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Creating a confident birth is one of the most important things you can do during your pregnancy. This involves several factors like having a great healthcare team, but also includes your own education to know what to expect as you head into the delivery room.
Hi, I’m Hilary. I’m the curly head behind the website Pulling Curls, the nurse behind The Pregnancy Nurse, and the creator of The Online Prenatal Class for Couples I’ve been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of labor and delivery nurse experience. I am an expert at helping families have a confident collaborative hospital delivery. I’m excited to give you some ideas to use at your own birth.
Getting Your Confident Birth
Benefits of a Confident Delivery
Confidence keeps stress at bay. No one likes to feel stressed out — and labor and delivery is almost like living in a new country!
The stress you feel at delivery can transfer to that sweet babe who’s sharing the same blood system with you still. Staying calm has benefits for both of you.
By knowing all the steps you will likely go through, well that just shoots your confidence so high!
I love hearing from moms that they “just feel better about how they handled things“.
I don’t expect patients to know what’s going to happen, but I think people just feel better about how they handle themselves (which makes sense).
They don’t have the weight of how they handled themselves in labor weighing on them, because they felt confident!
For the record, you should never feel bad about how you act or what you do in labor and delivery. The staff knows very well that it is a VERY stressful time, so hopefully that helps put your mind at ease too!
Elements of a Confident Delivery
Know the steps.
There is no way that I can teach you exactly how labor will go. The most predictable thing about labor is how unpredictable it will be.
It has both you and the baby and our good friend mother nature — so you’re navigating a lot of people and situations.
That being said, I think you can have a pretty good idea of the steps you’ll walk through, and what types of bumps can be on that road.
That type of thing takes experience though — seeing lots of different births with people with different backgrounds and medication situations — so don’t take your friend’s word for what will happen, because each one can be very different.
Know how to get the information you need
Talking to your healthcare team can certainly seem like a foreign tongue. Learning the words and the information you can get from them is such a skill.
Remember, they are setting their own boundaries and they also can’t tell the future — so you have to be thoughtful to know what they can tell you.
Make good choices
Once you have a basic idea of what to expect, and how to get information, now you need to know how to make choices.
How do you combine all that to use it to make up your own mind as you confront decisions to make.
Your healthcare team should be giving you an informed consent, and you need the tools to be able to use that for good.
How to Get Your Confident Delivery
As someone who has helped many women throughout the birthing process, I think your confident delivery starts with three things:
You can’t get a confident delivery talking to friends about their birth experiences. One person’s experience doesn’t always translate to yours.
What are the things you REALLY need to be concerned about? There is a lot to take in during a hospital birth — what do you need to pay attention to is key.
- How do they handle emergency situations (such as a c-section)?
- Where is the NICU located in the event your baby needs additional care?
- Where do you do once you arrive at labor & delivery?
Your End Goals
Is your end goal a vaginal delivery without an epidural, or is it a safe mom and baby?
Goals sometimes shift when we’re in a process — so be mindful of what your ACTUAL end goal is!
If you’re not sure, that’s ok too. This is where a birth plan comes in handy so you can set your preferences and backup options too!
How I Can Help You Have a Confident Delivery
I think education (and great providers) is key to this.
Hopefully, you already have a provider you feel good about.
Education is the other arm of this, and I have created an engaging birthing course that allows you and your partner to get ready on your own timeline.
I love what Brittany & David had to say:
“There was so much great information in this course! We ended up with about 4 pages of notes that we can refer back to as we go through labor, delivery, and bringing baby home. We feel much more informed and prepared to be first-time parents”
There’s also lots of great reviews that you can peruse. In fact, I guarantee you’ll love it like they do, and in case you want a “taste” before you jump in with your time and money, I have a free class you might like to test drive.
Either way, I wish you the VERY best as you head into your delivery.
Such an exciting time and I’m always thrilled by parents that take their labor seriously!
If you’re an experienced mama who’s given birth before, what tips would you share with first-time moms? Drop those suggestions in the comment box at the end of this post!
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