This is one of the most important days of your life!
Women plan for their weddings, and it is equally if not more important to plan for the day of your child's birth.
You will need to make decisions in the following areas:
- How do I choose my care provider?
- What are my legal rights?
- What is the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative?
- What kind of tests should I have?
- What complementary care should I receive during my pregnancy? Chiropractic? Massage?
- What do I want for my birth experience?
- What do I want for my birth environment?
- What do I expect labor to be like? How will I manage pain?
- Will I hire a doula?
- What do I know about possible interventions? Do I want them?
- What interventions do I want for my baby? Vaccinations? Circumcision?
- What do I want for the "Golder Hour" - the first hour after birth that is pivotal for bonding and recovering from labor? Delayed cord clamping? Cord blood banking?
- Do I plan to breastfeed?
- How will I cope with my changing emotions and the transition into motherhood?
Use this 5-step process to help you make decisions about your maternity care:
1. Educate Yourself—read books, articles, websites… join discussion groups… ask questions!
2. Listen to Your Body—feel your baby move, exercise, choose healthy foods, trust your intuition
3. Build a Personal Birth Philosophy-what do you believe about birth? What do you envision will happen on the most important day of your child’s life?
4. Childbirth Education—take a childbirth education class to prepare yourself for what to expect. Learn how to advocate for yourself and your child.
5. Build a Birth Support Team—decide who you will surround yourself with on the big day. Choose people who know your birth philosophy and are prepared to support you!
What about tests and procedures?
Before consenting to a test or procedure, remember to... BRAND
B— Ask, “What are the benefits?”
R—Ask, “What are the risks?”
A– Ask, “What are my alternatives?”
N– Ask, “What will happen if I do nothing?”
D– Make a decision that is right for your family.
Download the document for a printable resource of this information