When I speak with clients or potential clients about their hopes and wishes for their birth experience, I have noticed a few recurring phrases among them:
"I really want to be able to labor the way I want to."
"I don't want anyone telling me how to birth my baby."
"I prefer no interventions and/or medication."
"I trust my body knows what to do and I don't want anyone interfering with that process."
These are just a few of the most common sentiments I hear frequently among the pregnant women I work with.
I have said it before, but I'll continue to say it again and again. Your birth experience comes down to two very important factors: Your provider and your place of birth.
As soon as you discover you are pregnant (or even before you are pregnant if you are trying to conceive), it is so important that you carefully choose your provider. Do your homework and research. Ask friends who have similar views on birth who have had babies. What did they do? Were they happy with their experience? If so, why or why not? Find out what the cesarean rate is at your hospital and what the rate is with your particular provider (if you have an OB). Do not hesitate to interview potential providers. Look at all the available options within your area. Are you open to a home birth? Do you want a midwife or obstetrician? (Do you know the difference?) Are you educated on birth and do you know your options? Get a really good education on childbirth, and finally, find a supportive, non-judgmental doula who can personally walk you through this process and help you as you determine what you want as you navigate all these very important decisions.
Remember, it's YOUR birth. You have more options than you think. :)
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.