Did you know that 30% of women are traumatised by their birth experience? In 2012 that was me. Diagnosed with Post Natal Depression and PTSD (yes, you read that correctly – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I was miserable. Find out how you can avoid my 3 biggest mistakes.
When I was pregnant with my first child in 2012, I had a good idea about what I wanted for my birth.
I was aiming for a drug-free, intervention free, natural birth so I opted to have my baby at a local birth centre.
I knew I would need some techniques to do this so I also booked into HypnoBirthing classes.
Mistake 1 – Stuffing Up Your Choice of Care Provider
So maybe this one seems strange to some of you. I knew what I wanted for my birth and knew the best place to achieve that was a birth centre.
That’s as far as I got.
I didn’t ask a single bloody question after that!
The biggest thing I stuffed up was not asking how they would support me during my labour.
I was expecting a lot of attention, help with position changes and basically company during my labour. I know now that midwives don’t need to do that but that was irrelevant because at the time, that’s what I expected and we didn’t clarify that.
I was really surprised during my labour when the midwives were only in the room to listen to the baby’s heartbeat what seemed like hourly.
I felt scared and unsupported.
These are two massive no-no’s for you to be feeling during your labour!
Now I tell my couples to close their eyes and picture their perfect birth.
Who is there?
How do you feel?
What are people doing around you, for you?
Now you need to make sure that your care provider will fulfil those wishes.
This article, The First Life Changing Decision You’ll Make As A Parent will guide you through this process.
I highly recommend reading and downloading the 40 Question Checklist.
Mistake 2 – Your Birth Support Team
My husband, bless his heart was amazing during this birth. He sat in the shower for hours, half wet and freezing, holding the shower head at just the right angle for me.
But I needed more. I don’t know if it was something primal but I needed a wise woman there with her own birthing knowledge.
There is a pretty long list of things that I wish I could change but I can’t so instead I educate women within my classes to investigate these options.
Every day I believe more and more strongly in this special support only a woman can give.
I now recommend all my couples hire a doula or an independent midwife to support them during their labour.
Research shows that these women, who have this support, get the best, most positive outcomes.
Mistake 3 – Not Furthering Your Education
HypnoBirthing class completed – tick
Relaxation scripts and albums listened to a couple of times – tick
Distracted with all the purchases and baby things – tick
I now realise that as much as I’d like to blame the people who looked after me for my experience, I can’t.
I have worked out that to give birth is to surrender with full trust to the process. To fully believe in yourself and your baby.
I didn’t do this. I was pretty much just sh!t scared the whole time.
This affected my mental state, which as we know in HypnoBirthing, affects your physical body, it simply can’t work as it needs to.
I now tell my couples to practice every day! Keep it up and don’t stop.
You need to keep reading – books, blogs, birth stories. Listen to podcasts. Watch birth videos. Print affirmations. Soak it all up!
You need to ask questions constantly. Ask for research, ask for evidence. If you are not comfortable doing this with your care provider, that is a huge red light right there.
Birth is spectacular, intense and overwhelming. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to achieve and not be a statistic like me.