As most of you know, I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with my third baby and I have been on somewhat of an emotional roller coaster in regards to my feelings towards this birth. You see, I had a very traumatic birth experience with Liliana, my first baby, which led to Post Traumatic Stress and extreme anxiety…. something which I have used as a motivator to change my mindset and my life and help others do the same! But the unfortunate fact is that this happens to so many women in todays society and it is not spoken about enough! Sometimes, things just don’t go to plan and there is nothing you can do about it. However, most of the time we do have a choice. We can choose to inform and educate ourselves on the physiology of birth or we can choose to remain in the dark….
I was determined to have a better experience when I fell pregnant with Hazel, so did a lot of reading (I can recommend some excellent books if you want to reach out through Facebook) and birth preparation. I did one-on-one Hypno-birthing classes which a local midwife and ended up with a pretty amazing water birth which healed a lot of the old emotional wounds. This opened my eyes up to the fact that a magical birth experience CAN happen, and it is not just a matter of luck. It has made me very passionate about helping other mums who have experienced birth trauma and first time mummas, so that they don’t have to go through what I did! Hazel’s birth pretty much changed my life and I really want to stress the importance of having a positive birth experience. I have experienced both sides of things and it really can be make or break when it comes to your mental health.
A lot of focus is put on the baby after the birth. Not many people will ask you how you are. Which is disappointing really. However I want to say that YOU matter and if you need to debrief, which I highly recommend you do, then find someone to do that with! It is important that you get the chance to validate your experiences and go through all the ins and outs of the birth experience which you will probably go over and over in your head. This is because you have just experienced the biggest and most powerful thing you will ever experience and you may be feeling either defeated or ecstatic.
To give yourself the best possible chance of having the birth that you want, even if you don’t know what that is yet is to do a childbirth preparation course. And I don’t just mean the ones they run at the hospital.
“A recent study showed a 65% lower epidural rate and a 44% lower cesarean rate for women who did independent childbirth education compared to those that did a standard hospital course”
As I mentioned earlier I did a lot of research and prep before having Hazel and just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be more to learn about birthing, I met Anna through the wonderful world of Facebook (which seems to be where I meet all my friends these days!). Something about Anna’s vibe really resonated with me and I could see that our values aligned so even though I was only 12 weeks and thought I was all good in the labour prep, I did her Online – full circle birth course.
Let me tell you, Anna’s course sparked a whole new love for this tiny human growing inside me and excited me for the birth. It was like no birthing course or book I had ever read before. She did not “preach” what we should do but instead spoke about the body’s natural processes and what needs to happen for us to achieve our desired births. I learnt so much more from this course than I could have from any book! Even though I have given birth two times before I still had so much more to learn!
We spoke about being prepared for when the moment comes so that in labour our bodies can take over when we do not have the mental capacity to make decisions or think rationally. This is why it is so important for us to do our research and practice what ever skills we will need leading up to the labour. It is not just something you can come into one day and go “I got this” . You would not run a marathon or compete in a big sporting event without proper preparation, both mentally and physically. So why do people take this approach to labour and birthing?
“as labour progresses and pain really establishes its presence there will be no time to make decisions about how you handle each contraction. You will just have to go for it!! Your responses will have to be instant with no fear, no inhibition, no uncertainty, no embarrassment.” Juju Sundin
The reason Anna’s course touched me so deeply is that we did all our learning through live, weekly videos so it felt like we could all get to know each other just like we would have, had the course been face to face. It allowed for group interaction and we all felt comfortable to jump in and ask questions when we needed. We have also continued to chat in the private Facebook group which is like our safe space to share our hopes and dreams. We are all like minded women and it has a totally different vibe to some of the “expectant mums” groups that I am in.
If you are a first time mum, someone who has experiences previous birth trauma or just someone who wants some extra information you can’t go past the full circle birth course. I will admit, reliving and talking about birth for someone who is dealing with birth trauma is extremely difficult. But, it is exactly what I needed. It allowed me to face my fears head on and acknowledge that yes, they were still there but I can still do something about them.
If you feel like you need a chat or some help in making your way through the birthing resources or even a debrief after a traumatic childbirth experience please don’t hesitate to contact us and I would love to chat with you 🙂
Lots of love,