by Samantha Garcia Gagnon, Pitt Meadows Birth Doula + Photographer
Once upon a time, women’s birth teams looked like this:
Today, for many women their birth teams may look like this…
But, it doesn’t have to.
Your birth could look like this:
How do you get that kind of birth?
By choosing your birth team wisely!
When deciding who you would like to join you in your birth, there are a few factors you need to consider before giving the go ahead. It is important to only invite those that:
For most people, their partner, if they have one, will provide many of those needs. The birthing woman's partners role is an essential ingredient in birth. They can make her feel calm. relaxed, and most importantly, loved. When she feels loved and care for, then the oxytocin hormone - the most powerful and important hormone that makes for stronger contractions, will be produced much better.
However, if her partner is the sole support person then he will also need to:
That is where a professional Birth Doula can come in and provide the extra support needed.
A doula can help with…
The evidence for doulas reflects what a difference we make to births which includes:
While we do a lot of things during the birth, we do not:
While having a strong birth team does involve inviting people other the your partner, like a doula, there is such a thing as too many people. Births are a wonderful occasion and many people may feel it is their right to be there, or just simply want to be there. Before saying yes to everyone who wants to be at your birth, ask yourself:
Having people present who you don’t want there can have a negative effect on your birth experience and the outcome. They can make you nervous, self-conscious and pressured to “perform” which will then produce Adrenaline. Adrenaline is also known as the Fight or Flight Hormone. While it does play a role in birth, it is important that it doesn't happen to early as this will hinder the production of the hormones that help labour along and help the birth sensations not feel as intense - oxytocin and endorphins. If you experience adrenaline too early, it can stall or stop labour, which often leads to interventions being suggested, which can then lead to a cascade of interventions.
The MOST important choice you will make for your birth team though is in who you pick to be your card provider as they are the medical professionals. You need to feel trust and confidence that the information they are giving you is correct so that you can make choices in your birth that are the best ones for you.
“If there is one thing you can do RIGHT NOW to ensure your best birth experience, it’s this: Choose a care provider who is an EXPERT in the type of birth you are planning. If you are planning a safe, skilled cesarean birth, you should hire someone who is an expert at cesarean sections. You wouldn’t hire a doctor for a c-section who said, “Well actually I’m not really comfortable with that type of birth, but I’ll let you do it if you want, I suppose…” If you’re planning a safe, natural, unmedicated birth, you should hire someone who is an EXPERT at supporting natural birth. A doctor with a 30% c-section rate is not a natural birth expert. Neither is a doctor who does routine episiotomies, or doesn’t understand how to catch a baby unless mom is laying on her back. A doctor who says “Well, most of my clients do end up choosing an epidural, but if you want to go natural you can do that, I suppose…” is NOT an expert in unmedicated birth. When you find the right care provider, they will understand your birth plan before you even show it to them,
because it’s what they already do EVERY DAY.”
~Lauralyn Curtis (HypnoBirthing Educator)
So why is it so important? Who you choose to be your care provider is important because it affects the care that you receive and the effects of that care, the amount of information you receive, the choices and options you will have presented to you - particularly during your labor and birth, and how involved you will be in making decisions during your birth.
When you are deciding who your care provider will be, some of the things you want to confide are if your care provider:
In BC there are a few options for care provider choices are they are:
Sometimes, the red flags don't start showing until later in pregnancy but don’t forget - if you feel you are not receiving the care that you need from your health care provider -
IT is never too late to switch.
For so many, birth is something that is done to them. But by getting informed, building a strong birth team that supports you and your choices and trusting in the process, birth can be a wonderful experience that you get to do.
If you are interested in learning more about doula support and how we can be the perfect addition to your birth team, schedule your complimentary consultation with a Maya's Nest Doula today.
The Maya's Nest is here to help you have the birth and postpartum experience that you want. As your doula, Samantha provides information, support and nurturing to birthing families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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The Maya's Nest Doulas and Birth Photographers provide information, support and nurturing while capturing life's
most precious moments to families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody,
New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley and Surrey.