As I enter the final countdown of my pregnancy journey (thank goodness!), I wanted to share an important nugget of information that truly altered my understanding of the birth process, and I hope others can learn from my experience. My one piece of advice to all pregnant folks: Educate Yourself.
When I first got pregnant, I simply took the route that seemed to already be paved out for me — I went to the OBGYN that my gynecologist recommended and went along with their normal procedures. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of my second trimester that I began researching what I wanted out of my birth experience, and I suddenly realized that it was not in-line with my current medical provider. (I have the documentary Business of Being Born to thank for opening my eyes to the options!)
After educating myself on the choices that were available, I decided that a med-free birthing center delivery was the ideal situation for me, and quickly realized that I needed to re-evaluate my support team in order to achieve that. I switched to a midwife, hired a doula and I can’t tell you how much of a difference it has made. Even if my birth plan goes out the window during go time, I am completely content knowing that I’ve done everything I could on my end, and that I am able to make informed decisions during labor/delivery because I’ve educated myself of the options and I trust the team whose care I’m in.
In our country, labor and delivery is so often viewed as a standard process, when in fact, each individual and each birth requires different wants and needs. And so many of us don’t realize all of the options that we have surrounding it.
Regardless of what your birth experience looks like, whether it’s an at-home holistic birth or a hospital birth with all the medicinal bells and whistles, it should be your choice. I can’t stress how important it is to find the right provider who is supportive of that choice, and is someone whom you trust to make decisions that are best for you.
Photo by Brklyn View Photography