What Changes Birth?

We can’t control birth, but we can influence it.

Many people believe birth happens to us. That we are helpless and one of the biggest fears pregnant women face when pregnant is that they will feel out of control during the birth process.

They get told the only thing that will help them is the drugs – or the
epidural. This is a very disempowering message.

Women have always given birth, and done so since the beginning of time. All cultures have found ways of making birth more manageable for women. That got lost when we took the power away from the‘wise women,’ and gave it to a medical system.

This has proved to be helpful in discovering ways to protect women
and babies – however it has come at the cost of women’s confidence. It is time to reclaim our confidence in birth.

What changes the experience of birth?

    • Choosing a model of care that believes in a woman’s capacity to birth, and supports the choices of that woman.
    • Supporters who understand the birth process and believe in her capacity to get through it.
    • Preparation that includes the following.

Learning to ask questions and participating in the decision making. We need to know that we can say, ‘no.’ We need to identify the difference between a medical necessity and a choice.

Becoming aware of your fears and transform them into something more useful.

Getting active in labour and respond to your need for comfort. This makes labour more comfortable and shortens labours.

Learning to breathe optimally and slowly. This increases oxygen intake, making labour more manageable.

Learning tor relax during the contractions and not fight them. This does not come naturally for most women and takes some training prior to labour day.

Learning different strategies for comfort during labour, like the use of hot packs, bath, shower, and movement. To rely solely on the drugs sets women up for a struggle if they have reactions to the drugs or find themselves past the point of being able to have them.

Creating a birth map, that clearly outlines your approach and choices. This acts as a communication tool for the people caring for you.

Knowing how to manage birth under all circumstances. Things can change, and sometimes we need help.

Finally, learn to harness the incredible power of the mind. Birth is a mental challenge. Our mind is our ticket to enjoying our birth and being ready to meet our baby.

Tracey Anderson Askew is the Founder of Transform Parenting, a childbirth and parenting education organization. For 20 years, she has prepared pregnant couples to meet their baby feeling calm and confident and ready for the bigger journey ahead.

Try her free webinar – Keeping Relaxed and Excited About Birth.

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