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Having An Authentic And Informed Birth

losing control

Yielding In Labor

The way a mother feels after giving birth is important. Does she feel that she was safe? Did she feel like she was losing control, or completely in control? Did everyone respect her, and her wishes? Was she informed of what was happening in her body, with her medical decisions, and with her baby? Did she feel like she was in control? Did she feel encouraged? In a room full of people, did she feel like she was alone, or like everyone was on her team?

This Wasn’t In the Birth Plan

I am a fan of birth plans because I like to know that the parents are envisioning having their baby in their arms. I enjoy seeing their confidence in making decisions for themselves based on their preferences. I love their enthusiasm to do research and be well versed in the birth lexicon. They begin labor with the certainty that labor is not something that just happens to them, but something they are active participants in.

Sometimes birth plans change out of a change of heart or mind. Or a medical necessity. We know that there are a wide array of personality types. Some people are sort of go with the flow people. Other people want things to go exactly the way they plan. There is nothing wrong with either person. However, if you have a firm plan for labor, and that changes, I’d love to know that you were still the director of the show.

Losing Control During Labor

It is hard to peacefully and happily birth your baby when you feel like you are losing control of your body, your mind, your emotions, or the course you are on. Usually the feeling of losing control comes from a fear of what others think. You’re afraid to speak up, to make noise, or to cry. When you are in labor, you are center stage. Literally, the big light is pointed at you.

Authentic Labor – Be True To Yourself

I think yielding to your authentic self in labor is a useful comfort measure for labor because it means that you are unyielding to external pressures. If you trust your medical provider, your birth partner, your doula, and your family, that is amazing. But do you trust yourself? Do you trust your baby to know what to do? Do you trust your body? If you don’t trust your body, how can we help you to build a relationship with it before baby joins you?

YOU Are Right

Even if this is the first time, I want you to know that you are right.

If your doctor wants to do an episiotomy, I want you to know that it is right for you. I’m not saying that an episiotomy is right. I’m saying that I want you to make informed choices so that whatever happens, it is right, because you choose it or did not choose it. I’m also not saying that I don’t think the doctor is right.

I’m saying that, if there is time, and no one is in danger, I want you to ask questions, and make a decision that are right for you. If you are not given a choice because someone is trying to save your baby’s life, please do not be discouraged. Women talk to themselves a lot in labor and their self talk is either negative or positive.

Negative Self Talk In Labor

I would love for you to try to think positively. Things like, “This was not in my plan. I am deciding to change the plan. I feel safe in allowing the plan to change. I feel scared or uncertain, but I trust in this decision. I am in control. I am the one making decisions here.”

When you are in labor, you are not just a body. You are a person with emotions, fears, and thoughts.

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