Birth is often feared instead of respected but there are things you can do to increase the likelihood a positive birthing experience.
When I was pregnant, I had a woman tell me she didn’t have children because she feared the pain of giving birth.
Now, I’m not going to lie. I had a natural birth and it was painful.
But here is what you should know…
A painful experience doesn’t mean your experience has to be negative. Many women experience painful and positive birthing experiences and you can too.
Instead of focusing on the pain of childbirth, find ways to invest in a positive birth experience.
6 WAYS TO INVEST IN A POSITIVE BIRTHING EXPERIENCE
1. Educate yourself
As women, we often prepare for major events in our lives with immense attention given to each detail. From prom to house buying, we do our homework. Yet when it comes to childbirth we don’t invest in education.
This is unfortunate because childbirth and pregnancy is one of the few areas we never get lessons on in a formal setting, prior to our own experience.
Childbirth education isn’t a luxury. There are free and inexpensive classes, books, podcasts, blogs, and even social media accounts that all provide valuable information on childbirth.
2. Choose the right prenatal care team
Your birth philosophy matters. Finding a team of prenatal medical professionals with beliefs that align with your own is essential to a positive birthing experience.
For example, if having an intervention-free birth is your goal, choosing a doctor with a 90% cesarean rate may not be ideal. Instead, seek out providers (midwives, nurses, doctors) that support intervention-free birth practices.
3. Consider hiring a doula
Doulas are trained to support women before, during, and shortly after childbirth. Their support is non-medical and often comes in the form of emotional support, comforting touch, and education. Their goal is to ensure you have the best possible outcome and a positive birthing experience.
Some believe investing in a doula is a luxury service; however having someone in the room solely focused on helping the birthing mom has been shown to have a positive impact on birth outcomes (Resource).
4. Create a pregnancy plan
We’ve all heard of the birth plan but planning for a positive birth experience starts long before you actually give birth.
Think about the pregnancy you want to have.
- If you want a healthy pregnancy, then it is beneficial to heed the advice of your prenatal medical provider and eat well, rest, and be active.
- If you want a stress-free pregnancy you’ll want to plan for maternity leave and other financial considerations.
- If you want a mindful pregnancy you’ll want to plan time for meditation, journaling, and other mindful activities.
- If you want a non-toxic pregnancy you’ll want to have a plan for removing harmful products from your environment.
None of these things just happen, you need a plan. A plan that covers all nine months can support a calm, worry-free birthing experience. Stay tuned for a full post on developing a nine month birth plan.
5. Believe in yourself
You are fully capable. Fear often comes from lack of confidence and lack of confidence is often a result of lack of preparedness.
If you’ve educated yourself, surrounded yourself with support, and created plans for your pregnancy and birth, there is no reason you should feel insecure about giving birth.
Trust your body and trust the support team you put around you.
6. Surrender to the process
Birth plans make us feel more comfortable and are tools for communicating our desires to medical and support staff but our children don’t respond to our plans.
While plans are valuable, it’s important to understand that not everything will go to plan and most likely, you will need to surrender to the process.
Your birth experience is unlikely to be completely free of pain but it can still be positive. And beyond just having a positive experience, I hope that anyone reading this has an empowering experience.
In my experience, the joy of motherhood is worth every bit of pain experienced giving birth.
Did you recently give birth? If so, what did you do to help prepare yourself for a positive birthing experience?