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Thoughtful Thursday: Birth Vocabulary

So there were two articles back to back in my news feed this morning….

First this one:

Gold Coast Hospital reduces caesarean rate by helping expectant mums overcome their fears of natural birth

But after being given time to talk through her fears with obstetrician Anne Sneddon and then with midwife Jenny Fenwick, Ms Watts says her “faith has been restored” in natural deliveries with the birth of her second son, Gyan, a month ago.

“They talked about how to labour, what would be the best position, what I could do that would reduce pain relief,” she said. “I didn’t even ask for gas, whereas I was asking for gas in my first birth and I was asking for an epidural.”

Dr Sneddon credited drops in caesarean rates to a range of changes, including the identification of anxiety in some women and linking them with the one obstetrician and midwife in a “continuity of care model” to work through their fears.

Read the article here: http://bit.ly/1alpzRy

And then this one:

Do I Need a Yurt to Have a Natural Birth?

Giving birth is scary — especially if you have never done it before. I remember looking down at my giant, pregnant belly, and thinking the laws of physics were a lie. I knew the baby would come out, but the suggested hole did not make any sense. Giving birth to a human seemed about as likely as regurgitating an entire watermelon. In fact, I was so nervous I’m sure I would have preferred if the baby came out my mouth.

Read the whole article here: http://huff.to/1alrm9k

While the author,  Toni Nagy, goes on to explain that she did have a natural birth in a hospital, and offers for decent tips on how to achieve that; if I was a mama freaked out about natural birth, that first paragraph alone would not encourage me to read down to the bottom of the article to read her natural birth tips.  I would probably read that first paragraph and say to myself, “Thank goodness for epidurals!!”

There are care providers and birth spaces that support a mother’s birth choices – it is our role as consumers to find them.  When we do, and have transformative birth experiences, I really invite those of us who have had empowered births to start talking about them with empowering words.  If we had a natural birth, an appropriate use of an epidural, a cesarean by choice, basically, choices that we feel good about, start telling people about that birth experience.  Use other words that are encouraging, even if “fear” and “scary” were part of your story, make sure you share that you transcended and came out on the other side with a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.

I define an Empowered Birth as:

A mother working together with her support team and a care team that are invested in a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.  As much as possible, they honor her birth wishes, help her make informed consent decisions regarding her care if/when there are decision points, and there are no regrets about the path of labor or the outcome.

In our own experience, Empowered Birth can be:

      • Transformative
      • Empowering
      • A Rite of Passage
      • A Learning Experience
      • An Amazing Experience

After reading those articles this morning, I will definitely make more of an effort to use those words when we go to birth events, meetings, or in general conversation when it comes up.

What kind of words do you use to describe your birth experience??