Child Birth Education
Child Birth Education – if you ask my husband, the two full days of childbirth education I asked (forced?) him to attend with me at the hospital were among the longest two days of his life. Nine years later, I don’t remember many of the details except that there were lots and lots of power points and informational videos. It was an overwhelming amount of information to digest and while I do remember being more informed about my birthing options, I know that it was not helpful for the practical moments, such as what to actually do when the “water” breaks. Hint: bring lots of towels!
After having now worked in the field of maternal mental health and with pregnant and parenting women, I can confidently say that I am much more prepared for helping others become prepared for the arrival of their little ones. Classes, too, have evolved and with the help of zoom and other virtual platforms, have become more inclusive and easier to digest. Many providers and birthing professionals hold multi-week, short sessions on various topics to help mothers, fathers, partners, and families be prepared for birthing, breastfeeding, and beyond. The idea that there is a one size fits all approach to labor and delivery is definitely a thing of the past. Here are a few points that I always feel are important to share with expectant mothers:
1. Find an OBGYN / OBGYN practice that is attentive to you and your individual needs. No matter how busy the office is, the attending Dr and her staff should take time to listen and validate any concerns you may have about your pregnancy.
2. Take a tour of the hospital where you are going to deliver. If possible, include your partner or the support person that will be accompanying you to the hospital. Many hospitals restricted this during the height of covid, but now individual tours are now available; if they are not, ask for a virtual tour.
3. Talk about your hopes as well as your fears. Many have heard about making a “birth plan” but it is important to talk with someone about your hopes for labor and delivery as well as any fear or questions that you have about standard or emergency procedures.
4. Think about feeding. The most important thing after delivering a baby is feeding the baby. Think about if you would like to breastfeed or formula feed or both. It is important to set yourself up for success and not feel pressured into either formula or breastfeeding.
5. You are the boss of your delivery room. If it doesn’t feel right, say something. I threw a resident out of my delivery room because he was just too rough. I appreciate the learning curve, but every mother is entitled to control of their birth story.
Hopeful Beginnings is always available as a resource for mothers who are feeling anxious or need someone to talk to about their birthing options. As an agency, we are passionate about connecting families to medical care and education. Please feel free to reach out for support!
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