Pebbles for Preparation for Birth
I wrote an article regarding pebbles representing skills for doulas. I think this analogy works well for couples preparing for birth as well. Let me see if I can explain.
There is a basket of pain coping skills and mindset ideas for you to consider for your birth preparation. And as you engage these skills, gain knowledge of new concepts and ideas and practice them, you move the pebbles from the basket and put them into your jar. For example, my daughters, Julie and Jami, they grew up around birth being talked about on a regular basis- you know- “your body is meant to do this.” you are capable and strong women.” “natural birth is what our bodies were meant to do…” You get the drift. And they had an example- me! So they already had quite a few pebbles toward their birth preparation before they had even begun.
Then Julie took prenatal yoga classes. This added several pebbles to her jar. She really knew her body well having been an athlete but this engaged her body and her mind in preparation for her births. Jami reads a ton of books and so she devoured books that helped reinforce the belief in her body and her birth process. Clink- this added more pebbles to her jar. They both took childbirth classes that offered numerous pain coping techniques- not just one approach but many. This filled their jar even more. They had great prenatal care, exercise, etc.
So when I hear about a birth that did not unfold the way the woman desired I ask a few questions. And besides the location and the provider she chose, one of the biggest ones is what childbirth preparation she did. Often times I hear that she did not take classes. She meant to…. but time got away. She wanted to…. but finances were tight. She desired it… but her partner was not supportive. Or she took a class online- or watched videos only- or listened to tapes… hmmm. I have never been a fan of classes that did not offer a lot of interaction and time to process and then follow up with questions. Nor have I been a fan of only having one tool in your toolbox for labor as some techniques rely heavily on one tool.
Now will you use every tool you learn if you take a comprehensive approach to your childbirth preparation? No. You may only use a few- but the practice and preparation has done a lot of the work before your labor even began. There is a study that shows the number one thing that helped women have a natural birth was confidence. Confidence is built by flexing your muscles along the way and learning things you did not know that helps you begin to believe in your body and your birth process. So the pebbles you will need to take out and use may vary depending on your labor- but having them handy is valuable.
So consider preparation a way to fill up your jar with pebbles that may be useful as a laboring and birthing couple- but also as a person in general. Many of the tools you learn in our classes help prepare you for parenting and for your life in general. Preparation is not wasted and should not lack the priority that it should have.