Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that you even need help. And when you’re pregnant, there’s plenty of times when people think you’re less capable than you are. You can show them what you’re made of. Because if this, you definitely don’t want to ask for help. But labor is the perfect time to accept support.
If you’ve had a child before, you understand the different phases of labor. If not, there are many phases to labor. You start out exited and ready to roll and progressively become internal and focused until your baby arrives. If it resonates with you, do take a Childbirth Education class, like Birth Knowledge, to get a thorough understanding of what your options are. I especially like the Birth Knowledge course because you have the opportunity to learn about breastfeeding and newborn care in addition to information about labor. But maybe that’s not feasible? Classes are expensive and time-consuming, (although worth your time). Consider getting a doula!
How do you know you need support?
There’s a variety of signs to look for, but the main thing is to trust your instincts. Do you feel overwhelmed? Pregnancy takes a lot of calories and you need to nap often, exercise daily, and eat well. Give yourself a moment to center as often as you need it. Throughout my pregnancy, I would stop and remind myself that at that very moment, I was safe, healthy and everything was fine. Sometimes I had to do this every 15 minutes. Try doing this when you wake up. You don’t even have to stop what you’re doing throughout the day to acknowledge that you’re healthy, safe, and everything OK.
What else can I do?
As a doula, we are told about behaviors to be aware of. Knowing these behaviors help me to determine when to “get help” for someone. But what does it mean to “get help”? It can mean a variety of things. It can be a great idea to talk to someone before you have your baby to be prepared with tools to understand what you might be faced with emotionally. Mary Schroeter of Intergrative Pathways works with women to find out what type of support works best. She runs a support group in Littleton and will be starting one here at The Family Room this coming fall! She gave me some great advice about talking to women, empower their option to choose by showing them the different choices they do have to help them feel better. Sometimes it just helps to vent.
This is temporary!
The important thing to know is that however hard the situation might be, there’s a variety of options for support. You won’t stay pregnant forever! Your child will eventually sleep and eat. My Dancing For Birth™ class on Wednesday nights at 6 pm at The Family Room is a safe space for women to come together and talk about struggles and concerns with pregnancy, new baby care, or even breastfeeding. There’s also a free breastfeeding support group here at The Family Room! Talk to someone who is willing to listen. Get a hug. And above all, love yourself…we’ll get through this together.