Instead of hearing second hand stories that may not always be positive why not invest in a good book!
It's ok to politely shut down a conversation that makes you fearful about your pregnancy or birth. Just smile and give the person concerned your pre-planned sentence, then change the subject!
Source some communities where women meet together and ask questions. Join a pregnancy / parents' group online or in your community and find out what you want and where you may want to birth your baby. Do you want to be involved in your care, making decisions, knowing your options? Do you want to take an epidural? Do you want a planned caesarean or are you planning to avoid one at all costs? There is nothing wrong with going to meet a few different care providers until you meet someone you trust and can connect with, someone who listens and answers your questions. It's advisable to ask the big questions like:
*1. What procedure do you prefer to conduct? Vaginal or caesarean birth? (Ask their caesarean rate if you like)
2. Are you going to be in town around the time of my due date?
3. Do you encourage spontaneous labour or do you prefer to induce women into labour?
4. What if I pass my due date? Can I wait until 42 weeks for my baby to come when it's ready?
5. Which hospitals do you work at? What happens if you are somewhere else when I am giving birth?
6. I don't want an episiotomy (cut to the vagina/perineum area) and would prefer a natural tear.
7. I will be keeping my baby's cord intact so that the baby gets the blood it's designed to get. I want a minimum of 5 minutes for that. Then I would like to have time to hold my baby skin to skin and not have her/him taken away.
*These questions relate to a "Birth goals/ preferences/plan" and are listed as current common requests as per the latest evidence-based quality of care. You can personalise them according to your wishes.
(Recommended reading - kellymom.com, www.bellybelly.com.au, birthindia.org.
Its better to have a clear picture at the start and make decisions based on the information provided, rather than having unsettling circumstances at the end when things aren't what you hoped for.
I have spoken with many families who were disappointed that they did not have this information the first time around. Pregnancy and birth should be an enjoyable and exciting time. You deserve to feel safe, have information, make informed decisions and have a loving support around you. Visualise yourself holding your baby skin to skin! Serene, love is in the air! Calm and uninterrupted beginnings are a special start of your leap into parenthood. Wishing you all the best for your birthing experience!
Recommended Books to read:
Ina May "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth"
Barbara Harper " Gentle Birth Choices"
Sarah Buckley "Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering"
Roanna Rosewood "Cut, Stapled and mended" for Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
To read the first part of this article, click here
To consult Lina Duncan in person, click here