The Bottom Line- Preparation

Sometimes folks share their  birth stories with me. Sometimes births occur within our group where there is a lesson to be learned. I hope to share some things with couples preparing for their births that will help them understand how to really prepare.


You can choose the perfect location for your birth… choose a fabulous midwife…. choose a wonderfully supportive doula…. take informative classes…. but things will not go well none the less. It is important to consider a few things:

  • Location is one piece of the gentle birth pie. If you choose the wonderful hospital that offers supportive staff and even water birth but you choose a care provider who does not offer that- guess what? You will not be having the births you read about from your friends about that location- you chose the wrong provider – one who does not support water birth!
  • A fabulous midwife is a huge piece of the pie. But if you are not honest and open with her about your concerns and she for some reason does not hear you if you do- is she listening or are you not really opening sharing? You must convey clearly what you desire to have her be able to help you achieve your desires. Communication is key. If you do not feel you can communicate before you are in labor- don’t think that that will change in the midst of the labor!
  • A supportive doula is a great idea. But does your doula know the facility you are birthing at well? Is she an experienced doula who takes this role seriously? Do you feel a connection with her that builds trust and allows you to be vulnerable? Is she available for you to talk to when you need to do so? If she offers her expertise, will you listen to her?
  • If you can not afford a good class- look at your budget again- ask for classes as a gift- find a way. Carve away some expenses that are extraneous- make it happen. And if you do take classes- please practice and work on making the lessons become part of your daily activity so you will be able to use them in labor with ease. And if you can not find the money- then go to the library and check out some good books- we offer a list here in our store. And if you can take 30 minutes a day to read this blog, that will help you a lot in your preparation.

Preparation is the key.

These are some of the things I hear that make me cringe:

  • “I knew my doctor was not supportive, but felt it was too late to change.” It is not too late!
  • “I am hiring a doula but don’t have the money to take classes too.” That is like taking a cooking instructor to a cooking contest and expecting her to teach you while you compete!
  • “I took a ton of classes but just don’t have time to review the material or do the exercises.” You just wasted your time and money.
  • “I can always change this at my next birth.” Really, you will have more time and money when you have a toddler at home?  And recovering from a difficult birth and healing enough emotionally and physically in order to birth again, is not so easy for some.
  • “My doctor does not listen to me or have time for my questions. But he is quite busy.” No he is quite disinterested in what is important to you.

Please prioritize the things that can really make or break your birth experience.