When my son was born sixteen years ago there were no “family” centered birthing rooms in hospitals. Using an exercise ball (birthing ball) for comfort during labor was discouraged. There was actually one room to labor in, another room to deliver baby in, and then another room to recover in before being transferred to the postpartum unit. Moms were transferred to three rooms during their labors! Options were few. Homebirth, Hypnobirthing, Doulas, unmedicated births were not popular or even encouraged.
However, things changed over the years because of pregnant consumers asking for Family Centered labor rooms. Today women are looking for midwives, Doulas, having unmedicated births, and using alternative methods for labor pain instead of the Epidural. Choices and options are more available today than ever before. All because of consumer demand!
Yet, there is still a lot of fear about childbirth and STILL a huge gap in educating expectant moms in options available to them in planning the birth of their baby. There is also two schools of thoughts regarding maternal care: the medical model and the midwifery model.
What I want to tell you today is this – you are powerful! You have the power to move mountains! Okay, maybe not a mountain, but you have a voice and you can ask for or refuse what you want or don’t want for your birth experience. You no longer have to abide by the words from a professional “because I said so”, you have a right to second opinions during your pregnancy – but don’t wait to long for this. Pregnancy goes by quickly!
So, if you’re reading this, start your journey by educating yourself about your options. Learn your childbearing rights. Then start interviewing care providers. Interview doctors AND midwives and choose the one that honors your concerns and birthing requests.
Remember this though, childbirth is a normal, natural, physiological process. It was never created or intended to be a medical procedure as the “norm” for delivering babies. The “norm” is what your body can do all on its own. Also, labor is manageable. There are so many choices for labor pain management. Read about some of them here. So, ignore the rumors and birth forward – meaning, follow what you want, not what others tell you to do.