Christine Sheets Birth Services

Birth and Post-Partum Doula, Birth Photographer, Childbirth Educator, Lactation Counselor

A Wonderful Birth

on October 25, 2015

I was a brand new doula when I first heard Naoli Vinaver Lopez’s words.  A wonderful birth.

Lopez quote

What makes a birth wonderful?  “Healthy mom and healthy baby” is the catch phrase casually tossed around many L&D rooms.  Yes, this should always be the most important goal.  (Do we really even need to say that?!)  But it certainly shouldn’t be the only concern.

As Midwife Shelly Girard states, “Perinatal psychologists have researched the long-term effects of the birth process on women and their families and conclude that giving birth is a momentous event which can impact all involved psychologically and spiritually for an entire lifetime.”

With such long-reaching consequences, I truly believe it is the right of every woman, child and family to have a wonderful birth experience.

“Wonderful” is a very individual concept.  Every person has their own idea of what a wonderful birth looks like.  From a surgical birth with general anesthesia, to an unassisted birth in the great outdoors, and everything in between.  Each birthing woman will have her own idea of “a wonderful birth.”  As will her partner.

As a childbirth educator, I help families discover their options and learn tools to help them prepare for and achieve their intended goals.

As a doula, I provide support for their choices, mental reassurance, emotional encouragement and physical comfort measures.

And as a birth photographer, I try to capture the love, anticipation, effort and exhilaration of everyone involved.

But what happens when plans go awry?  Just like life, birth is unpredictable.  Complications can develop slowly over weeks of pregnancy.  Or labor can shift dramatically within moments.  All the preparation and practice can’t guarantee a predictable result.  Nor can any provider or doula.

But while it may not be the birth anyone envisioned, it can still be a wonderful birth.

Research tells us that more importantly than the circumstances of the birth [method of delivery, level of interventions, use of pharmaceutical drugs or not] is how the mother perceives her treatment and care:

Was she treated with compassion and respect?

Where her plans and requests given due consideration?

Where her emotions validated?

Where the complications and interventions explained fully?

Barring an emergency situation, was she given time to process the change in plans and accept her new circumstances?

In addition to “healthy mom and healthy baby,” THESE are the goals medical care providers and birth workers should be striving to meet.  Because everyone deserves a wonderful birth.

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