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Your big day that you have planned for months (or maybe even years) has finally arrived. You are about to meet your sweet baby (or babies)! The questions are: How you will decide to bring your child into the world? Do you want to experience an unmedicated or medicated childbirth?
When it is all said and done, we simply want a healthy baby, but do not discount the experience and what you want.
As someone who experienced both medicated and unmedicated births, there are benefits to both approaches. The biggest lesson I learned through both of these experiences is that the body speaks volumes, and it is incredibly important to listen to it. Before you make a decision on the birth plan you’d like, be sure to be flexible and take these following tips in mind.
Take Birth Preparation Classes
Unmedicated Birth Plan :: Find a local class that focuses on the birth experience and different techniques. I had the opportunity to take a Lamaze class at the same hospital where I planned to give birth. This experience was amazing because the instructor did not push an unmedicated birth as the only way. Instead, she focused on a healthy experience and using the tools available. Some of the tools included different pressure points on the body, utilizing exercise balls, and breathing through different positions.
>> RECOMMENDED RESOURCE :: Guide to Pregnancy & Birth :: Birthing Locations, Doulas, Midwives, OB/Gyn Doctors, and Other Resources <<
The time spent in these classes not only taught me new things about my body, but it also created a community of expectant mothers. The class when it was all said and done gave me the confidence in my body inclusive of my decision.
Medicated Birth Plan :: Having gone through the Lamaze class for my first, I felt more equipped and comfortable with my breathing. If you choose the medicated route for your birth plan, it is important to still participate in some preparation because it will prepare you for how to breathe through the discomfort while you wait for the medication to take effect. These classes, and other classes, will not only prepare you for breathing techniques but it will also help you understand what to expect in different stages of labor and when the administration of the medicine happens.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Have an open mind and prepare for the unexpected. In my birth plan with both kids, I shared that I wanted to go the unmedicated route, but also shared alternatives to ensure a healthy delivery.
Unmedicated Birth Plan :: Despite an overall positive birth experience with my son, there were still curve balls at the very end. I did everything the class told me to do, but yet I was not fully prepared for the entire experience. This is not to say to be scared or fearful! Instead, have an open mind and be present in the moment.
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Remember that a healthy delivery is best! If you decide that you want an unmedicated birth and then decide that the pain is too unbearable, do not be afraid or feel like a failure to change your mind. There is nothing wrong with a medicated birth experience!
Medicated Birth Plan :: With my second child, I mistakenly believed that my birth experience would be the exact same. I thought that I have done this before — what on earth could be different? I was wrong!
The experience with my second child was much different. I decided to have a medicated birth experience and could not have been happier with my decision. I was flexible, open minded, and frankly had to make a decision that was in the best interest of my health, comfort, and that of my child.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Both of my experiences reminded me that a healthy mom is equally important to having a healthy child. My second birth experience presented challenges that could have been scary, but I had to decide to take care of me and my comfort. Had I not remembered to take care of myself, it could have been a much more challenging experience.
With all birth experiences, it is critical to remember that you are equally important. Birth is hard work. It is important not only to have a positive experience, but also one that allows you to enjoy the sweetest, most precious moments of your baby’s first few minutes on this earth.
The decision regarding your birth plan can be a scary and daunting one, but remember: You are in control. Whatever is best for you and what you want is so important. Do not feel the pressure to go either way because every child and each experience is so different and so beautiful.