What You Don’t Know

I talk to a lot of moms, both pregnant and not.  That makes sense, right? I’m a doula.  Pregnancy, birth, and babies are my business.  I love it all and I love talking about it!  However, one of my favorites is talking to first time pregnant moms.  There is something about that first time.  It’s all new and exciting.  And scary!  I’ve heard lots of moms say they don’t even know what questions to ask.  They don’t even know where to begin.  And often their husbands feel the same.  They don’t know what they don’t know.

It’s never too early in your pregnancy to start thinking about what is best for you and your baby.  There are lots of ways to approach your pregnancy and birth.  And lots of information about all of them.  It can be very overwhelming.  There are some great resources out there.  Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Birth Boot Camp (they have an excellent online childbirth class!)
  2. Spinning Babies
  3. Dr. Sears
  4. Evidence Based Birth

When you start to educate yourself, then you will start to know what you want.  Not what your mom wants, or your care provider, but what you want.  Everyone loves to tell moms what they should do and how they should do it, but this is your choice and your family.  When you know your options and what is best for you, then your voice will start to come out.i-believe-in-your-bodys-ability-to-have-your-baby-and-in-your-ability-to-know-your-body

Another thing that is important is to build your support system.  These are the people that you turn to with your questions, concerns, and fears.  It doesn’t need to be more than just a few people.  Your partner,  your doula, your provider, or other moms.  They just need to be people you trust.

My job as a doula is not to tell you what you don’t know (although, I do have a lot of knowledge to share), but to help you find the answers you are looking for.  I will come beside you and your partner and walk this journey with you.  I trust the decisions you will make.  I trust you to know what is best for your family.  I believe in you!  We will talk about your fears and concerns. I will listen when you are having a hard day or are sick of being pregnant.  I will encourage you to listen to your body.  I will support you in any way you need.  Why? Because  I love moms, dads, babies, families.  And I know that every birth story matters.

It’s Your Birth, You Can Have Who You Want To

It’s getting close.  You have spent 9 long months growing your baby and waiting to meet him or her.  Lots  of decisions have been made.  You’ve thought about the when and the where.  Family and friends are sharing in your excitement and can’t wait to meet your little one.  You’re grateful for all the support and love, but when the big day gets here, the question remains…who do you want to be with you during the birth of your baby?

This is a conversation that I have a lot with lots of clients. They generally have a good idea of who they would like there.  The thing is, they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  They  question whether or not to set their feelings aside and choose someone they  may not feel comfortable having at the birth.  This can leave a mom feeling confused and anxious.  So, how do you decide?

In middle Georgia, you are generally allowed to have up to 3 people in the delivery room with you.  One of those people is almost always your partner.  So that leaves you with 2 people.  If you have a doula (which I highly recommend), you are now left with one.  It’s one of the most important decisions you will make.  It can be the difference between a wonderful experience and one that leaves you feeling traumatized.

Here are some things to consider when you and your partner are deciding  who to have at your birth:

*Will this person be supportive of any decisions that you make?  So often, people bring in their own views of birth and can want moms to deliver “their” way.  It’s essential that everyone in the room is there in support of mom, her partner, and the baby.

*Does this person get along with your partner?  The last thing a mom needs when she is delivering a baby is for there to be tension in the room.  The support team should be unified.  The environment should feel safe and peaceful.

*Does the mom feel safe with this person?  Birth is hard work.  Mom needs to focus on herself and her baby.  When she feels safe and secure, she can  do the work she needs to do to bring her little one into the world.

Every situation is different, and there are lots of variables.  The important thing to remember is that this is your birth.  You get to choose who is there.  Feelings might get hurt, people might not always understand.  But, this is the only time you will get to give birth to this baby.  Make it what you want it to be.  Because this birth story matters.

Better Births = Better Comunities

One of my favorite things is hearing a mom tell me her birth story and knowing that she had a great experience.  I have two children and I know how much our births impact us.  But more often than I would like, a mom will tell me that her birth was not what she wanted it to be.  She felt alone, she wasn’t heard, or she did’t feel like she had enough support.  Sometimes the couple doesn’t know that they can have a voice in how their baby comes into the world.  Or maybe no one was there to help with breastfeeding. These stories are too common in our country.

So, how do we change birth stories?  How do we help moms to have the best births possible.

We start by helping women to educate themselves.  There are so many resources out there.  Childbirth education classes like Birth Boot Camp, Lamaze, the Bradley method, or the ones at the hospitals can be an excellent way for moms to decide what type of birth they want.  We have The Woman’s Nest, where women can find all sorts of support groups and classes.  And Facebook has tons of groups for all sorts of things pregnancy, birth, and baby related.

giving-birth-should-be-your-greatest-achievement-not-your-greatest-fear

Next, we let her know that she has choices.  Which doctor or midwife to see.  Where to give birth.  Who will be her pediatrician.  She can choose what is best for her family.  And when women do that, then things will start to change.  Like hospitals now offering tubs to labor in and encouraging skin to skin after delivery.  We have to demand that we get the care  we want and deserve.

Finally, we give our moms all the support they need.  This can be cooking meals or cleaning the house after the baby is born, watching her little ones while she is having her baby, or even just listening to her voice her emotions and fears.  All to often a mom just needs to know that she is not alone.

So, how does this effect our communities.  It’s simple.  When a mom has an amazing birth, she is able to  focus on her new baby and being a mom.  As a result, we have happier and healthier moms and babies.  That makes for a happier families.  And happy families make happy communities.  It’s the ripple effect.

As a doula, I strive to give the best care to all of my clients. I give them relational and emotional support, so that they never feel alone. I support them in their decisions.  I help them get any information that they need to make the best choices for their family.  I know that by doing this I am not only helping them, I am helping the middle Georgia community.  I know that each story matters.