I Love Me, I Love Me Not - How Self-Reflection can Help Prepare for Childbirth

Am I planning a wedding or a birth?

Whether your'e planning a wedding specifically or any large event, you know how much work goes into the preparation. First, a venue--finding a place to hold this event is crucial. Next, nailing down a menu that is most satisfying to your pallet (and others in attendance). Finally, creating an invite list and sending out invitations. The venue and guest have everything to do with the style or environment, so choose carefully.

You can only prepare so much, but whatever is going to happen that day will happen. You can only control so much. At the end of the day, a lot of factors go into whether or not this event goes off without a hitch. Prepare for what you can and trust the process to take care of the rest.

Are you confused yet? Wedding or birth?

Plan vs. Prepare

Like a wedding, it can be helpful to hire someone that has been to many births and can help you know what options you have as well as the resources available to you. They are also there to help you get everything in order by the big event. You can't truly plan, you can only prepare. You can put as many pieces into place before the big day gets here, but ultimately things could still go wrong or they could go in a blissful direction you never even imagined before. Some things will be out of your control such as the caterer getting stuck in traffic or a medical emergency. You will try your hardest to make sure nothing goes wrong and that includes having made clear your preferences and trusting the process. Trusting that everyone you've relied on to play a role in this special day with do what is in your best interest. 

Where: Your Venue 

Dr. Neel Shah, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard School of Medicine, found that your birth outcomes has very little to do with your body, rather mostly to do with your choice in healthcare provider and birthing place. He found that choosing one hospital over another could mean a tenfold increase in your risk of having a cesarean section as some hospitals have a 7% rate while others have a 70% rate, both in the US. Check out his research here

Your venue will be filled with their own staff. You don't get to choose the venue rules. However, depending on which hospital you choose, you may have a lot of flexibility with in those rules such as wearing your own clothes rather than a hospital gown or being able to move around rather than be confined in a bed. Touring your venue before the day of the event is important so you know what to expect. This is also a good time to meet some of the staff that may be there when you have your baby.

Does this sound, oh so, familiar to anyone who has planned a wedding?!

The Menu: Is it the right fit? 

I consider your healthcare provider the menu. Or maybe an item on the menu. What if your pallet craves Italian, but your doctor is Greek flavored? It may have looked like an Italian dish until you bit into it and -WHAM- it's greek. That would be so disappointing. Fully exploring providers in your area is imperative. What's the providers c-section rate? Do they support skin to skin? Do they support natural births? Do they help you think outside of the box when it comes to managing labor? Is the staff supportive of the birth experience you're hoping to have? What are the mandatory protocols/procedures? The optional ones? How much choice do you have in things that happen? It's a good idea to ask parents who have recently had a birth experience with that doctor or at that hospital/birthing center. Make sure you clarify if a provider is "tolerant" of certain aspects of birth or truly supportive- they are different. 

Asking the correct questions, while finding your birthing place and medical provider can be crucial. Your event planner (doula) can help you know of questions to ask during your search and interviews. You should find a provider and birthing setting that is supportive of the birth you would like to have. 

Who: Your birth Team 

This is such an important part for your event. This is not a community event. This is a very intimate, special event. This is an event that only those of highest honor get to attend. Your birth team should be people who you trust and will help support this event to go off without a hitch. Your birth team will help keep the energy on the right track as well as help you have the birth experience you wanted. Some hospitals may limit the number of birth team members you can have. Often that number is limited to 2, sometimes 3 team members, plus the birthing parent. Homebirths may allow more support people depending on the midwife.

Your birth team should be aware of your fears. It's important (if you know) to share why you hold these fears? It will also be helpful to know what may help you feel less fearful. However, even with very little information, your birth team will make accommodations to help you feel comfortable and confident.

The Star: Love Yourself 

Love yourself enough to prepare for your child's birth. Take some time each day to practice self-care, self-comfort and self-love so that you can diminish the fears and connect with your body and mind. Practice using positive language and surrounding yourself with energizing people. For additional tips on how to mentally prepare for baby, check out this blog post. This experience is about you, your body, your baby, and your partner. Educate yourself on your choices. Take some time to watch positive, uplifting birth stories or to attend local events that are focused on sharing empowering birth stories. Trust in the process and your body. Know that your body knows what to do and truly believe it. Finally, prepare yourself to let go and surrender to birth. Surrender control and find confidence in the power of your body. Allow yourself enough grace to love yourself through your birth experience.

Weddings and Childbirth hold very similar factors and characteristics. People all over the world put months of planning into a weeding or large event. Just think about how spectacular your birth could be in we put the same amount of consideration and preparing into birth experiences!


Tranquility by HeHe, A Concierge Birthing and Doula Service in Boston, Massachusetts
"We can't wait to pamper you."


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