Birth is so important, sadly many of us  don't realise how important until we have actually done it! 

It is a subject I could talk about all day.!! It is bloody amazing! But it comes in so many different ways, it doesn't matter what way it comes, as long as it is YOUR way, and YOU feel like you had an element of control.

It isn't HOW you give birth, but how you FEEL about that birth...As a society we are managing birth more and more, and with that comes difficulties. In some cases, birth absolutely needs to be managed, and inductions and interventions save millions of mums and babies lives, however WE need to play a part in that process. 

Nothing should happen in your birth or your labour without your consent, the terminology used sometimes can make us think that things are happening that we have no choice over. You need to understand the options and choices, YOU make an informed decision. We talk about the BRAIN acronym in class (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Instinct, Nothing). There are benefits and RISKS to EVERYTHING we do, we must understand them all to make an informed decision. 

If we feel that things are happening that we didn't choose, or that we don't understand, we begin to feel out of control. I am not saying we can control labour, we can't, babies tend to do that, but we can control ourselves. We can understand a situation and feel like we are part of the decision making process, therefore feeling an element of control. We can understand adrenaline (next blog), we can understand its impact, how it is designed to make us feel, a primitive and instinctive response to many things, but most importantly how we can control it. It doesn't really matter what is going on around you, if you feel calm and in control within yourself you have a far better chance of having a positive outcome. Birth Trauma is real...

"Birth trauma is in the eye of the beholder"
Cheryl Beck (Nursing Research January/February 2004 Vol 53, No.1)

The Birth Trauma Association states: 
"It is clear that some women experience events during childbirth (as well as in pregnancy or immediately after birth) that would traumatise any normal person.

For other women, it is not always the sensational or dramatic events that trigger childbirth trauma but other factors such as loss of control, loss of dignity, the hostile or difficult attitudes of the people around them, feelings of not being heard or the absence of informed consent to medical procedures."

Giving birth is a huge event in any woman's life, we gear up for the actual birth, sometimes not thinking past how it will be when the baby is here. Those first few hours, days, weeks and months pass in a blur. Breastfeeding is rarely as easy as we think...the chances of developing PND are 50% higher in those mums who wanted to breastfeed and couldn't, birth trauma can have a devastating impact on the early hours and days of breastfeeding.

Newborn babies are hard work, no one tells you how hard, a mix of sleep deprivation, sore nipples (sore everything!), and massive hormone surges makes those early hours and days difficult, without adding birth trauma (or worse PTSD) to the mix. 

Some of us need to take in all the information we can get our hands on, some of us are better with the bare minimum. Choose a course that suits you, but choose it so that you can prepare for YOUR birth.

Birth via CS, next to a lake with a baby deer present, or in hospital taking as many drugs as you want, it doesn't matter, what matters is YOU and your birth partner, and that YOU are part of the choices and decisions made.