Being a doula, a trainer for KG Hypnobirthing and a speaker at birth conferences and events many people I meet tell me about their birth experience and often, their experience was not want they had hoped for. Many women, though not all, want a ‘normal’ birth. They want a healthy baby but they also want to come away from the birth unscathed themselves.
More than that, I believe women birth can be an empowering and positive experience. This should be standard and yet for many women, birth is a battle. A battle of wills; what they want vs the cash strapped system; the standardised care we receive is not right for all. The one size fits all approach fails women who want to make their own decisions; a good birth shouldn’t be a battle.
In the UK, our system of maternity care channels parents down a medicalised route. It is a risk based system; you are either high risk or low risk, there is no in-between. When I teach KG Hypnobirthing, one of the first exercises we do is to find out what my client wants from the course and from their birth experience AND what they would rather avoid. This helps to cultivate their vision. If my client brings their birth partner (often this is dad) it ensures that both are on the same page. If we don’t know where we are heading, it’s harder to arrive at our destination.
We are pre-programmed not to take any ‘risks’.
As parents, we are pre-programmed not to take any ‘risks’ with our offspring. If someone is telling us we are putting our baby at risk if we don’t have that extra scan or have that intervention they are recommending, we are likely to take the path of least resistance. We will accept that sweep, the pre-booked induction or the planned caesarian because we want the best for our children. We don’t want decline what’s offered in case we are wrong so we put our births into the hands of the professionals.
There are commonalities between parents-to-be. First time parents ask the question ‘What If?’ They worry about something going wrong. Many choose to give birth in a hospital because society says that is the safest option. They don’t consider the benefits of a home birth or a free-standing midwifery unit despite
Parents who have given birth before often have a different question. ‘If only….’ ‘If only I had known what that induction meant.’ ‘I thought I’d meet my baby in a matter of days but in actuality, it took days. Days they were hooked up to monitors and told to lie on their backs. The hospital acquired infection could have been avoided.
It’s Always Your Choice
I remember, at my first birth accepting VE’s throughout the labour. I dutifully accepted them believing I dodn’t really have a choice. Consent was asked for but the consent I gave was not informed. VE’s can be uncomfortable or painful and they disturb the natural process. Like me, many women have no idea they can be declined because as a routine procedure, no-one actually needs to know how dilated you are.
One of the hardest things about my job is that many of my KG Hypnobirthing clients find me only after having a traumatic birth experience. Many of these could have been avoided if the parents were more informed. Last time they gave birth they didn’t know they had options. They didn’t know they could have said no. They didn’t know they didn’t need to give birth in the closest medicalised setting or what the pros and cons of different birth options were.
Please get in touch if you would like some help with feeling great about your babies birth. I combine the KG Hypnobirthing course with my experience as a doula providing a personalised and confidential service helping parents to be who are nervous about their baby’s birth have calm, empowering birth. I work 1:1 with you either at my teaching space in Ramsbottom or at your house within 1 hour of BL0 or over skype.