I attended a workshop the other day and the presenter asked what the general consensus was about childbirth stories. And one lady replied,
"Fear. All you hear are the stories of how hard it is, how painful it is and all that can and will go wrong. You don't hear the good stuff like the support they had or the atmosphere around them. I'm actually terrified."
Almost everyone nodded in agreement. Even the presenter. Where is the focus on the good and the positive, encouraging families without being fear based?
I hear this a lot in my line of work. So-and-so told me this and that and the list goes on. Thanks Hollywood. Thanks for making birth seem like a scary, screaming, the-minute-your-water-breaks-you-have-to-run kind of experience. And yes, there are moments and times that are scary and interventions are needed and emergencies take place and thank God we have those specialists and trained professionals in place. There is a place for that.
B U T
There is SO much more when it comes to birth that so many people don't know and I love to share the other side of things. There are support systems that can be put in place to help the mother manage pain without pain medications, to ease fears and to help release tension that can stall labour.
Enter DOULA. We come alongside the family to hear their story of how they want their birth to unfold, the fears they have and the hopes they desire. And these things can be achieved.
Water. Music. Candles. Relaxation. Birth affirmations. Your own bed and own food. Hospital rooms made to feel more like 'home.' Siblings playing a role. Baking during labour. Massage. Discussion. Choices. Options. Clarification. Advocacy. Empowerment.
So many people question this side of labour and that it's even possible to enjoy your labour. Yes, I said enjoy. I've witnessed it time and time again. A mother full of strength and power, surrounded by family with her favourite music playing, her fears spoken, addressed and worked through delivering her baby and catching it herself. The options are endless whether you are at home, a birthing center or at the hospital. Whether it's a water birth or cesarean, there is so much that a doula can help with. Ask any question you have and I've probably heard it...and I'm okay with it - there is NO judgment with what you want and how you want to birth. A doula steps alongside to help, not tell you what to do.
So when I hear that the general consensus is usually hearing the fearful birth stories, it makes me continue to share the other side of that....and that it's possible, and even more beneficial to let go of those fears and work alongside a birth professional for gentle guidance and to help you achieve and enjoyable birth.
I know my world needs more positivity and I believe that birth world does too.
mama bird doula