Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I want to offer you some special insights as you begin your journey into this pregnancy, being your first- or your fourteenth.
Statistics show us that maternity care in the US is heavily flawed. A high maternal death rate, a high newborn death rate, extreme racial disparities and poor outcomes, and a huge level of dissatisfaction from new families. Find out more by following the links below.
**Watch The Business of Being Born! This movie is incredibly important for new families preparing to navigate the healthcare system.
You have the right to choose where you give birth and who is attending.
There are many safe and wonderful options for giving birth.
Depending on your own health, needs, and preferences, you can choose between birth at home, hospital, and birth center.
Homebirth is a safe option for low risk women, with nurse midwives, certified midwives, and traditional midwives.
Some families choose to homebirth "unassisted" or with only their family or partner or friend in attendance. This is a safe and reasonable option for many families.
Some choose to birth in birth centers, close to the hospital with midwives in attendance, and many women choose to birth right in the hospital.
There are so many variables for each family to consider, and the choice belongs only to the family.
You have the right to autonomy.
You and your baby have the right to safe, ethical, and evidence based care.
You also have the right to say what happens to your body, no matter the medical implications or outcomes.
Understanding this right can be paramount to preventing unnecessary birth trauma.
HAVING A HOSPITAL BIRTH?
You cannot go in blind.
You MUST learn, research, and understand what is going to happen to you and your baby once you enter the hospital. You must understand what is the difference between protocol, autonomy, and what defines a true emergency. You must have a plan and a contingency plan. Either on paper, or written.
Cesarean rates for first time mothers, are very high.
1 in 3 first time mom's will deliver by cesarean. This is not because our bodies have failed, but largely caused by our rates of induction, and intervention of normal labor and birth, having increased drastically.
Your well meaning provider, is bound by policies beyond their control.
Your provider is bound first by their insurance & hospital policy. Labor may not unfold within the normal limits of what they are allowed, so things outside the normal curve of labor (long labors, time constraints, vaginal birth after cesarean, waterbirth, natural birth) maybe something you have to "fight" for.
A doula can lower your chances of a first time cesarean.
Create an evidence based and personalized birth plan.
Having a birth plan is vital to offering the staff an inside look into what you want in labor. Don't let anyone tell you birth plans are not important.
Here is a sample birth plan. http://cardinalbirth.com/blog/2016/11/18/birthpreferences
Here is where you find the latest evidence! Evidencebasedbirth.com
Doula care is more than coaching and hand holding.
Your doula is well trained, understands labor and birth, and the components of most of your clinical care. She is your liaison, your security, your guide, and your comfort. She will walk your partner though labor, helping them help you. She will help you advocate for yourself, and advocate for you with professionalism and ethically sound intervention. Your doula knows how to help you, and will build a personal and professional relationship with you and your partner, so that you feel safe and open with her, and can labor well. She is with you for the long haul, and can offer comfort and support long into the night and next day, giving you and your partner the kind of continuity that makes birth outcomes better.
Doulas are for everyone. Cesarean births, medicated births, natural births, at home or hospital.
Birth planning, childbirth ed (not the kind you get in the hospital) breastfeeding support, and so much more!
To find out more about doula services and schedule a free consult, leave your contact info below!