I had a moment of panic a while back about what this birth and post-birth will actually look like. How would I birth? Who would be there? Does the hospital (where I plan to birth) have birthing pools/baths? Would they take my baby away after the birth (there are no nurseries in Vancouver and so bub doesn’t leave your side)? Would they allow delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin? All these things have become increasingly important to me over the last few years.
I wrote a post here called 5 Things to Think Through before you Give Birth and these are the kinds of things I’m now having to question in a new environment. What if the sleep deprived new mom behind the curtain in my shared room gives me the hairy eyeball if my bub won’t stop screaming and I won’t let her go to the nursery (I guess time will have to tell on that one). Wish me luck.
No matter if you’re seeing a gynae, an OB, a midwife or a tree-hugging, placenta-encapsulating hypnotherapist regarding your pregnancy and birth, having your questions answered is vital. Being reassured and confident going into the latter part of your pregnancy is so important for a smooth(er) birth. No matter if you’ve chosen a cesarean birth, a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or to go natural, having more information means feeling more empowered, and in the state of the crazy/uncertain/unknown that childbirth brings, we sure need it!
Here is a short list of questions I recently took to my midwife, and yup, I’m a little OCD and I write them down on paper (spontaneously as I think of them in the 4 weeks between my appointments) and don’t leave until I’ve settled my angst surrounding them: (I really recommend writing down questions so you don’t forget to ask them)
- It is standard to take the baby away to the nursery post birth?
- What is the relationship (and plan of action) between hospital/back up gynae and midwives?
- Is there a pool at the hospital to birth in?
- What is the fee for a private room, or how many usually share a room?
- Can we ensure delayed cord clamping is part of my birth plan?
- Where can I find a WOMBS doula-in-training? (I thought maybe helping a doula in training for this birth might be a good way to give back)
- What is their post birth policy (how long does my birth team stay, how long do I stay in the birth room and then the recovery room)?
- Talk to me about hypnobirthing… and do you encourage it?
- At what point in a third pregnancy should bubs settle in head down (I’m just thinking ahead regarding baby’s position).
Other questions you might have – particularly if this is your first birth:
- Can you suggest some antenatal classes?
- How long should I keep active and continue exercising?
- Any dietary/supplementary recommendations (other than what I’m already taking)
- (If you are thinking of going the natural route): What is the role of a doula? Can you explain to me the usefulness of a Birth Plan? Different forms of natural pain relief? (Get your head around this one early ladies!)
- What medication is safe to take if I get a cold/the flu this winter?
- How often is appropriate to ask your partner to rub your feet (on average, per week)?
- (…and a million others you might have)…
While I will NEVER offer medical advice (I am certainly not a medical professional, I’m less qualified than Doc McStuffins), I’d love to hear your questions and possibly point you in the right direction if at all possible.
Here are my take–away’s:
- No one is going to take my baby away from me immediately following the birth (unless there is a medical emergency and it is necessary). Relief.
- Bubs can stay with me at all times post birth (no nursery, unless of course it is needed or requested).
- Pool, doula, delayed cord clamping, hypnobirthing… YES!
- Eat more iron (coupled with Vit C for absorption), pop some probiotics, drink more fluids. CHECK.
- It’s a good idea to go on a tour of the hospital/birth center you’re planning to birth in. The tension/adjustment to an unknown environment can halt a progressing labour. Give them a call and book an appointment.
Phew, that’s enough for my to-do list for now. It’s great having you along for the ride.
Until next time
Contributor: Debbie Knighton-Fitt, Pure Beginnings pregnancy ambassador & author of the Our Greenish Life Blog.