10 Reasons why you should educate yourself for child birth
Camilla Alves (DONA certified Birth Doula and Photographer)
The birth of a baby marks a very special transition for the family. One of the best ways to make sure you have a memorable and empowering experience is by educating yourself. Because of widespread resources, women now have access to evidence based information and they can take knowledge of their body into their own hands and actively participate in making the decisions of her birth.
Here are 10 reasons why this should be your top priority during your pregnancy:
- Women have the right, responsibility and privilege of making decisions regarding their bodies, birth and baby. When you don't educate yourself, you don't know your options and you can't make informed choices.
- By knowing the risks and benefits involved in each procedure, you are better equipped to make decisions when something doesn't go according to your plan.
- You know what to expect and likely won't be caught by surprise during the birth process. Giving birth is very personal and, even though women have unique experiences, knowing the physiology of what is happening to your body can help you feel more secure and prepared.
- When you learn about options, you and your partner get a chance to decide what matters and what type of experience you would like to have during childbirth, such as level of privacy, interventions, pain management, etc.
- People have different preferences and depending on yours, you can find a more fitting provider in whom you can trust to help you have the experience you are looking for.
- Hospitals follow protocols. The medical staff is trained to make sure the outcome of the birth is a healthy mom and a healthy baby, and they are very good at that. But that often translates into statistical based decisions, making it a less personalized experience.
- Information is power. When you have educated yourself, you understand what the nurses and doctor say, making communication easier and clearer. You can ask questions, speak up, decline and make requests, as long as they don't interfere with yours and the baby's health.
- By educating yourself, you and your partner can find tools to deal with the pain, stimulate labor and better deal with the unexpected. You can practice techniques such as different positions, massages, counter pressure, exercises, etc.
- There are several psychological benefits related to the level of patient's involvement in childbirth decisions. Some of the benefits are increased satisfaction, enhanced emotional well being, increased sense of empowerment and self esteem, lower levels of fear and less depressive and posttraumatic stress after birth.
- By integrating evidence based information with individual health care needs, values, beliefs and preferences, you can avoid unnecessary interventions and have a safe, respectful and personalized birth experience.