Hi I’m Sara, creative director (fancy name for small biz slave to my own business) at Teepee Learning.
I’m about to get real with you about birth.
We already know that everybody from Grandma Joyce to Trish next door absolutely love to put in their two cents about this topic with unwanted opinions and horror stories. So now it’s my turn, not to scare you with my horror story, but to help you realize just how important birth prep really is. (Please accept this trigger warning for anyone who has had a traumatic birth and recovery).
Before we get into that, head back in time with me for a minute and go back to a time when you were super excited to be planning your school formal with your friends. What you would wear, whom you would go with, what car you would take to the venue, you get the point. It was so exciting and such a big milestone in our lives up until then. We planned for it. To make sure it went as smoothly as it could and we got the most out of it.
“But whatever happens in birth will happen, no point in planning”.
Now head back with me for a minute to a time where you got engaged and couldn’t wait to tell everyone and plan your wedding and your Hens night! Woohoo! The girls are going to get together and have the BEST TIME EVER!!!! Where shall we go? Let’s do something Cray Cray! (Do people still say that? Or am I officially old?) Lets go shopping 5 times each weekend for what we will wear! Lets plan the food, the drinks, how to get there, who is coming.
You see where I am going with this. The amount of hours spent on this “big life event”, one that you may be so drunk for that you don’t actually even remember half of it.
“It’s OK I don’t need to write a birth plan or think positively, the women in my family had terrible births so I will too. I’ve accepted that”.
“My Dr told me I can’t have a vaginal birth after my last C-section”
It’s really easy to feel vulnerable in the moments and days before giving birth that of course we can feel pressured into taking on the opinion of others. It is really important to feel you have the knowledge, the tools, the confidence and the strength to birth the way YOU want to birth. Whether that be at home, in a hospital, at a birthing centre, with a doula a doctor or a midwife.
Make a plan. Plan for the best birth for YOU. Make it special, trust and believe in yourself and baby that this will be a special time for you both. Make it yours. OWN your words when others wish to hear how you want to birth.
If you feel that you want to rock a home birth and it is what YOU wish for you and your baby then OWN those words and ideals up until that very final moment. Prepare, prepare your mind, your soul and your body. It ALL matters. It is OK to plan for the birthplace and environment that suits you and your situation.
It matters. It matters more than the school formal that you planned for. It matters more than the Hens night you spent weeks planning for. Ask any Mother and she will agree. She will always have her birth story in her mind, good or bad. Why does it matter? Because at the end of the day, happy Mum, Happy baby.
So what are my top tips for birth prep?
1 – TRUST IN YOURSELF
This means following those gut feelings that tell us to do something but we often are to busy and ignore them.
2 – TRUST IN YOUR BABY
Your baby knows when it is ready to come more often than not, talk to your baby everyday. It can hear you. Trust baby.
3 – SET BOUNDARIES EARLY ON IN YOUR PREGNANCY
If someone or something is bringing a lot of stress or negativity into your life it may be time to let him or her go while you are pregnant. I know, easier said than done but stress is so toxic to your and your baby’s health. If you don’t want others opinions, now is the time to set some boundaries around what they can discuss around you.
4 – RID YOURSELF OF AS MUCH STRESS IN PREGNANCY AS YOU CAN
If you have a hard stressful job it may be time to cut back. Assess all the areas of your life where you can improve stress levels. Be mindful of your thoughts at this precious time. Get some exercise to improve stress and anxiety if they are problems for you.
5 – EAT/DRINK AS HEALTHY AS YOU CAN MANAGE
OK so I am the first to say I was stoked when my female Dr told me if I have to live off hot chips and chocolate milkshakes for a while as I was so incredibly sick then do it! She did! But when you are feeling up to it, drink loads of water and eat lots of healthy food to nourish and grow that baby of yours. It really can make a difference.
Now where does my story come into this?
After a traumatic birth with my first son that resulted in a fourth degree tear, I endured an extremely painful recovery and traumatic healing process both mentally and physically for years following my son’s birth. It changed my life forever.
When I fell pregnant with my second son I worked with a doula and she said to me one day
“Sara, Stay present, fear does not exist there”.
That went up on my toilet wall. Along with many other quotes that she gave me. Whenever I would freak out and want to have a C-section so I would know what was happening I would call her or read these quotes and it helped. (As deep down I wanted a natural birth)
It helped me so much to trust in myself that I ended up having my second baby born into my own arms in a birth pool safely at the hospital with no intervention. A Dr didn’t even enter the room until after the birth. I believe that all my months and months of research, meditation, body prep and doula prep helped me have MY ideal birth.
After Vander’s birth I collected all my favorite birth quotes, found an amazing artist to work with on design and turned them into my beautiful Pregnancy and Birth Affirmation Cards available for women to purchase and have with them to prepare for their birth and enjoy their pregnancy.
I am not a doula, a midwife, a Dr or an OB I am just a creative and passionate mother who loves women and who has had two completely different birth experiences that have changed my life path forever. I truly believe in what I sell and I have heard from many women who have purchased my Birth Affirmation Cards and have loved using them.
Now go slay that birth Mama, however the hell YOU CHOOSE to.
Sara – Teepee Learning