What's your "birth philosophy?"
When you're pregnant, all you think about is what your baby will look like?, what sex your baby will be?, how hard will labor really be? And so on.
As your belly grows you may get asked many questions. "Is it a boy or a girl?" "Who's your provider?" 'Do you have names picked out?"
But, on questions I imagine you never get asked is this:
"What's your 'birth philosophy?'"
Defined as "a particular system of philosophical thought" a philosophy is not static.
As we learn and experience, we add to our knowledge and understanding of that system. Birth is truly a miraculous event. As a doula I bear witness to it each birth I attend. Each birth is it's own and each family's experience different.
As a mother I have experienced changes within my own birth philosophy and as a doula of families for multiple births, I have seen birth philosophies evolve over time. For example, as a first time mother you have never experienced birth before, but as a mother of three your perspective changes.
Society's birth philosophies are fed to us through movies, social media, shared stories, & family's experience. As a soon to be parent, you might not have stopped to consider what your personal birth philosophy might be.
As you learn about pregnancy, labor & birth, & parenting...take time to ask yourself some questions.
- Do you feel birth is a normal physiological process?
- Where do you see yourself when you imagine your birth?
- Does having medical technology and interventions make you feel safe?
- Do you imagine your partner to be by your side or someone else?
- Is your birth a celebration with activity and people or a quiet calm space?
- Do you want to utilize drugs, epidurals to reduce or eliminate the pains of labor or do you want to feel each contraction?
Many mothers create their own philosophies as the months of pregnancy go by. The very transformational time of pregnancy and birth provide parents with opportunities to grow and become the parents that they have imagined themselves to be.
Doulas are by your side, supporting you no matter what your birth philosophy may be. They can help you explore these questions and more. And if you're craving information, a doula provides research-based information to help guide you on your journey of discovery.
A doula can help listen to you and support you as you come to know your own feelings about pregnancy and your upcoming birth.
Our advice is this:
Don't let Facebook, family, Hollywood, or the book your friend lent you last week decide your philosophy for you.
Ask yourself what you really feel about giving birth and then surround yourself with the people and tools that support you in that philosophy.
Birth is messy, amazing, terrifying, and wonderful.....own it....in whatever way that makes you feel empowered and in control of your experience.