In order to foster a positive birth experience, one where you feel cared for and well supported, you must find your place in the drivers seat. Taking charge is key to ensuring that your unique needs are desires are listened to and met. This blog is a good starting place, it will go over the different types of providers as well as the various places to give birth. If you need more help with finding a provider, a place for birthing your baby, or even just to help you sort through your options shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
OB or Midwife: What’s the difference?
An OB (Obstetrician) is a doctor that specializes in caring for a person through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. They are trained and often experienced in a wide variety of perinatal situations. OB's are also trained in surgical births, whereas midwives are not.
A Midwife is professionally trained to care for a person perinatally. There are different types of midwives. A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is the midwife you will find in a hospital and birth center. A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is often the midwife you will have with you during a homebirth. They each have different types of training and both care for lower risk pregnancies.
Places to Give Birth: You mean I can birth outside of the hospital?!
If you want to, yes! Depending on your local area and the laws in your state, you have options! Here in Middle Tennessee we are fortunate to have several hospitals to choose from, a couple birth centers, and a decent amount of homebirth midwives.
When choosing where to deliver your baby, you will need to keep in mind that some pregnancies and births will need the specialized care of an OB and access to medical equipment, thus a needing hospital birth.
Another important thing to keep in mind is pain management, this looks a little different for out of hospital births. For common pain medication used during labor and birth, this will require being a hospital setting. In the case of having freedom of movement, which is a common piece of maintain comfort during unmedicated labors some, this is often an option in all birthing places, but you may want to ask just to be on the safe side.
Care Providers: How do I pick the right one?
I always recommend interviewing a few different providers to find one you feel comfortable with. Ask all the questions, don’t hesitate to ask all of your questions. This really helps you discover more about the provider (and them about you), which can tell you a lot about how supportive they will be of your pregnancy and birth goals.
Some examples are:
How much experience do you have supporting unmedicated birth?
What is your cesarean rate?
How you feel about your patients going to 42 weeks?
Will you allow me to have an elective induction at 39 weeks, if I want it?
How soon can I get an epidural in labor?
You may not have a lot of questions just yet and that’s okay! During the interview share any hopes or worries that you may have. This interview is especially important if you have a particular history such as a previous cesarean and you are planning for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Be sure to ask specific questions related to your situation and the outcome you would like to see happen.
I hope this inspires your confidence and helps you find the best pregnancy provider!
Have you been impacted by words? Not sure? Think about it this way. You are in the checkout line at the grocery store and the clerk says “that baby must keep you up all night; I can see the bags under your eyes.” How would this make you feel? Now think about how different you would feel if the clerk said “I can see how much you love and care for your baby”. You are likely to feel uplifted by the latter versus feeling the need to complain to a friend or your spouse after the first comment. This draws you into a negative mindset and thus you gravitate towards those happenings over the positive ones.
Now picture this, say you woke up and said to yourself “I am going to have a great day today!” Now you have shifted your focus to seeking out the positive events such as good traffic and you getting to your appointment early, scoring the best parking spot, or finding out you got your morning coffee at a discount! Think about how these small events impact the rest of your day. Are you lingering on that negative comment or are you seeking out those small positive moments?
Let’s now apply this concept to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. When we change our way of thinking, we change our mindset and attract these positive things towards us. Now obviously, pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood don’t always go as planned, even with a positive mindset. If we work to prepare for the unexpected, we are still concentrating on what we want and like within the situation.
This is a way of life. It is simple, yet not always easy to adopt. It takes consistent practice and a certain amount of control. Start with small, intentional changes and it will soon become habit. Small changes like these can make big differences!
Here are some suggestions:
-Create positive affirmations and hang them up somewhere you will see them frequently.
-Be intentional with your words, focusing on what you want versus what you don’t want.
-Don’t take things personally; let negativity from others roll off your sleeve.
-Always do your best and keep moving forward.
For further reading, explore The Law of Attraction and "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Did you know?!
Crystals can be useful tools in assisting you with your current intentions! This is because they have an energetic frequency that resonates with our own body's energy. Crystals are even used within various electronics to amplify frequencies.
Here are some commonly used crystals for increasing fertility, during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum season.
Amethyst- aids in clearing anxiety, overcoming blockages, reducing stress, and assists in healing the body.
Amber- aids in pain management, supports absorbing nutrients, and is good for transformation.
Moonstone- regulates the reproductive system and hormones, alleviates pain, and assists through new beginnings.
Moss Agate- helps to relieve fear and anxiety, aids in safe delivery of baby, and boosts your confidence.
Rose Quartz- promotes loving yourself, assists with healing from childbirth, and helps to balance your emotions.
Unakite- promotes good health for birther and baby, assists in feeling calm and confident, as well as aids in achieving goals.
Crystals work alongside your intentions. Keep them near you or wear them, they also make great additions to a birthing necklace!
I personally love working with crystals; I have them in my home, car, and wear them daily. I make a hemp pouch that allows the wearer to change the stones in and out to adjust to what they need support with then.
