For all expectant parents preparing for labour. You need to know:
But before we jump into what choices might be available to you for pregnancy, labour and birth. Ask yourself how often you research options. Say for example when buying something. Do you do comparisons between different models, providers, services etc. Once you have gathered enough information you will then make a decision on which one to buy. Am I right?
So why is it that so many couples go into labour and birth not fully understanding the process, their choices and their rights? Often expectant mums will put their trust in their care providers. They believe that they have their best interests at heart. Ultimately they do. Be aware of hospital protocols, bureaucracy, red tape and senior management that constrain our caregivers. The days are long gone when they focused only on giving care to expectant mums.
Going in blind could leave you open to helplessly being carried along by the system. You could miss out on the birth that you had hoped for.
Quite often I hear, ‘Oh, I had to be induced’ or ‘I didn’t know I had a choice’ or ‘I just did what they told me’. When I dig a little deeper, I find out that they weren’t aware (at the time) that there were alternatives. They weren’t presented with the real picture of what their options were. They weren't given a choice.
An example: Induction for ‘post-dates’ in a 'low-risk' pregnant women.
It is very common in the UK for women to be induced between 41 and 42 weeks gestation. Often the mum will hear this: ‘If your baby hasn’t arrived by next [Wednesday], we will book you in for an induction.’
Many will accept that this procedure as best for mum and baby. They may not be told about the pros and cons of accepting an induction. Very rarely will they be told about the pros and cons of declining an induction. Parents should know both sides of the story for each option to be able to make a fully informed decision.
Common reasons that parents hear are:
These phrases will scare a mother and her birth partner into accepting an induction. Why? Because it has been presented as the better option. But is this the case?
In the UK the 'due date' is set at 40 weeks, guided by the date of the last menstrual cycle and by the dating scan at 12 weeks. This is a 5-week window, not a single date in a given month. For a baby to be born around the 42 week mark is perfectly normal. The World Health Organization states babies are usually born between 37 and 42 weeks.
So take a moment to think. When a woman accepts an induction before the 42-week mark, is her baby ready to be born? Or is she interrupting pregnancy and the final growth stages of her baby? Why would you want to do that if you and baby are both well and there are no medical concerns? If you feel strongly about not wanting an induction, you can decline. Ask for extra monitoring during these final days.
‘Informed choice’ is one of the many topics discussed in a hypnobirthing course. Before your baby is born, it is important to understand the most common options for labour and birth. You and your birth partner can then think about which are your preferred options. Knowing your choices and understanding the risks and benefits, will give you the confidence and calmness to deal with any situation. You will then be able to look back on it as a positive birth experience that you were in control of.
Remember, giving birth is your right. How you want it to be, is entirely up to you. The caregivers are there to support you for a happy, healthy and safe delivery. They are not there to force you to do anything you are not comfortable with.
Your hypnobirthing teacher will explain to you the common scenarios that might occur. This will help you and your birth partner decide on your preferences. Then, if/when a situation arises during the course of labour, you will:
1. Be aware of what options are available
2. Instinctively know what your preferences are about those options
3. Confidently decide which choices feel right for you and your baby
It therefore becomes a positive birth experience to look back on, regardless of any twists and turns in the process. Because no matter what the outcome of your birth experience is, you know that:
Would like to approach labour and birth with calmness and confidence? Would you like to be prepared to be able to take control of your birth journey? If you live near Romford, Essex, try KG Hypnobirthing with Magical Baby Moments. Contact Christine on 07764 680 215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to read more about what a hypnobirthing course entails download the first chapter of The Power of Hypnobirthing: 10 reasons why its for you by filling out the form on the home page.
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