Worry is sort of in the Mom job description. But worry is like piles of clutter – engaging precious space where we wish there was something more beautiful.
Space better used for: Positive thoughts about what we want (Part 2 of this series, click here), gratitude for what we already have (Part 3 of this series) and the facts (Part 1, right here!) – so we can make informed decisions about our care and our babies’ care.
Being prepared is a great way to nip worry in the bud. And one part of being prepared for birth is to gather the facts.
Understand what routines and interventions are usual at hospitals in your area.
Check out this post by a fellow doula to see how things look for your area in Sweden. Even if you don’t read Swedish. The map graphic plus a little help from Google translate should get you really far.
Determine your desires before you go into labor.
You really don’t want to be in labor reflecting on the pros and cons of a particular intervention. Do your homework, but don’t just “Google it”.
Ensure the information you are reading is evidence based. The Cochrane Library is a great place to read the current research. There’s also some great books out there including “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth”, by Henci Goer and The Complete Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Penny Simkin (and a few other authors too.)
Facebook forums (I’ve named a few in previous posts, like this popular one) can be a great place to get in discussions about everything on your mind and get lots of great information as well as hear people’s experiences and opinions.
Do your research on what interests you. Check the references on articles you find.
You have mother’s intuition. Trust it!
Then discuss your desires with your birth team.
Write your birth preferences and bring three copies.
I use the word “preference” as opposed to “plan”. You have your vision of birth, your baby has it’s agenda and the hospital has it’s routines and timeline. With your preferences written out, you are more easily able to reference what you have discussed.
I always bring extra copies of my clients’ preferences in my doula bag. I find while the first midwife and assistant often read them, subsequent teams may not. Good to have some to hand out and a copy to point to.
Embrace a few questions.
Once you enter the hospital you are on their schedule and they have routines and interventions that happen at certain time intervals. You are the customer however and can ask questions about your care.
Moms need to be birthing, so a birth partner is the perfect person to pose questions like, “Is this routine or do you recommend this in our case?” And, “Is it ok if we wait an hour? We’d prefer not to rush things.”
Bring your B.R.A.I.N. to birth.
When considering a routine or invention you can look at these five things:
B – Benefits
A – Alternatives
I – Instinct
N – do Nothing (what if we “do nothing” and just wait).
More information! More preparation!
If you are looking for more information and preparation please check out my prenatal classes here.
And more mighty resources!
Födelsehuset is a super resource for everything about empowering women in birth. Films, speakers, workshops! They exist in Stockholm, Göthenburg, Halland and Skåne. Find the one near you! On Facebook you can find them here:
Födelsehuset Public Group
Share your favorite resource for great information on birth in the comments below! Thanks!