Two pink lines, and your world changes forever. Once the shock wears off and the excitement sets in, the countdown begins. It all comes down to one final event. Birth.
Pregnancy is all about finding and discovering our birth choices. Epidural? Natural birth? Planned C-section? Water birth? Ob/Gyn? Midwife? Hospital? Home? Birth Center? There are heaps of choices and even more opinions.
Everyone has their own comfort levels, past experiences and philosophies surrounding birth. The ideas that shape our birth choices run deep into the core of us because, after all, this is the birth of our baby we are talking about. It seems obvious that what may be right to some, may not be right be for all. If that is so evident, then why does every woman feel some degree of judgment for her birth choices in her pregnancy?
It comes from family, friends and sometimes even your care provider. More often than not it comes with good intentions. Your mother is worried that your out of hospital birth is risky and just wants you to be safe. Your friend had a traumatic birth and feels that once she got her epidural was when things started to go south. She doesn’t want you to experience what she did. Or perhaps your doctor has seen some bad tears this week and wants to save you the trouble and just give you an episiotomy anyways. Their life experiences have made their way the right way. It may not be bad, or wrong, but it is not their choice to choose.
This birth is yours, and no one else’s. So do your research, find out what is right for you, and birth your way and nobody else’s. Don’t let judgement steal your ideal birth.
If plans have to change, so be it, but you will know that you did what you could to make your ideal birth happen. When plans are changing ask questions. Discover your options and what the risks and benefits are. Find your new ideal birth for this new situation.
Many of us are fortunate to have a wonderful support system for our births. However for many other women that is not always the case.
You will remember this day for the rest of your life. If you are feeling like you are doing something that is not right for you, or feel unsupported do not settle for your current situation. In most cases it is never too late to switch care providers. It can be an inconvenience maybe, but worth it if your provider will not make you feel supported while laboring.
If you are worried your friend’s and family’s opinions will interfere with your birth, get a doula. Doulas provide non judgmental support to help you achieve the birth you want. Your birth philosophy becomes their birth philosophy. Whatever you want, they have your back.
You don’t have to settle for societies social norms, or your own family’s traditions for birth. Birth your way, and nobody else’s.