What if we organised our birth like our weddings

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How are you feeling about your birth? Are you feeling confident and excited? Or worried and nervous? If you’re anything like most parents-to-be, you will be wavering along the spectrum 100 times per day. There are lots ways to make childbirth hurt less.

The majority of women do worry about how their birth is going to be. But it doesn’t need to be like that.  

I have worked with hundreds to women over the years – one-to-one and in groups; pre-birth, during birth and post birth so they are able to prepare for their labour and birth confidently.

Today we are going to be talking about, what it would be like if we organised our births as we did our weddings? And what effect that would have on our birth experiences?

At the end of this video, I invite you to download the Resources Bundle (Pregnancy Roadmap is included)  which is a guide to help you at each stage of your pregnancy so that you can plan for a much better birth experience.

So let’s get into the topic in a bit more detail…

    Close Your Eyes and Imagine

    Now I appreciate that not everybody watching this video will be married, and half of you might not be. But just for a moment, just hypothetically think how you would organise your wedding, if you were to do so.

    Now, did you know that in the UK, the average wedding will cost around £20,000 and on average, women will spend 11 hours a week planning their weddings.

    Just think, what kind of birth you would have if you were to have £20,000 and spend 11 hours a week planning your birth?

    So, I would like you to think for a moment how you have or would organise your weddings and how you would plan it to work around your needs and taste.

    Research Magazines and Blogs

    Many of you will read magazines and blogs for tips and trends. Anecdotes and reflections. Disasters and surprises. Planning preferences and suppliers.

    In-Person Research

    Lots of you will have been at quite a few weddings and there have been things that you have really liked about them. So, there are a lot of elements that you will pick and there are so many different choices to make.

    There are things that you will choose to do and the things that you think aren’t for you, you won’t do.

    Birth Choices?

    With a birth, it can be very different. And often we don’t think that we have choices and that we can make choices.

    Birthing Culture and Media

    We don’t really embed ourselves in the same amount of literature. We maybe read some stories, but because there are so many negative stories and so much negative portrayal of birth, such as “One Born Every Minute,” then we can start to get ourselves into a really negative thinking around birth and thinking that giving birth needs to be.

    But actually birth can be completely different when you know what choices are available to you and you have you can navigate the system.

    One of the things that is different between organising and planning a wedding, and organising and planning a birth is that often we have been at weddings before so we know how they run.

    With a birth, that rarely happens. It’s rare that you will have been at a birth until your own birth and what happens with us is that we get led along by the system.

    Long Live the NHS

    This isn’t to say that the people who work in the maternity system of the NHS don’t try to help us, because the vast majority are absolutely amazing!

    We have got great resources and great people that work there. But if you don’t know what choices are available to you within that system, how can plan the birth that you want?

    I believe strongly that you can have a positive birth within the NHS system when you know how to navigate it.

    Let’s look at two types of pregnant women

    Katy’s Birth Experience

    The first example is Katy. She is fairly relaxed about her birth. She thinks everything is going to be absolutely fine. She signed up to her NHS classes, NCT classes(National Childbirth Trust), she has a couple of books around birth. She has got a hypnobirthing book and she has downloaded some MP3s to help her to relax around her birth.

    So it gets to her due date, and the baby’s not here, so Katy starts getting anxious and wonders, “Where’s this baby?”

    She goes to see the midwife and the midwife says why don’t we book you in for an induction in ten day’s time, which is quite normal and that is one of the very common, routine processes that happen within the NHS.

    Ten days after her due date, nothing had happened, so Katy goes in for the routine induction.

    Like many other women, Katy is in there for a few days, going through the induction process and ends up going through a caesarean birth at the end of that.

    So, let’s take an example of another woman, very typical of the kind of women that I work with – Julie.

    Julie’s Birth Experience

    Julie is going to get herself really informed about giving birth and what she does is she signs up for her NHS classes and NCT classes. She goes to pregnancy yoga and birth dance classes. She goes to a hypnobirthing class and joins her local positive birth movement.

    By doing this, she starts to really understand how the local maternity system works. She works through all of her fears around birth and she really focuses in on having a positive mind set.

    Julie joins lots of different Facebook groups, she follows different people on Instagram, she reads lots of positive birth blogs. She really gets herself to the point where she understands all of the different decisions and choices that she can make around her birth and all of the different elements that she can choose.

    Julie goes to see her midwife around her due date and she says,

    “I would like to book you in for an induction in ten days’ time, because that is what our local guidelines tell us to do.”

    However, Julie decides that she is going to decline that because she knows that that’s her choice.

    Expectant Management

    She knows that two weeks after her due date she can still be pregnant and still can choose to have ”Expectant Management.”

    Expectant management is where mothers are monitored every couple of days to ensure their health and ensure the health of their baby. To ensure that all is well and that no medical issues have arrived.

    So Julie says to the midwife,

    “Thank you so much for offering me that, but I am going to choose to decline that because I believe my body will birth when it is meant to. It might be beyond my due date. I might be two weeks after my due date.”

    National Institute for Clinical Excellence

    She decides that she will follow the guidelines for expectant management by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which would mean that she would go in for monitoring every couple of days. That would mean monitoring for both her and her baby so that they are both well and their health is perfect.

    She gets to two weeks after her due date and goes into spontaneous labour and experiences a beautiful birth at home.

    Two Different Birth Experiences

    The first example – Katy – is very typical of many of the women who come to see me in my birth trauma recovery clinic, who really struggle with their birth experience and really haven’t understood what has happened to them and have felt at times very out of control and they’ve not felt safe.

    Whereas Julie, our second example, is absolutely typical of one of my clients who attends our local positive birth movement group because she is really informed round all of her choices, around how to navigate the system and when she can choose to have a treatment and when she can decline.

    She has invested her time and money wisely and as a result has had a much better birth. You see, most Mums don’t believe that they can do that and take control of their birth.

    Many women spend more time researching their buggie choices than they do researching their birth choices.

    Now let’s be clear here. I am a huge fan of the NHS, I love it. Yet whilst I am huge fan of the NHS and I have personally experienced and have witnessed really positive  experiences, can you imagine if the NHS was put in charge of organising your weddings?

    With all the best will, skills and training in the world, the priority would be on health and safety, while at the same time, minimising risk and costs.

    Birthing Choices and Outcomes

    I believe strongly that when we have a better birth experience where we feel safe and in control.

    We can begin to parent our babies out of an experience of joy and love rather than from a place of recovery and that is why I truly really believe that all women should be able to have a better birth experience.  

    What are you going to commit to today?

    What are you going to do? How are you going to plan? Where are you going to invest your time and money so that you can have a much better experience?

    Download the Resources Bundle (which includes the Pregnancy Roadmap).  Don’t forget to include you partner. They are an equal person in this process and it is absolutely vital that they are working together with you on this so that you can both experience a much better birth.The Pregnancy Roadmap is a step by step guide through each of the stages of your pregnancy so that you can prepare for a much better birth experience.

    Scroll down and leave a comment. Tell me what you think. It could help a lot of others in the same boat.

    A positive birth doesn’t come from inaction. It comes from investing your time and energy into making it a much better experience.

    It’s your turn to learn how to relax deeply, learn wisely and experience a much better birth.

    Tricia x





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