The biggest question that I often ask my clients at prenatals is: “What do you want from your birth?”
My clients usually come back with simple answers – a healthy baby, or a vaginal birth, or to go drug free, or an induction, or an elective caesarean etc etc etc and so on.
This question goes much deeper than that, it leads to the WHY’s – why do you want that outcome?
And the HOW’s – How will you work to get that outcome?
And then it leads to “What if your plans have to change? What then? And how do you want things to go?
And after that (and many people, including myself, are guilty of not wanting to think about this)– What if the worst case scenario occurs? What are your plans for that? What will you do? What supports will you have in place for you and/or your partner/family?
Are you fully prepared for anything that could happen or are you, like I was in the lead up to my first birth and like many others who have come before us and will come after us, burying your head in the sand and hoping for the best?
Many women do this, bury their heads in the sand, and usually it turns out fine – no expectations and no focusing on what could happen resulted in a birth that they were happy with – but what about those that it didn’t turn out “fine” with? What supports did they have when dealing with the aftermath? Did they even have any supports at all? How did they cope with no plans in place for that scenario and having to do everything themselves, after the fact, when they were still physically/mentally/emotionally reeling over what happened?
How are they coping now? Does it still negatively affect them and if not what helped them to heal from what they went through?
Most of the time we won’t know how they are because it’s not something that is commonly talked about outside of private facebook groups or certain support websites – and if you have never, up until now, experienced similar before people don’t tend to talk to you about it, and if they did you may not listen because “it won’t happen to you”.
Being prepared for all the different scenarios that you could face while pregnant, giving birth and even post partum allows you some freedom to relax, just like having everything organised and packed weeks ahead of time when going on a holiday, by the time you leave – or by the time you give birth – everything is done and you have back-up plans in place for the worst case scenario and for any other scenarios that you can think of that may come up. When giving birth having those back-up plans in place for an early induction, an emergency or planned caesarean, an unexpected premature labour, a longer than planned hospital stay, a NICU or SCN stay for baby or any combination or variation of the above-listed scenarios and even others that aren’t listed will leave you prepared and ready to face whatever comes your way.
I will leave you with the following questions that you can ask yourself when planning how you want your birth to go – it may help if you write them down/journal them, and you can go back to them any time that you need to if things change.
What do you want from your birth?
Why do you want that? (How do you feel about it/how does it make you feel when you think about it? What makes you want it? What emotions are attached to it? What reasoning is behind making the decision to want it?)
What if your plans change? (Think about what you would like to have happen in each scenario that comes to mind. How will you feel with each option that comes up? Do you feel comfortable with what you've come up with or do you think that you need to know more about other possible options that may be available?)
What supports do you plan to have in place for each scenario that you can think of?
What if the worst case scenario occurs – what are your plans then? (And what if it doesn't occur but you are prepared for it anyway? What if you are told to expect the worst case scenario and that is not what happens?)
What if you change your mind – during pregnancy, during labour, multiple times?
What about the “what ifs”? What are you doing about those? (Are the "what ifs" causing fear, worry or emotional issues? If so what can you do to reduce their effect on you? What can you do to "fix" it so that they don't impact on your birth?)
What if what you want isn’t what your doctor/your partner/your family wants? (Why does it matter what others want? Why is what you want not as important as others needs/wants when you are the one giving birth? How do you feel about that?)
Why does what you want matter to you? (And why is it so important to you?)
How will you work to get what you want – even if your first “wants” are no longer obtainable? (How will you make your back-up plans work for you?)
How will you cope afterwards? What plans/supports do you have in place to help you?
Will you have the support that you feel that you will need for each scenario that you can think of? What about any other scenarios that you haven’t thought of yet? (If you have the support what will they do for you? If you don't how can you get the support that you need?)
Is what you say that you want REALLY what YOU WANT? Or is it just something that you expect to have happen because “it happened with everyone else that I know and they were fine so I will be too”? (If the latter, why do you think that you feel this way? How does this way of thinking make you feel?)
Do you want 1-on-1, 100% focused on YOU support during your pregnancy and birth? Do you want someone willing to listen who really HEARS YOU? How about a source of unbiased up to date information? Someone who doesn’t have a hidden agenda? Who trusts in, and believes, in you? Who doesn't pretend to be someone that they aren't? Someone who will give their all in supporting you to the best of their ability and beyond?
If your answer is a resounding YES!!! and you live on the North Side of Brisbane send a message TODAY to arrange a no obligation interview.