By Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®
It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized how much power I held in my choices. From birthing to preschool and everything in between (and after!) there is so much to consider. Most moms, myself included get a little fearful of choosing wrong. So it is with birthing options. The decisions can feel especially significant because birth can be one of the most important moments in a woman’s life.
With my third child I chose to seek the care of a homebirth midwife and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned a lot from her during the course of our long talks, and she’s become a good friend.
During one of our conversations, she shared something with me that I’ve found to be a great piece of wisdom to cling to. We were speaking of birthing options, and how as a midwife her personal preference is towards natural childbirth. She told me that when she meets with a mom she tells them what’s important to her as a care provider is not the kind of birth that a mother chooses. Whether the mom decides on a homebirth, hospital birth or any of her other options, the most important thing is for a mother is to make an “informed choice”. My wise midwife explained to me that she’s happy seeing moms birth however they choose because if they make a truly informed choice, it’s the best one for them and their families. What’s important to her is that they have all of the information at hand to decide what’s best for them.
That really struck me. In motherhood, and in life all we can really do is to inform ourselves as much as possible and then go with whatever seems best for us and our babies. Birth is such an important and precious time that sets the stage for the early days and months.
So how do we, as mothers make informed choices in regards to our birthing plans? We gather as much information as we can, from a variety of trusted sources. The sources don’t have to agree, what’s important is that you get all the information you need from a variety of viewpoints. The Pregnancy Awareness Month® website is a great resource for pregnant mamas (you may find this post particularly helpful if you are planning a hospital birth). Your healthcare provider, local birth professionals and even your circle of friends could all impart valuable information that can help you make the best informed choice you can. Reading books, articles, and attending childbirth classes can also provide important information.
At the end of the day an informed decision about your birth experience is the right one for you and your family.