Preparation is key to having a positive birth experience. I’m sure many of you will have heard friends, family members and even strangers telling you negative birth stories. It can be overwhelming and perhaps you are now fearing those things will happen to you too. So the first point is:
1. If it’s too much for you to hear, then say
A lot of people share their negative birth stories as a way to warn or educate those who have yet to have their babies. You know, “don’t do what I did” or “this is what happened to me, you can avoid it!”
The intention may be good but you have to be in the place to hear it. Things we see, hear, talk about all have a way of slipping into our unconscious minds and affecting us even if we don’t realise it.
If you are sensitive to negative birth stories or if you fear them impacting your own experience, say to the person or people sharing these stories that you don’t have the capacity to hear. Ultimately the choice is yours though and if having this information is empowering for you, then that’s great! Listen on!
2. Find good antenatal education
Knowledge is power! Having good education will help you to be informed of all of your options and scenarios. This will help you to get into the right headspace to have a positive birth.
Read reviews, ask your friends and family and find the right education for you and your family! Hypnobirthing is a really good birth education choice. Finding a practitioner that encompasses hypnobirthing techniques alongside very practical birth information can make a real difference to how you approach your impending birth.
3. Write you birth preferences
It can’t be underestimated the importance of birth preferences. There are so many people who are aware that birth can take many unexpected twists and turns. But that doesn’t mean that you having preferences doesn’t matter.
The preferences are what matter to you. Those caring for you should know that they can do everything to support those or at least try to! So write your preferences, every single one!
4. Choose strong birth support
Your birth support is there to advocate for you. They are your safe place and the person that is there to be your voice or to encourage you to use your own. This person can be your partner, your parent, your family or friend but ultimately they have to be a person that makes you feel safe and supported.
Whoever your birth partner is, make sure that you have those important conversations with them about what you think you will need and let them know how they can support you.
5. It’s not just about how you give birth
Positive birth experiences mean different things to different people and a positive birth isn’t necessarily a vaginal birth. A Cesarean section can be a positive experience as can a birth with any type of intervention.
I want you to remember that this will be your birth experience and you feeling respected, centered and in control can leave you feeling extremely positive regardless of mode of birth.
I hope you have found these helpful and they have helped you in taking steps to ensure that your birth experience is as positive as possible!