Birth preparation is very personal. What is it that you need to know to birth your baby? What options are available to you? Here are some of our suggestions and recommendations of things you might consider:
Where will you birth?
Are you aware of ALL the birth choices that pregnant women have? Is there anywhere available where you can find out about the different birthing options in your area and how they may or may not meet your needs?
An independent childbirth class
An independent childbirth class is one that is not facilitated by staff from your birthing facility. You can attend those antenatal classes also (if you feel you need to). We do recommend having a tour of where you are birthing so that you can picture where you are likely to give birth.
An independent childbirth class is more likely to be focused on the birth itself and preparing you for the birth. It will not be focused on how your birth will fit into your care provider’s protocols and procedures.
Have you thought about learning some relaxation techniques? Perhaps you already use some techniques in your every day life, through yoga for example.
Actually taking the time to learn relaxation techniques in your pregnancy can help you when it comes to birth day. If you have already mastered relaxation techniques, they will come automatically to you during the birth.
You might try yoga or look into Hypnobirthing®.
Looking after your nutrition during pregnancy is important and inadequate nutrition can affect your pregnancy and/or your birth.
What practitioners are available in your area to help you assess and potentially improve your nutritional intake? A naturopath or dietician specialising in pregnancy perhaps?
Are you doing anything in the way of preparing your body physically for birth? Regular walking is great and easy. How about finding a pregnancy yoga or pregnancy fitness class in your area?
This is one area that a lot of women don’t pay a lot of attention to and it is important. Becoming a parent is a life changing experience. Do you have any concerns about the birth? Have you had experiences in your past that might potentially affect how you feel about birthing? How do you feel about becoming a parent?
Would you like to talk more about these things with someone? You may find talking to your doula is enough, or perhaps you need to find a health professional who can provide more specialised care.
Who will your support team consist of? What will their roles be? How will your partner and your doula work together? If you are bringing a family member or friend into the birth room, have you chosen someone who can leave their own birth experiences at the door?
Childbirth support classes for your partner
Finally, the birthing industry is recognising that it is important for men to be supported through pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period too. Men are expected to be in the birthing room but not taught the helpful things they need to know to support you well. There are several ways your partner can learn how to support you through birth, including face-to-face sessions, online classes and books. What form of education would work best for your partner? What is available to you?
Baby shower or Blessingway (Mother Blessing)
Traditionally in Australia, a friend or relative will host a baby shower for the pregnant woman. Baby showers focus on the baby, encourage gifts to be given to the mother for the baby and usually there are party games which focus around the baby.
There is an alternative to the traditional baby shower though and it is called a Blessingway or a Mother Blessing. This is an event that celebrates the woman and acknowledges the mother she is becoming. Mother Blessings are often held for first babies, but women having their second third, fourth, fifth, etc, deserve to feel special too.
There is no set way to have a Mother Blessing - you can make it what you like. There are plenty of ideas out there that you might like to incorporate in yours - talk to your doula about whether she can host one for you.