Parts of the Puzzle that Make for a Good Outcome

Recently a local childbirth educator made a comment that students in her classes had the average cesarean rate of consistently 10-12%. I thought wow that is great- I have never kept statistics on my students. I have kept statistics on my doula clients- over the last year my primary cesarean rate has been 8% and all of the cesareans- not including planned ones for things like placenta previa- but including women who had previous cesareans had only been 12%. But it made me think of all of the pieces of that go into the puzzle that makes for a “good” outcome. I realize “good” is a subjective word- so for the sake of this blog article, I will classify “good” as non interventive or at least having only the interventions you as a consumer choose.

Often times a couple who chooses our classes- certainly different than the “normal” hospital “how to be a good patient” classes. So they are usually looking for a different approach- perhaps in an attempt to have “their” birth experience- not the hospitals or their care providers. They are usually open to hearing new ideas that will help expand the ideas they are already developing on their own.

Often times a couple who chooses our classes are not choosing the “normal” birth experience and therefore has either chosen a care provider who is open to stepping outside of the “norm” or soon figure out from the class and their own exploration that the provider they have chosen will need to either get on board or they will need to find a new one.

Often times a couple who chooses our classes are not reading “What to Expect When You are Expecting,” or “The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and Birth.” They are reading books like “Birthing From Within” and “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.” They are refusing to believe the view that you follow protocol even when it is not what you want.

Often times a couple who chooses our classes are considering their support team carefully. They either surround themselves with family and friends who are on the same page- or they choose to hire a doula. The added support of a doula is definitely documented in numerous studies to make a real positive difference in birth outcomes.

So I choose to believe that my classes- our classes at Labor of Love offer one more piece of the exploration process for a couple to consider in their journey to parenting. My mom used to tell me if you take credit for all of your kids positive characteristics, you must also take credit for the bad ones. I choose to be happy about the characters of my children- and will praise them- hoping that I did influence them but fall just short of claiming credit!

My advice is to prepare for your birth as much as you prepared for other important, life changing experiences in your life up to this point. Choose your care provider carefully. Choose your support team carefully. Choose how you educate yourself carefully. Blend all of this together and you will likely have a “good” birth experience and one where you can take full credit for the choices you made along the way.