As a licensed midwife, I believe taking charge of your maternity care from the beginning is the best way to prepare for a healthy, happy birth. Here are some tips I have as a licensed midwife for ensuring you remain in control:
- Think about what is most important to you. Consider what is most important to you during the birthing process, and make sure this is communicated to your care team. Remember that your values and preferences matter.
- Take responsibility for your health. This means you should stay fit, eat well, limit stress, and get as much rest as possible. You should also work with your care provider to learn as much as possible about pregnancy and birth.
- Learn about what your body (and your baby’s body) will do. Know how your body will change during pregnancy and birth, as well as your baby’s, so you will understand how to support these changes.
- Find good labor support. Having good labor support can reduce the need for pain medication and any feelings of dissatisfaction surrounding the birth of your new baby.
- Understand why you should wait for labor to start on its own. As a licensed midwife, I know that when your body is ready to give birth and your baby is ready to be born, labor will begin. I generally recommend letting labor get started by itself instead of trying to induce labor.
- Make a plan for coping with labor pain. There are many ways to cope with labor pain when the time comes. Work with your care provider to research options available and come up with the best plan for you.