Saturday, November 28, 2009

Set Your Mind To It

Too often I have a client who is interested in natural birth, but also says that she is "okay" with an epidural "if she needs it." Nearly all of these same clients have used an epidural.

On the flip side--those that determine they want a natural birth and pursue techniques and resources to help them accomplish natural birth--nearly all of them achieve it.

In the past, when a client said they liked the idea of natural birth, but were okay with interventions--I would smile and say okay. After all, I am their doula--there to support the mother's wishes and desires.

I have a bit of a different response now. I do still support the desires of all my birthing women--even those who walk in determined to have an epidural from the get-go. However, when I have a woman interested in natural/open to interventions I bluntly say to them that unless they mentally decide that natural is the way the want to go--then it is very unlikely they will achieve it. I tell them that if natural is the path they desire I will equip them the best I can, support them the best I can, and Lord willing--they will have a natural birth. Also, if they choose interventions--I will support them just as fully. However, THEY must choose, THEY must decide what they want.

So much of birth is mental. It's not stubbornness (though that can help). A mind that is focused on a goal and pursuing an objective is more likely to achieve, and even when things don't go exactly as planned--this mind is more easily able to accept disappointment and move forward with the ultimate goal: Healthy mom, healthy baby.

What about you? Did you pursue a natural birth? Were you "okay" with interventions? What was your birth story in relation to your mental choice? Did you have a doula present? Tell us your birth story--it helps us be better doulas, and ultimately helps more women through this life-changing experience.