Let me ask you a question. When you got married, did you TRY to have a fantastic day, or did you just assume it was going to be wonderful regardless? Did you spend a lot of time planning everything in advance? Did you put time and effort in to making sure the music was right, choosing what to wear, who was attending, what you’d eat, what wine to drink? Did you discuss what to do if things deviated from your ideal situation, like where to take photos if it rained on the day? I’m guessing your answer to all of those would be a resounding big fat YES! What you probably didn’t do, was wing it, do absolutely no prep, and hope for the best. You also probably didn’t expect the worst, and assume it was going to tip it down with rain and decide to not even bother thinking about standing outside for photos or your champagne reception, and resign yourself to having an awful day from the start?
So why, when we put so much time, effort, attention and money in to planning our weddings, automatically assuming we’re going to have the most wonderful day imaginable, even if it rains, do we not put the same time, care, effort and positive mentality in to the birth of our babies?? A day which arguably could be said to be even more important, more transformative, more life changing, and yet so many couples just decide to not get their hopes up, not put plans in place, and just hope for the best? YOU have so much influence over what happens on the day. Your mindset plays a huge part, but so does the preparation and planning you spend.
The parallels don’t just stop there. Think about specifically the kind of things you plan for when you plan your wedding. Music. Food. Atmosphere. Guest list. Venue. They’re all an important part of your wedding day. Your birth is the same! What music do you want to listen to during labour? Calming classical music? Hypnobirthing tracks? Happy pop? What snacks and drinks will you pack in your hospital bag? You need to keep your energy and hydration up to keep labour progressing smoothly. What about atmosphere? Will you take LED tea lights with you? Draw the blinds? Maybe take some lavender essential oil to diffuse? Think about what things will make your environment conducive to releasing oxytocin, the hormone that starts and progresses labour. What about guest list? Who will you have at your birth? Your partner? A doula? Your mum? Are you happy for students to be present? Having the right support is essential. And venue. Where will you give birth? At home? At a midwife led unit? On labour ward? Research your options as they have a very real effect on whether you’re likely to have/need further medical interventions. Those are just a handful of considerations for birth... pain relief (and the side effects of drugs), birthing positions, third stage choices, c-section preferences... the list goes on. And if you haven’t researched each of them, how do you make an informed and educated decision when an option is presented to you? Do the prep now and you minimise then chances of being out of control and disempowered, which can lead to birth trauma.
Birth can be wonderful, even if it rains. You just have to put plans in place and bring an umbrella!
📸STUNNING photography by www.instagram.com/stuganderton