The question of the day is, how do you get parents and potential parents to experience better birth? According to the national survey, Listening to Mothers III, only 6% of women reported having doula care in 20121. Many women, including Kathryn Roman and myself, have become advocates for better birth from our own personal experience. So why aren’t women aware of better birth choices before they get pregnant?
I’m sure there are many contributing factors to this question, but the to answer this involves so many people all over the world…and it starts with you. Human connection has to happen. Of course, it’s necessary during the act of becoming pregnant. But it’s also important for pregnant women and supportive partners to connect with their communities to understand what options are available. There are options outside of the hospital for normal birth including birth centers and home birth. There is evidence-based research being done so parents can be more informed about the choices they have in and out of the hospital setting. There is an overwhelming array of choices! The discussion should be part of everyday life to create a comfortable conversation with our children so all these choices don’t have to bombard them all at once. This can be integrated into education at all levels, giving children a meaningful understanding of the positive, sacred beauty of birth and the connectivity involved in this natural process. This will give them the confident ability to make good choices for their own births and shape a future where natural birth can be accepted as normal.
The connection continues to be vital between mother and child after birth. “Separating a healthy baby from a healthy mom after birth decreases the chance of successful breastfeeding and raises the risk of the mother’s breast engorgement and anxiety, and instability of the infant’s heart rate, respiration, temperature, and blood sugar. Babies who are separated from their moms and swaddled are 12 times more likely to cry.” 2
There are resources for helping people understand the benefits of natural birth and postpartum procedures. If you want to discover the best techniques for you, ask a doula what kinds of methods, techniques and tools are out there. There are many “Meet the Doulas” events in the Denver area to help local parents. How does anyone know what to ask a birth professional? Which birth professional do you talk to? What’s the difference between a doula and a midwife? All great questions, but they aren’t usually even considered until pregnancy. In some circumstances, women wait until they’ve had a negative experience before discovering there has to be a better way…and there is!
How does anyone know what to ask a birth professional? Which birth professional do you talk to? What’s the difference between a doula and a midwife? All great questions, but they aren’t usually even considered until pregnancy. In some circumstances, women wait until they’ve had a negative experience before discovering there has to be a better way…and there is!
This fall’s Natural Parent Expo: New Parent Edition has recently been announced! Hosted by Denver Natural Mom. The Natural Parent Expo is entirely focused on the expecting family, from a doula Q&A panel to speakers on preparing for birth, breastfeeding and preparing your family for the arrival of your baby. Come and see what resources are available to help your transition to parenthood. Early bird tickets are available for another week!
1. Declercq, Ph.D., LCCE, Gene. “Are Mothers Receiving Support from Others during Labor?” Birth by the Numbers. Declercq, Ph.D., LCCE, 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 July 2015.
2. Dekker, Rebecca, PhD. “Can Hospitals Keep Moms and Babies Together after a Cesarean?” Evidence Based Birth. Rebecca Dekker, PhD, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 July 2015.