Planning and Preparing

It is frustrating to me that folks spend more effort and time planning and preparing for their wedding day than they do for the birth of their child. Yet the birth of their child will effect a woman for the rest of her life…much more so than the flowers she chooses for the ceremony. I get it that it is expected that they will plan their wedding- but I think we need to change the perspective on preparing for their births. Many folks will not take a class since their friends said that the class they took was worthless. But then if you ask more, it was a one day, slam bam class where they hardly had time to formulate their questions before the class was over. I am not sure that is a good measure of a class that prepares you for your birth.

I get calls from folks who have not scheduled in the time to take a childbirth series- they want one private class or maybe two… because they do not have time to attend a full preparation course. Now granted that is better than nothing, but it is not ideal.

Or they hire a doula to fill in the gap of not attending a class. To me that is like I will add more eggs to the recipe since I do not have flour. It does not work- you need to take classes and not rely on the doula to teach you while you are in labor! It takes time to take what you learn and practice it, to formulate what works for you and what does not. The prenatal(s) you have with your doula are not meant to be childbirth classes. They are an opportunity to communicate the ideas you have formulated from your classes and possibly explore a few more. It is a time to review what you find has worked from the exercises you have already learned and to share those with your doula so she knows what your ideal birth would entail.

Or I get calls from women who have breastfeeding issues once the baby is born, but failed to attend any La Leche League meetings or attend a breastfeeding preparation class. Some women had no idea that they had inverted nipples and that there was preparation during their pregnancy that would have helped with this situation. And the time to learn about how to properly latch a baby is not after a bad latch has caused damage. Or the time to realize one bottle of formula really can disrupt a new nursing relationship is not after the bottle has been given and the baby’s stomach has been stretched past the walnut size it was on day four.

Please consider preparing ahead of time for something you want to have work so badly. Why do we just think that everything will go as we desire when we fail to plan to prepare? I remember my coach saying, “Fail to plan…play to fail.” I truly feel this is true about birth and breastfeeding. Reading the right books are essential. Watching videos to help prepare you may help. Sitting in an active classroom with others who are also in the same situation will help a ton! Take a class- go to a FREE La Leche League meeting to see women actually breastfeeding babies. It can only help!