I'm going to come right out and say this. It's what every childbirth educator on the planet thinks and what we all talk about in our private forums, but what very few of us dare to say in public.
We're confused, perplexed and downright frustrated, about the amount of time, effort and money, many pregnant women will spend on identifying the most aerodynamic, lightest, and trendiest pram on the market. This is versus researching, preparing and investing, in the most monumental rite of passage they will ever experience - childbirth.
There, I've said it, and that feels REALLY good.
Now, before you jump to the conclusion that this is a rant from another 'natural birth extremist', please, get back in your box. As I genuinely, don't care, if your baby enters the world through the sun roof, you push them out on all fours, or, you want to free birth by mountain lake in the Outer Hebrides. Seriously. I don't care.
The funny thing is, for the woman who chooses to free birth in the Outer Hebrides, this blog isn't relevant. Not because she's free birthing, but, to have arrived at that decision, she will have done some research, weighed up the pros and cons and made an informed choice, about what feels right for her and her family.
All I want for you and EVERY pregnant woman, is to be able to make informed decisions, about your pregnancy and birth. But how can you do that, if you're too scared, busy or distracted, to focus on the amazing feat your body is about to undertake?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not blaming you.
It's a cultural thing. In the UK, we, have now had two generations of women being told that their bodies are not designed for this job. Intuition doesn't count for anything and the men in white coats know infinitely more about giving birth, than any woman possibly could. We have been told that birth is not safe, and it's the worst pain you will ever experience. Why the hell wouldn't you want to think about anything other than giving birth.
The thing is, that by nature, you are not a fearful person. You've looked fear in the face many, times throughout your life and absolutely sleighed it. In the boardroom you have the power to make men quiver at the knees and why is this? Because, when it comes to business, you are always the most prepared person in the room. You walk in with confidence, knowing that you will be able to navigate whatever curveballs might be thrown at you. When someone makes a statement, as if it is fact, you have the confidence, to ask the right questions; ensuring that, that person is, correct, relevant and specific. And it's only then, YOU lead the way; making decisions based on what they have said, what you already know and what your gut tells you. You can only do this, because of the preparation you have done beforehand, and this is what you do all day every day. So, why, when it comes to, meeting your baby for the first time, why does all of that due diligence go out of the window?
Your experience of birth, has the power to instantaneously, empower you and strengthen the bond, attachment and unity, of not just you and your baby, but your entire family. Equally, a disempowering or negative experience, can lead to weeks, months and sometimes even years of pain, disappointment and the regret that comes from being unable to experience the type of positive birth that both women and families, benefit from.
When you go into birth without fear of the process, it makes it easier for your body to perform more optimally. But on top of that, it also enables you to stay calm and make decisions from a rational perspective, rather than from a highly emotional, state of being; which, can only be a positive thing.
You achieve positive birth experiences - note, I said positive, not natural - when you know your stuff, feel supported by your birth partner, feel heard by your care providers, and feel at ease with the process of birth. These things are not a given. You have to set yourself up for this beforehand, building a solid foundation, in the same way you would set yourself up for an amazing business meeting.
So, I invite you, to put the babymoon brochures aside, pause on the plethora of endless extensions for the pram and start thinking about your birth today. This is the most important first meeting you are ever going to have in your life, make it a great one!