Open-Minded Labor

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I had a conversation with Amber O’Brien, a certified birth doula in South Bend, Ind., a few weeks ago. She told me about the birth of her son and how that has shaped her perspective and advice to others. She hoped for a natural birth. When labor hit, it progressed much more rapidly than she had expected. There came a moment in the delivery room that she second-guessed herself. “I asked for the epidural. If I would’ve had someone there who would’ve said I didn’t need it, I would’ve avoided it.” She went on to say, “I view my birth experience on two different spectrums: I was happy it was quick, but then again, I didn’t get the natural birth I wanted. I could kick myself for having the epidural.”

So her advice to moms-to-be? “My advice is that you don’t want to expect too much or be too completely dead set on plans for labor. Everything could change in an instant. If the baby’s not happy, no one is. Be open-minded going into it.”

What about you? Were you open minded? Or did you go in with a specific plan in mind with the conviction to not waiver…whether that be for natural birth or an epidural from the get go? Or did you take more of a laissez-fair approach?

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