Loving, well-intentioned parents may be challenged to make the best choices for their baby. This happens in part because well-intentioned providers in hospitals often tend to be too risk averse. Mom may feel doubt if labor takes longer. Parents may be pressured to allow interventions… many of which are unneeded and bring cascading risks, like each one increasing the chances of another intervention.
Blindspot - Women’s Capability to Birth!
Our culture isn’t one where we often experience birth, talk much about it, or are educated about it. Often medical students, and even obstetricians and gynecologists, do not see a normal birth (without any intervention) in their training in medical school! Therefore, overall we lack trust in something that is actually normal and instinctive.
Empower Parents for Baby’s Sake!
For these reasons (and others) very early childhood birth education – not just about hospital procedures or a tour – should be a priority. Along with knowing how to count contractions and about the process of labor, women need to understand pregnancy, labor, and birth on a much deeper level… also emotionally and spiritually. In doing so, they can trust themselves.
Praise Mom and Let Her Relax!
The more calm and relaxed the mother is — the more she is tuned into her baby. The happier mom is through pregnancy, labor and into birth – the happier the baby! Mothers who feel most positive about their birth experiences were informed through the pregnancy, so they made choices they wanted. Happy mothers typically had support, often of a doula. Educated parents are more likely to have a vaginal birth and shorter labors.
Praising the mother helps the baby too!
Prepared confident mothers feel better and parent better after their newborn arrives. Prioritizing the mother-baby dyad and their needs is the best way to assure physical and mental health and wellness for mom and optimal development for the baby. Vaginal birth and breast-feeding set up the baby’s gut to be healthy later in life, this means stronger immune systems and less obesity. If the baby can stay with mother - zero separation - it impacts their short term brain and nervous system development. These early seconds, minutes and hours lay a strong foundation for more easeful long-term social development as well as physical development and how children learn.
Babies are very competent!
There’s a lot of evidence-based information about the competency of the baby (yes, the baby!) and the importance of very early skin-to-skin. A healthy baby born without interventions left on their mother’s chest usually latches and tastes colostrum in the first two hours. Babies’ instincts (and sensory systems) are set up for them to be with mom and drink milk. Baby and mom together know what to do - we can trust that. But we must educate people and support parents, so they can embody that and advocate for what is best for baby!
For these reasons, we hope you will take one of our BWI parent classes or join us to become a BirthWorks professional - you can make all the difference!