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Most women envision a specific scenario occurring during childbirth. However, even with the most diligent preparation, things do not always go according to plan. When special circumstances occur during labour and delivery, it can create a multitude of negative feelings that may at times overwhelm the new mother. The following information was designed to help women prepare for a positive natural birth experience after having experienced one that was less than ideal.
Past Traumatic Birth Experiences
Because childbirth is a natural process, many women just assume that their experience will be similar to most others they have heard about. When emergency circumstances arise, it is common for women to feel a sense of failure, depression or despair. Some women even develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which may need to be treated by a medical professional promptly.
What constitutes a traumatic birth experience? It varies greatly from person to person. Sometimes something as simple as requiring the use of forceps or medications to help a slow labour progress faster can cause a woman to feel as if she has done something wrong. Additionally, when a woman must have an emergency cesarean section after planning on a natural birth, the result can be an extreme sense of guilt or failure. Since emotions are already running high during and after childbirth, anything out of the ordinary can result in these negative feelings. For some women, these feelings persist after months or even years have passed. This often results in anxiety over having another child, since there may be a constant fear of the same thing happening. How can women who have experienced a traumatic birth prepare for a positive experience the second time around.
Preparing for a Positive Natural Birth Experience
There are a number of ways that a woman can prepare for and anticipate a positive birthing experience even if they have experienced a negative one previously. The following tips can help you to accomplish this preparation, leading to a positive experience for you and your baby.
First of all, educate yourself fully about what is occurring within your body. While it does little good to read horror stories of how other women have experienced traumatic births, it does a world of good to know and understand what is happening within your own body. Books, websites and videos can all provide answers to any lingering questions you may have about the beautiful process you are currently experiencing. Be sure to also enroll in birthing classes, even if you have taken these classes before. This experience will surround you with other pregnant women who may share your concerns, as well as provide an excellent opportunity for you to have your questions answered.
Consider a Midwife
Secondly, consider utilising the services of a midwife or doula. These trained individuals can often provide much insight and direction in a mild manner, which can be quite different than experiences obtained from a medical doctor alone. A midwife or doula can also provide much needed emotional and mental support throughout pregnancy and childbirth, which may be more difficult to obtain from an obstetrician.
Thirdly, it is important that you continue to remain physically active unless directed otherwise. Regular brisk walking, prenatal yoga classes, swimming and other activities can keep your energy levels high and your health on track. These exercises can also help prepare your body for the process of childbirth, making it a little easier on your body and mind.
Fourthly, it is important that you continue to maintain your regular relationships throughout your pregnancy. Be sure to make some alone time for you and your partner on a regular basis. If you regularly went out with friends prior to becoming pregnant, don’t give up those routines. Maintaining your friendships throughout this special process helps you remain balanced, prevents depression and keeps your mind and body active in positive things.
Finally, be sure to think positive thoughts about the process you are getting ready to go through. Your thoughts are a source of inner strength and power. It is important to know that they can impact your experiences on a very real level. Continue to picture a positive pregnancy and childbirth experience. Keep a journal or box of mementos from your pregnancy. Focus on the positive aspects of your current situation and limit or eliminate the amount of time spent worrying about a repeat of past experiences.