Bringing a child into the world is one of the most incredible experiences you can ever have. A man and a woman coming together to create a new life is something that cannot really be described and which needs to be experienced. Done right, it is amazing, but it is something that can end up badly or not living up to expectations if the preparation and planning is not good. Because it is built up to be such a seminal life moment, such a key point on life’s journey the expectation is huge. Here are a few tips to help negotiate the big day and to ensure that it is memorable for all the right reasons.
It is very important that you have a birth plan. Like any plan there need to be multiple versions, an A and a B and a C, depending on how things unfold. But it is very important that you know what your plan A is. In a recent article a private obstetrician Melbourne based doctor said that coming up with a birth plan and communicating it to all the parties concerned was the single most important thing about the birth. More important than scans or knowing the baby’s gender or anything else. The single most important thing is that the whole team of mom and dad, obstetrician, midwife and anyone else involved are all on the same page and ready to execute the agree plan.
Study and Learn
If you have never given birth before then read up on the process, go to pre-natal classes and speak to people who have been through the process. The truth is nothing can really prepare you for what is going to come, it is something that has to be experienced to be truly understood, but despite that, having an idea of what is going to unfold is better than going into it blind. So prepare as well as you can.
The key people on the actual day are obviously the mother and the baby. And the reality is that by the time the baby arrives it is all over. So it is the labouring mother who is the focus and who needs all the support that she can get. From the father or birth-partner’s perspective all you can do is encourage and support and make the mother-to-be feel as loved and as empowered as possible. You cannot jump in there and take over, so all you can do is encourage and let her know how well she is doing. Do it, and do it with relish, she will appreciate it more than you will ever know.
A doula is a birthing companion, a person who is trained to be there and support the mother (and father), who has seen it all before and who knows exactly what is going on. The doula does not replace an obstetrician or a midwife, she works alongside them as the mother’s support, a person who can help advocate for your child birth plan, assure you that it is all okay and do whatever needs to be done on your big day.