Pregnancy, Parenthood & Playtime

Doula, Birth Advocate, Aspiring Midwife, Mother, and Wife

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The Importance of Childbirth Education


During pregnancy, a lot of women do not feel it necessary to take a childbirth class, or even pick up a book to read about childbirth in general, and I wholeheartedly believe that this accounts for a large portion of negative or less than ideal birth outcomes. Many thing today that you can just waltz into a hospital and have an amazing experience because the birth of any child is such a joy filled occasion. Unfortunately because of the state of maternity care and hospital births in our country, the one-size-fits-all style of experiences because of “hospital protocol” leads to something which I personally like to compare to a factory conveyor belt.

Women are not treated like individuals in many cases, and rules regarding their births are put into place because of the protocol’s hospitals have put into place. One example is all women having some type of an IV. Easy way to avoid this, allow women to eat and drink as they please while laboring. Despite hospital rules, many women do this anyways.  But I am getting off topic…

Education. Learning about the birth process and turning that education into what you want for your experience is the key. I will take the example of my first child. I did some reading, not as much as I probably should have. Didn’t read the right books, and completely skipped over the chapters on interventions and cesarean sections like most mothers do.  Take a group of 10 women expecting their first baby, and ask them how many have read the chapters on Cesarean Sections in the birth books, and maybe 2 will say they have. When that birth turns into a cesarean, they are dumbfounded, hurt, saddened, frustrated, and all these things can lead to other problems, such as an increased risk of Post Partum Depression, which has been studied at length concluding that cesarean birth mother have an increased risk, and also may have a more difficult time bonding with their babies. It is a sad fact of nature.

Knowing what can go wrong…
Knowing what kind of time limits will be put on labor..
Knowing what kind of interventions your hospital considers routine…
Knowing the “rules” for getting out of bed, birthing out of bed, and things of that nature are always important, and remember…
Picking a hospital because it is new, or the doctor your friends went to has privileges there should not make a difference. Your wants and needs for birth should be met, and if their protocol clashes with what you want, look else where.

Also, just because you pick a certain Doctor, does not mean they will be there when you go into labor. You may end up with whoever is on call, because lets be realistic, babies come when they want, not when your Doctor is on the schedule.

Categories: General
Danielle Elwood

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