While labor and childbirth can be intense or even painful, there’s no reason your birth experience has to be a negative one. In fact, we believe that birth can be a positive experience when approached with the right mindset. Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes that your body was built to handle. And when you choose the right birth plan and care team, your birth experience can be positive and full of joy.
1. Learn And Prepare
You’ll never know all there is to know about childbirth, but you should put in some time learning about the process and how you can engage in it. Pregnancy and childbirth are natural, and your body will know what to do. However, you should still do some preparation so you know what you want your birth experience to be like.
Look into different labor techniques, pain management options, and prenatal therapies you might benefit from. Just be sure to run everything by your midwife to make sure it’s safe and healthy for you and your baby. You may also benefit from group prenatal classes led by a certified nurse-midwife. These classes will help you become an active participant in managing your pregnancy and your birth plan.
2. Make A Birth Plan
Use the knowledge you gained from tip #1 and decide what type of birth experience you desire. Then write a birth plan laying out your desires and preferences for childbirth. A birth plan includes:
- The people you want in the delivery room
- Your preferences for pain relief
- Delivery preferences on cord clamping, cord blood donation, etc
- Outlining back-up plans
- The type of care you want your newborn to receive
- Your preferences for postpartum care, including medication preferences
3. Choose The Right Birth Partner & Care Team
Who you have in the delivery room can contribute to your birth experience in a big way. Choosing a birth partner is an important part of determining your birth plan. For many people, choosing this person is easy, as it is their significant other and/or co-parent. However, some people need to choose another partner such as a parent, sibling, or good friend. They can provide vital support and get you through the tough moments.
It’s also crucial that you choose the right care team to help you deliver your baby. Make sure you are comfortable with the medical professionals that are helping you through this process. Many women prefer to have a midwife as part of the team because they tend to focus on birth as a natural process and provide more holistic care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), midwifery is associated with lower rates of intervention during labor and improved outcomes.
4. Keep Your Body Strong
One of the biggest things you can do to have a positive birth experience is to prepare your body for birth as much as possible. This includes staying active to keep your body strong as well as eating a balanced diet that fuels you and gives you energy. You may also want to ask your midwife or care provider whether you would benefit from things like perineal massage or seeing an osteopath and having your pelvis, ligaments, and spine aligned (some people believes this improves the alignment of the baby, but you should ask your care provider for a recommendation on this).
5. Focus On The Positive
If you want to have a positive birth experience, then you need to put some energy into practicing positivity. Throughout the pregnancy, try to focus on the positive things (even though you will have things to complain about) and avoid people who want to share negative birthing stories. Surround yourself with positivity and listen to women who have stories about positive experiences. Focus on the excitement of getting to meet your baby at the end of the pregnancy journey.
The Certified Nurse-Midwives of City of Oaks Midwifery provide comprehensive and holistic care to their patients in the Raliegh, NC area. We want you to have the best possible birth experience. Call (919) 351-8253 to schedule an appointment or to find out more about our prenatal group care with our Circle of Life and Learning program.
*During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still seeing OB patients for regular appointments and GYN patients for appointments addressing urgent needs. For now, routine in-office gynecological appointments have been put on hold. However, we are offering telemedicine visits for problems that do not require a visit to the office.
We ask that any patient with upper respiratory symptoms call our office for directions rather than coming in. We do not currently have testing capabilities and need to limit possible exposure to other patients.