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.
If you are pregnant, you may be wondering, “Should I take a childbirth class?” If you are an expecting parent, childbirth education classes will help you feel empowered and confident as you move through your labor, birth, and new parenting experiences. You will feel prepared for the big day and beyond with an evidence-based understanding of physiologic birth, the stages of labor, pain coping options and tools, postpartum adjustment and recovery, and so much more. During a pandemic period, you can safely take childbirth classes virtually and reap the benefits of childbirth education from the comfort of your couch, while learning about how to have a positive and confident hospital birth during covid-19.
Watch Jada Shapiro, doula & boober founder, in conversation with Jill Blakeway, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, and clinical herbalist and founder of the Yinova Center. New York Times described her as a “fertility goddess” and named her as one of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists. They cover various pain perception and management techniques during pregnancy and labor including breathwork (including tips for coping with required mask use), acupressure points, and positions that can help. Acupuncture, visualization, and doula care (both in-person and virtual) are discussed.
Pain-coping skills are life skills, not just labor skills. The more they are practiced, the more easily they can be accessed and used during labor.
Acupressure requires physical pressure to be applied to points that run along the body’s meridian system. A number of recent studies have shown the ancient medicine’s effectiveness for making labor a little shorter and reducing pain.