Well Rounded Birth Prep

Well Rounded Birth Prep

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

So thankful to make a difference.

I had such a wonderful private childbirth class tonight, for two couples, first time parents. This was my second private class for them, and while I really *need* 12-15 hours of face-to-face contact to cover what first-time parents need to know, I had to condense it to 6 hours (2 private classes, each 3 hours long). I couldn't shortchange them; I had to stay to cover what they needed/wanted covered, 1 1/2 hours "late" tonight. I didn't charge extra and didn't want to. I *wanted* to help. It is my pleasure, my joy, my heart's desire.

I so relate to one of my midwives' recent blog (Jennifer Stewart of Joy in Birth Midwifery) titled, "Can I help you? Please?". I can't stand to see mothers have traumatic births when there were preventable interventions that led to the trauma. (I'm not implying that all interventive births are traumatic, because they are not. I'm not implying that all traumatic births are preventable, because they are not. Many are both, and therein lies my struggle.) I don't teach childbirth classes because I hope to get rich in the process. (Trust me, childbirth educators, doulas, and midwives do not get paid much. They're in it because they believe in it.) I teach birth classes because I am compelled to, driven to. It would be unethical if I did not share this information, not for my sake or glory, but so that families have the evidence-based info they need to make empowered, educated decisions regarding their pregnancies, birth, breastfeeding, parenting, and childbearing year.

When I hear that a friend or acquaintance who turned down my help has an outcome she did not want, a traumatic birth that did not have to be, separation due to complications and/or NICU, I am so distraught for them. Sometimes I cry for days, mourning for their loss. I pray for their recovery, for health for mom and baby, and for God to make a way to reunite and bond the family.

I realize that not everyone wants my help. I try to mind my own business and only give information if they ask. It's so hard to sit aside and say nothing if I see that a family is making fear-based decisions or are accepting the default routine interventions that their care provider does to everyone in their assembly-line birth practice. I can accept any decisions that someone makes for their birth--if I feel confident that they have researched their options thoroughly and are making their decisions with purpose, rather than by default or backed into a corner. Just ask my variety of clients I have served: planned homebirth with midwives clients; birth center with midwives clients; hospital unmedicated birth clients; planned induction clients; and elective scheduled cesarean clients. Regardless of their choices, I want them to know what their options are and how to have the safest birth possible, considering their circumstances.

Tonight was so refreshing. It's easy to become weary when looking at American maternity care as a whole. It's easy to get discouraged when so many expectant parents turn down my help, saying, "Thanks, but I trust my doctor. I'm sure s/he wouldn't do anything unsafe," without researching their birth options. These two couples, each expecting their first child, were eager learners and renewed my soul. They were thankful for my help. Once in a while, God puts people like this in our lives to help recharge and inspire us so we can continue with our work. I'm reminded why I do what I do, and that while I can't help everyone, I am making a difference for *someone*. I'm so thankful for that.


  1. BRAVO!

    I have a friend who gave birth in the last week. She knows how pro natural birth I am, and I respect her in her decisions to be pro medicated birth. Well... since she wasn't prepped for a natural birth, and because her baby came out much quicker and more intense than her last 2, she's feeling traumatized.

    I applaud you in teaching women how their body works and helping them make informed decisions.


  2. Hooray!!! So happy to hear you are helping those who truly want to learn! I often just keep my mouth shut, as so many are just not interested, but when the occasional one comes along who does long for a natural, un-interfered with gentle birth, I will gladly talk for hours and days to them sharing my passion, experiences, and things I've learned along the way. When that happens, I am deeply grateful.

    It is indeed an inner drive to see women, men, and their babies experience their best and most gentle birth possible.

  3. Wow, so glad that you feel that desire to educate others. It really turned our experience into something that we can be truly thankful for. I know you just made a difference in these two young couples' lives. Yay!

  4. I am so grateful for you and others who have the passion to help others achieve positive and enjoyable birth experiences. Thank you for all you do and continue to do. Your'e making a difference!

  5. Bless you, my friend. You are doing good things!!

  6. Thank you for doing what you do, Sarah. You make a difference every day!

    I was once teaching a simple babywearing workshop for mama*ology when a new mother attended on a freezing cold January evening. She asked very sheepishly ... "I kind of want ... a natural birth ... does anybody around here do that?" And I had to bite my tongue (hard) and physically restrain myself from jumping up and kissing her. She came to the right place that night. From there she met the hypnobabies instructor, signed up for the class sight unseen and went on to have a NCB.

    One day and one baby at a time!

    God Bless!
    Christine Marasco

  7. Reminds me of the story about the little girl on the beach covered in starfish that had washed ashore She was busying herself throwing as many back into the water as she could. A passerby stopped and asked her why she even bothered; she couldn't possibly help them all. She only smiled and replied that it mattered for this one and this one and this one, as she picked up a few more.


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