes, life changing. Our goal at Birth Boot Camp is to help couples have an amazing experience – one where they feel educated, empowered, and supported.
Written By BBC Founder Donna Ryan