Contact us for more information on crystals!
Hello, Aubrey here! I am the founder of Birth of Life Doula Services. I just wanted to share a little bit about how this business came to life.
I chose to become a doula and start this business after my first child was born. I already had a little bit of an understanding of what to expect during pregnancy and birth as I had attended a few births prior. While I didn’t realize it then, I was providing physical and emotional support just like a doula! During pregnancy I took a childbirth education class and at each class I was on the edge of my seat with excitement for not only my upcoming birth, but also that of my peers. The best way to explain how I felt was that I wanted to be a fly on the wall at as many births as I could.
During my first labor and birth, I didn’t have a doula. It wasn’t until then that I fully realized how impactful this support can be. My birth experience was the exact opposite of what I had planned for and wanted. Through it I felt alone, scared, uninformed, and just sad. It all happened so fast and I was just left feeling like my body had failed me. I didn’t want other people to feel this way, which is what started my becoming a doula.
My passion is to help families feel informed, prepared, and supported during the birth of their child as well as for their new life with a newborn. I started this business in the spring of 2017 and since then I have trained as a birth doula, a postpartum and infant care specialist, a childbirth educator and reiki practitioner. I also pull from my early childhood education background to provide my clients with as much information as they desire. If I don’t know the answer, I will help you find it.
I have just recently come back to doula work after my second child was born. For my second birth, I hired an amazing doula and I finally got to experience what having a doula is like on a personal level. I couldn’t wait to start working again! So if you are in the market for a doula, I would love to talk about being there to support you and your family.
Our bodies go through so many major changes during pregnancy and birth. They grow, stretch, and just change in various ways- some of which are permanent. One of the most common postpartum topics that I hear is about pre-pregnancy weight. A lot of us are worried about getting back to the weight we were at before pregnancy or trying to hide the physical marks of pregnancy. In most cases, these thoughts or feelings create or worsen a negative image of ourselves.
I recently heard a piece of advice that forced a light bulb to go off in my head about my own postpartum body. It was a response to a comment about keeping clothes that will fit again once getting back to that pre-pregnancy weight. It was “give away the clothes that do not fit and buy clothes that make you feel good in your current body”. This really hit home for me.
A little bit of back story on me, I am 1 year postpartum. I carried my daughter to 38 weeks and gave birth to her by a cesarean delivery after a couple days of labor. I gained about 60 pounds during pregnancy and my body grew all over. I did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight around 6 months postpartum, but I still found that I wasn’t fitting in some of my old clothes. This was really sad for me because some of these were my favorite pieces, so I decided to hold on to them until I fit into them again. I thought it was a great goal!
What I found instead is that I just felt like I had nothing to wear because my clothes weren’t comfortable or they didn’t fit me correctly. Even at my pre-pregnancy weight, my post-pregnancy body was still different. When I heard to give those clothes away, my first reaction was “I love them too much!” then as I gave it some more thought I realized that those clothes were no longer bringing me joy, but instead they encouraging me to have negative feelings about my body. I was already struggling with negative feelings about my body after my birth experience and my feelings towards these clothes were just added fuel to the fire.
So I broke down and decided to go for it, I cleaned out my closet. I left only clothes that fit me and that I felt comfortable in both of which made me feel good about myself. The emotional difference since making this change has been incredible. I feel good about getting dressed again! I don’t feel as if the clothes that fit me are second best and I don’t feel like I have absolutely nothing to wear.
All in all, give this some good thought. Think about what makes you happy and most comfortable with the body you are living in. Remember that bodies are amazing and that no two are exactly alike. I hope this helps someone embrace their individual beauty and thus helps them foster positive feelings about themselves.
Each and every person is different; there are no two people that are exactly the same. This is why people do not fit into a "one size fits all" mold. In all aspects of my life, but especially in my doula work, I strive to keep an open mind in order to learn more about other's views on various topics. I believe in the right to one's opinion and believe that even with opposing views, people can live cohesively. I value the ability to form my own opinions. I encourage people to develop their own views and support them in their choices, regardless if they are the same as mine.
All of this brings me to a topic that is currently on my mind: breastfeeding. With world breastfeeding week in full force, it is important to remember that breastfeeding is not for everyone. There are some people that choose not to breastfeed and there are others that are unable to regardless of how much they try. Breastfeeding is also not always easy, it can be tiresome, painful, and binding. Breastfeeding is not the only way for a child to be fed, there are other wonderful options available. The most important thing is that babies are fed.
I am currently a breastfeeding mother and I value that I am able to share this journey with my daughter. Today I participated in my local community's "Big Latch On" and the reason behind my decision to do this was to bring awareness to public breastfeeding. There have been numerous times when I have needed to breastfeed in public. My daughter has never been one that would stand to be covered up; she will cry, not eat, and struggle to remove the cover. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by people who are supportive or unconcerned about my public nursing and just hope that every other person breastfeeding receives the same.
Thanks for reading,