I’d love to chat with you about birth today, but before we get there, lets have a think about your wedding. Even if you haven’t had one yet my guess is you have a plan. Whether it’s a big white wedding, a fantastic local venue or whether the family is just way too complicated and you’d opt to jump on a plane for a small intimate beach wedding, you probably have some ideas about how you’d like things to go.
Your wedding day is likely to be one of the most memorable days of your whole life. You spend months planning it, saving for it, perhaps you’ve had ideas in mind since your childhood. Another day that will be burned into the forever memory store house of your mind is the birth of your baby. How much research will you do to find out how you want things to go? How many venues will you tour? How much time will you spend discussing with your partner the fine details each choice you will need to make?
You see, birth isn’t a one size fits all occasion. Our midwives and obstetricians are amazing skilled professionals who can save lives and offer expert care. But just as you wouldn’t ask the person marrying you to choose your venue, hairstyle and nail colour, nor can your midwife know exactly what it is that you need to be comfortable on the day you give birth.
Birth is lifechanging, challenging unpredictable. How do you handle situations like that? Are you a researcher? A planner? Do you like flow charts to help direct you if scenario A turns into scenario D? Are you open to any or all options, and are you informed as to what that looks like? What brings you comfort and relaxation? What are your deal breakers?
When we go into birth without taking the time to work these things out for ourselves, we run the risk of getting swept up into a system. Assumptions will be made over what is best for us, and sadly for many of us the intensity of birth can take away our ability to question what is happening. The loss of autonomy in such an intimate situation can lead to difficult recoveries, even trauma or mental illness long after the birth takes place. So let’s give our baby, our body, and our birth the same kind of devotion that we might give to planning our weddings. Let’s find out what goes on inside that birth room, and work out what we are aren’t comfortable with. As mothers lets speak up about what we want and need from out birthing experience so that we can help our health care team to provide the type of service that they went into midwifery and obstetrics to achieve.