Mind Over Matter — Cloud Nine Birth Services | Birth Doula Services | Postpartum Doula Services

We are all programmed to believe that labor and birth are this horrible event. We see it in the movies – mom’s water breaks at the worst possible time, she doubles over in pain right away, goes to the hospital right away, dad is clueless, and everything is a raging mess. Then we hear all the horror stories from our own mothers to the grocery store clerk who happens to notice your protruding belly and feels the need to scare you with his or her horrific experience(s), including the most prominent details to boot.

Yes, labor and delivery can change, and even though we try to see our birth preferences, sometimes it doesn’t play out that way – if mom has a medical issue or has a change of heart in the moment. However, most women can and should have a labor and birth experience that is far from what the media portrays as normal.

Here are some tips to get the birth experience you want:

1. Select the correct place of birth. Some women feel better in a hospital/birth center and others are comfortable at home. Any place that speaks to you, do it!

2. Select the correct birth group. This includes your care provider (obstetrician or midwife), your doula, and your family and friends. Include the people you feel comfortable being your most vulnerable with and the people you know have your best interests at heart.

3. Be proactive and prepare yourself. Study birth – take classes, read books and articles, watch documentaries and videos. Prepare your body with regular physical exercise for endurance mixed with additional pregnancy training for labor and postpartum. Practice relaxation techniques regularly.

4. Create a birth plan. There are so many aspects of labor, delivery, postpartum and newborn care that one must think about and decide. Know what your options are and make decisions based on science/evidence as well as your gut instinct and desires. As your doula, we will guide you through your options and help you prepare a birth plan bias and without judgment!

5. Don’t let horror stories and media exaggerations worry or persuade you. Trust yourself, your baby and the birthing process. Women have been doing it since time immemorial.

The truth is, labor almost never starts with water breaking bags (<10%), the contractions and associated pain are gradual and manageable in early labor, you won't leave the hospital until you're active stage. of labor (likely hours after labor begins), and the birth team has the ability, and more than that, the responsibility to remain calm, present and supportive of the mother throughout her labor and delivery experience. Another fact is that every birth is different because every baby is different and every woman's body is different. So the next time you see Katherine Heigl screaming for an epidural in the movie "Knocked Up" or notice a grocery store clerk preparing to share your worst nightmare in a nutshell - take a deep, diaphragmatic breath. This is not YOUR story. Think about the matter.

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