Are These 3 Things in Your Childbirth Plan Yet?
Chances are if you're pregnant, you're doing everything you can to educate yourself about your baby and the childbearing process. However, there are a few details of childbirth education that may feel daunting or overwhelming, you may choose to skip them entirely.
Outside of the information you receive from your doctor and the wealth of articles, podcasts, books, and resources online, a childbirth/motherhood educator can look at your specific case from a holistic point of view so you can create the best plan together. You can ask all the questions free of judgment and make sure you feel informed and empowered to make the right decisions for yourself. Here I want to lay out a few choices so you can educate yourself and put together a plan before you head to the hospital.
1. Have you chosen a care provider?
These days, there are so many options for childbirth care providers, it can feel overwhelming. As a basic rundown, here are a few common providers you can work with:
Obstetricians deliver in the hospital. They provide clinical care, tests, and ultrasounds. They also monitor your health while you recuperate.
Midwives can deliver at a birth center, hospital, or even at home. They typically look at things with a more holistic point-of-view and intimate approach.
In additional to obstetricians and midwives, doulas are trained professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support before and after childbirth. They accompany you through your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and help you navigate your choices.
If you have specific questions about what each can do and what's right for you, please reach out to me to learn more.
2. Do you plan to fuel yourself during labor?
There's a common myth that women can't eat during labor. Giving birth a very strenuous process. Unless your physician says otherwise, you should eat and hydrate throughout labor to fuel yourself.
In addition to the toiletries and other post-essentials in your hospital bag, I recommend bringing a few basic things you can eat and drink. Bring a reusable large water bottle, electrolyte hydrator packets without artificial ingredients and sugar (for a great source of sodium, potassium, and magnesium), and simple snacks like dried fruit to provide some carbs and nuts for protein and fat.
3. Have you considered postpartum planning and couples communication education?
Childbirth planning is one thing. The stuff that can be even more difficult is the time after giving birth. I've heard many new moms say, "I had no idea it was going to be this hard." Birthing and breastfeeding classes are fairly common now, but have you considered planning for the time after the hospital?
Postpartum recovery coaching can help your partner learn how to best support you. In these sessions, you can learn practical tips, self-care habits, and other emotional wellness practices to help you heal. It can also help prepare you for recovery from vaginal or C-section birth.
Couples coaching is also a great option. Introducing babies to the family can completely change the dynamic of a relationship for first-time parents, even ones with great relationships to begin with. Pre-birth couples coaching can cover topics like communication, expectations, and how to deal with in-laws, so both partners are emotionally and psychologically prepared to become parents and support each other as they transition into parenthood.
Which of these have you not considered yet? Please reach out to me if you have questions. We can schedule a session to talk about what is best for you and your situation and create a birthing plan you feel confident about.