Have you ever found yourself saying, “I wish I knew that earlier” or “I wish I knew that during my first pregnancy”? Whether this is your first, second or ninth pregnancy, here are 3 secrets from your doula that can help you feel empowered and informed throughout your pregnancy, labor + delivery!
1: Everyone’s Experience Is Unique
If you’re like most women, you hear different stories from your friends + family about their pregnancy and birth experiences. The truth is…your experience is unique and will not be identical to anyone else’s. This goes for subsequent pregnancies as well.
The best advice I can give you is to listen to your body and your own intuition. It will help guide you to make the best decisions that are right for YOU! This is YOUR experience and nobody else’s so don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Be confident in your choices and know that you are doing what’s right for YOU and your baby!
2: You Have Options
During labor, you have a variety of comfort measures available to you, many of which hospitals will provide. Some of these options include:
- Birth ball
- Peanut ball
- Back massager
- Dimmed lighting
- Essential oils
- Sheet for hip + back release
- Snack options
Since every hospital has different rules, I recommend talking with the hospital staff where you plan to give birth to ensure you have a full understanding of what they will provide and what you can bring with you.
Getting this information sorted out early can provide you with enough time to find alternatives that the hospital will allow.
3: Your Partner’s Role
While your partner doesn’t go through the physical, emotional or mental changes that you do during pregnancy, they can play a big role in helping you navigate these unchartered waters. They can provide emotional support during appointments and help you make decisions if the need arises. Your partner can also help support you during labor by doing one or more of the following:
- Massaging your back or hips during labor to help alleviate some of the tension
- Give you water and small bites of food during labor to ensure you stay hydrated and you have the energy to keep going.
- Provide positive emotional support to help encourage you along the way
- Help ask questions and assist in the decision making if the need for intervention arises
- Simply hold your hand and reassure you when you need it most
Allowing your partner to help you as much as possible not only makes pregnancy, labor + delivery more manageable for you, but it also allows them to feel more connected to you and your baby. Communicate with your partner to ensure they know exactly what role you want them to play and what you expect of them. The more you can delegate to others, the more you can stay focused on labor and delivering your beautiful new bundle of joy!
While hiring a Doula may not have been something you thought of, I would highly recommend looking into it. If you can’t afford to hire your own independent Doula, some hospitals provide you with volunteer Doulas so make sure you look into your options.
Use the above three secrets from your Doula to help you create your birth plan. I also recommend talking with your provider as well as doing your own independent research to ensure you are prepared as possible during labor, delivery and recovery postpartum!
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