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.
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.