When I was pregnant, I had quite a few people in my life who didn't believe in my ability to have an unmedicated birth. They thought I would regret my choice to go without the epidural because, surely, I couldn't handle that much pain. They believed midwifery was inferior to obstetrics and that I would surely be in more danger giving birth at a birth center. And giving birth in water? Wouldn't the baby drown?
Despite the discouragement, I was confident in my willpower and ability to give birth without pain medication. My husband and I were well-prepared, and we had a great birth team. Plus, when someone tells me I can't achieve something, I get even more motivation to do it. Sometimes being stubborn has its advantages, I suppose.
Preparation is Everything
So what was it that gave me - the girl prone to crying over a stubbed toe - this confidence? It was the education I had gained by taking a Birth Boot Camp class with my husband. When we started the class, I actually wasn't so sure that I could accomplish what seemed to be a Herculean task. But as we learned about the balance of hormones and progression of labor, various methods to cope with and relieve pain, and about the midwifery model of care, I became more certain that this was what I wanted and that I would be able to do it. I went from fearing birth to looking forward to it.
The birth of my daughter was incredible. I actually look forward to being able to go through labor again someday. Birth Boot Camp truly empowered both me and my husband to achieve the birth we desired, and I want to share that empowerment with more couples. Natural birth takes a lot of physical, spiritual, and mental preparation. If I didn't have that, then I could have easily given in to the discouraging comments I received.
Education Relieves Fears
I have noticed that my friends have all sorts of questions about pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, it isn't a topic that women know a lot about in the United States. I believe that lack of knowledge is part of what perpetuates this fear of childbirth. It makes people believe that natural birth is only for the strongest of women. That midwives are not truly qualified care providers. That childbirth is constantly on the edge of catastrophe. Lack of knowledge is what breeds discouragement. One class at a time, I am hoping to help break this cycle.
You CAN Have an Amazing Birth!
I decided to become a Birth Boot Camp instructor so that couples can learn that natural birth is possible and so they can face it without fear. Couples should feel strong, not discouraged or fearful, when thinking about the birth of their children. I had an amazing birth, and so can you!