How can I prepare to have a satisfying birth experience?

 

  • Know yourself.
    • Know what you want. Think about how you want your birth to be.
    • Listen to and read others' birth stories. Note what resonates with you -- people in attendance, the location, and the atmosphere.
  • Know your body.
    • Understand the birthing process.
    • Prepare for the physical part of birth by doing prenatal yoga, yoga-based prenatal exercises, or similar exercises.
    • Know your diet. Adequate protein, salt, and water are especially important during pregnancy.
  • Know your options.
    • Research local care providers -- obstetricians, midwives, and doulas. Know that you decide who will provide care to you.
    • Research birthing locations -- hospitals, freestanding birthing centers, and your home. Know that you choose your birthing location.
    • Research standard birthing and newborn care practices. Know that you decide what procedures will be done for you and your baby.
  • Know your care providers.
    • Ask your care providers what their standard birthing and newborn care procedures are.
    • Decide which of those procedures you are comfortable with.
    • Make a plan with your care providers so that they know exactly what you do and do not want for you and your baby.

Birth is more than a physical act. It is affected by your comfort level -- regarding where you are, who is with you and how comfortable you are with your body and the birthing process. As you plan for a satisfying birth, do your research and follow your intuition. Only you know what a satisfying birth for you would look like.

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