Birth Preferences, more commonly known as Birth Plans, are a wonderful way to communicate your wishes with your support team and a great way to dive in, learn more about what your birthing options are, and to clarify what is most important to you during birth. Any uncertainties you have will make great talking points with your medical providers and with your doula. Birth Preference Sheets can be brought to one of your prenatal appointments to make sure that you and your midwife/OBGYN are on the same page about setting expectations for your birth. If, after a discussion with your provider about your Birth Plan or Birth Preferences, you feel like your provider or place of birth does not fit with your wishes, you may want to consider hiring a new midwife or OBGYN.
You’ve heard all about the wonderful benefits of hiring a doula, such as a decrease in cesarean birth and the use of pain relieving medications and an increase in positive birthing experiences. You have decided that it makes sense for you and your family to hire one! Now what? It’s time to start interviewing doulas who will potentially support you during an extremely exciting and nerve wracking time. This is why hiring a doula who you trust and like is so important.
The term natural childbirth can mean different things to different people. For some people it simply means a vaginal birth even if they are using pain medication and other interventions. For others it might mean a vaginal birth without pain medication but other medications or augmentation (like pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin) could still be part of their experience. And for some a “natural” birth is a birth without any intervention. There is no one right way for a birthing person to give birth and every person should have options and autonomy in choosing what works best for them and their particular needs and wants. The term natural is inherently complicated, but the term natural birth is so common, we wanted to address this term.
So you’ve read the blogs, you talked to your friends, you saw all the chatter about switching to a homebirth early in the pandemic. Maybe you’ve seen the popular birth documentary like The Business of Being Born? You’re pregnant and you have come to the conclusion you want to give birth at home. Or maybe you’re pregnant and you have no idea where you want to give birth. Maybe you assume you’ll go to the hospital like most everyone else you know. But you keep hearing these stories of friends who had C-sections, who had to lie down for most of the birth, who couldn’t hold their babies right after giving birth and you wonder if there’s an alternative option. What about giving birth right in the comfort of your own home?
While there have been virtual doulas for a while now, the appearance of the novel coronavirus has transformed this once largely in-person role into a remote and critical one. We are living in unprecedented times, and many of us have been ordered to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. As hospitals work hard to reduce the possibility of transmission, extra people, including doulas and, in some cases, partners, are currently not allowed in several hospitals to support laboring people. We must protect healthcare workers and flatten the curve, and we empathize with how challenging it will be for partners to not be there physically.