The Two Week Wait
10 Questions To Ask Your Care Provider
What is Informed Choice?
Pregnancy After Miscarriage: How Long to Wait Before Trying Again
Five Positive Birth Stories to Inspire You
How to Plan for Postpartum
A Quick Guide to Breastfeeding
The latest Mothers and Babies report shows that 96 percent of Australian women give birth in hospital, with 75 percent of those birthing in public hospitals.
If you’re currently planning a low-intervention labour and birth in hospital, there’s a few things you should know. While many women feel comforted knowing that medical intervention is right there if it’s required (I definitely felt this way!) unnecessary intervention can often leave new mothers feeling like they didn’t have a say in their birth experience. Subsequently, this may contribute to negative feelings around birth which can be a contributing factor to birth dissatisfaction and postnatal depression.
Research tells us that there’s a strong link between informed choice and positive maternal outcomes. That is, if a birthing mother can make informed decisions about her labour and birth and those decisions are respected and supported by her care provider, she’s more likely to feel positive about her birth experience – regardless of where she births or how she births.
Throughout pregnancy, labour and birth, your care provider is required to seek your consent every step of the way – for everything from blood tests and measuring your belly in pregnancy to vaginal examinations and CTG monitoring in labour. No-one, not your GP, midwife or obstetrician, can do anything to you without your full, informed consent.
To facilitate your decision making process, your care provider is required to share evidence-based information with you, detail the risks and benefits of intervention or treatment and give you time to make a decision without adding pressure or coercion into the conversation.
Remember: this is your pregnancy and your birth.
While your midwife or obstetrician has a responsibility to obtain your informed consent, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their priority. For instance, a 2019 study by Human Rights in Childbirth found that informed consent is not standard practice.
Birth education and preparation is essential, regardless of where you’re birthing and how you’re birthing.
If you choose to “go with the flow” your hospital birth will, statistically, include intervention. Birth intervention is sometimes incredibly necessary but if you want to avoid it, you need the following:
The Birth Class offers you online access to a range of perinatal health specialists who cover every aspect of labour, birth and the first hours with your baby. There’s also a guide to writing a birth plan, a hospital bag checklist and breathing and meditation modules to use throughout pregnancy.
Going with the flow isn’t birth education, The Birth Class is.
– once you’re admitted to the birthing unit it’s also common for your labour to slow or stall because the flow of oxytocin (the hormone that drives contractions) is halted by bright lights, an unusual setting, adrenaline and anxiety. It’s for this reason that your care provider will encourage you to labour at home for as long as possible. The question is: do you have the birth skills and confidence to do this? And is your birth partner confident and prepared enough to support you?
The empowering online childbirth education program that will help you confidently prepare for birth.
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