My beautiful friend, Carli, who is due any day now. Photo courtesy of Inked Fingers!
I’m taking a break from my ranting about floors and feet to talk about Pregnancy- my other favorite topic. Last night I had a discussion with a Pregnant Mom who just took my Hypnobirthing class. She is thinking about switching from her OB/hospital to a Midwife and birthing center and wanted my opinion.
As opinionated as I am about most things in Life, when it comes to decisions regarding pregnancy, birth, and parenthood, I would much rather be a sounding board or a Guide rather than overtake a conversation with my own opinions and preferences. I firmly believe that everyone comes from a different place, has different backgrounds, expectations, support structures, and it’s not my place to tell them they are wrong or try to convince them to do something that I believe in. I am only here to be a resource, a devil’s advocate sometimes, and help them make decisions that will best resonate with them so that they can have the best possible birthing experience.
What I have noticed is that people tend to fall into 3 categories:
- Those who feel most comfortable in the Hospital setting
- Those who feel most comfortable outside of the Hospital
- Those who are on the fence
I want to, once again, reiterate the fact that Birth is 90% mental. Your birthing environment plays a big part in your mental and emotional comfort level. Let’s look at Jessica- my friend and old college roommate. Jessica is a Podiatrist and took my class 2 years ago. She made an excellent point during class one night that I’ll never forget as it gave me a different perspective on where people are coming from. She basically stated that, because of her background in medicine and her Life’s work as a doctor, she feels extremely comfortable in a hospital setting. She is familiar with the terminology, procedures, and just feels a certain sense of ease in the hospital.
A hospital birth was the most logical and most comforting place for Jessica to have her baby.
Let’s look at myself. I had a hospital birth in Japan. Back in Austin and pregnant for the second time, I had a not so great experience with an OB and decided I wanted a more personal experience than I was getting. When I met April, my midwife, I knew she was the one for me. I felt way more comfortable in the home-like setting of the birthing center under the care of my midwife. My birthing experience ended up being everything I wanted it to be and more.
The Midwifery Model and birthing center was the best place for me. However, I would never try to convince Jessica that she should have an out of hospital birth. Just because it was right for me doesn’t mean it was right for her. This is a very important concept that so many people don’t “get.”
Going back to the Mom who called me last night. We talked about the pros and cons of both. She asked lots of important questions and I answered as best I could. My best advice to her and to anyone else who is either on the fence about where to have their baby or is even just a wee bit curious about birthing centers and/or the midwife model of care is this:
Go visit a birthing center. Schedule an interview/consultation with a midwife. Just like I told the Mom last night- you’ll know. You’ll know, in your gut, if it feels right or not. You’ll know if you feel a sense of comfort or a sense of anxiety. You’ll know if you click or not with the midwife and her style. And also know this: the most important decision in your pregnancy is your care provider. So take the time to choose someone- OB or midwife- who you feel comfortable with and who is on the same page as you regarding your birthing preferences. (That’s another blog post altogether. )
Trust your gut.
Listen to your instincts.
Remember- this is YOUR experience. No one else’s. Some people will question your decisions, but you know what? Welcome to Parenthood. People will be questioning your decisions for the next 18+ years. May as well start to get a thick skin now.
And if you need a sounding board, call me :)