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7 Ways to an Informed Birth

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Giving birth is one of the biggest experiences of our lives. At what other point do our efforts result in bringing a new life into this world? Yet, women often go into birth with a lack of information. The result? Oftentimes it’s less than optimal. So what can you do try to improve that outcome? Be informed every step of the way. Here are 7 ways to have a more informed birth.

7 Ways to an Informed Birth

Read a lot.

Start with this list of my top 5 books on pregnancy and birth. But, go beyond the expected. Also, read books that cover the history of birth to get an overview of where we have been, where we are and where we might be headed. Check out “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy and Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Espstein. Read statistics and perspectives on birth such as Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. Read real stories here and in books like Labor Pains and Birth Stories: Essays on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Becoming a Parent edited by Jessica Powers.

Watch and listen.

Take a look at the documentary “The Business of Being Born” and listen to podcasts such as Preggie Pals.

Interview practitioners.

Explore your options before choosing a doctor or midwife. Decide what type of practitioner you want and how involved you want to be in your birth. Schedule meet-and-greets and ask questions. Find out what their c-section rates are, how often they induce, whether they continuously monitor the fetal heart rate, what their policy is on moving around during birth and more. Choose your practitioner when you are happy with the answers you received. Decide if you would also like a doula.

Seek advice.

Every mom has a story and she loves to tell it. Ask moms you know what it was like, if it went well and what she would do differently. Read through the birth stories on this site, as well.

Take a class.

Explore different options such as HypnoBirthing, Lamaze, Bradley method, your local hospital’s classes or the online Birth Boot Camp classes.
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Develop a plan.

Once you’ve done your research, you will better understand what an optimal birth looks like to you. Write it down in a birth plan, discuss it with your practitioner, take it with you to the hospital, and talk with the labor and delivery nurses upon check-in.

Go beyond the birth.

Remember that a whole new world opens up once your little one enters the world, so study up on what’s to come after the labor pains stop. Be informed about breastfeeding, diapering options, sleep solutions and more.

Birth can be full of twists, turns and uncertainties, but by becoming informed, you better your chances of having a more optimal birth experience.

We love to hear from our readers! Comment below and let us know if you found this helpful. And, if you’re already a mother, did you have an informed birth?

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