I am a certified Stillbirthday Birth and Bereavement Doula®. I have been professionally trained in supporting women through pregnancy, labor, and birth in any outcome. For this reason, I fully advocate realistic childbirth, and the mother’s right to make informed, safe decisions regarding her pregnancy and birth experiences. There is so much fear-mongering in all aspects of new parenthood. I serve to walk alongside you while you make the best, most informed decision that you can make for yourself and your family.
There are so many sources of information that place serious controversy on the “cascade of interventions” surrounding childbirth. I lean towards supporting an unassisted start to labor, and allowing the birth process to knit itself together uninterrupted by outside forces. I also understand the very real, very personal, and sometimes medical reasons why this simply isn’t the best method for all mothers.
Perhaps your partner is active duty military and only has a certain window for family leave. Maybe you have such anxiety and fear surrounding pregnancy and birth that you need an “exit plan.” These are real emotions, and you deserve real support while you navigate your plans for welcoming your child into the world in a manner that is right for your family.
Birth is powerful, and you deserve to be empowered through your choices. You want to deliver your baby with absolutely minimal medical interventions and no pain mediation in a free standing birth center. That is a powerful and meaningful birth experience plan. You want to walk into the hospital during early labor and have constant fetal monitoring. That is a powerful and meaningful birth experience plan. You plan on having an epidural to help you cope with labor. That is a powerful and meaningful birth experience plan. You are scheduling your third cesarean section birth, and you want to ensure that you feel warm and supported throughout your birth and into post-op. That is a powerful and meaningful birth experience plan.
There is no one correct way for a mother to birth her baby. We are all such unique individuals, and we have each been emotionally and physically molded to have different needs throughout our personal lives. Why would birth be any different? You are a mother, and your choices regarding how you plan to experience birth is one of the first of many decisions that you will selflessly make to ensure the safety of your child to the best of your personal ability.
There is no failure in childbirth. Perhaps your labor didn’t progress as expected, and you were transferred from your birth center to a standard hospital. Maybe your unmedicated hospital birth plan resulted in you asking for an epidural. You were planning a “gentle cesarean” with your partner present, but maybe you progressed into natural labor before your scheduled birth. You were rushed into an emergency cesarean alone. You are a mother, and this was your first experience in your best laid plans going awry, but you succeeded. You held your child. You accomplished creating and birthing a brand new human being.
As women, we have grown up learning to compare ourselves to others, to measure ourselves by the standards that society has chosen for us. Birth is our gateway from maidenhood to matronhood, and by crossing that threshold, we are freed from these petty comparisons. We have something so much bigger than our own differences to concern ourselves with. We have a responsibility to teach our new generation tolerance and compassion. Let us lead by example from their first moments of life. Let’s stop making birth a competition. Embrace your body; embrace your birth; empower yourself and others.