Birth expectations is a big issue and one which isn’t always that easy to tackle but it’s an important issue which I try to focus on with expectant parents.
Some people have general expectations about birth and others have more fixed expectations, with a specific labour and birth in mind. While this is all really normal, it’s also worth thinking through having the tools to deal with a birth which isn’t like expectations.
Getting the balance right can be difficult. Over the years I have spoken to many mums who have only focused on some type of hypnobirthing as their birth preparation and have felt completely ill-equipped and prepared for the reality, which could mean more challenges.
Every birth practitioner has a difference perspective on birth expectations, as does every pregnant woman – some only want to focus only on straightforward birth for fear of jinxing it by learning more about caesareans and interventions, others focus on both the straightforward and the complicated.
– birth expectations for the reality of labour –
As a well trained and experienced birth practitioner, I know dealing with expectations will never be spot on for every expectant parent but I am all about knowledge, empowerment and discussion. My job is to equip you well for the challenges, not just when labour and birth is straightforward.
Good birth preparation is about knowing more about what is going to help you and what might not, as well as being able to adjust your need for information, support, reassurance, strategies and options as your labour unfolds and if your birth ‘plan’ should change.
After working with so many expectant and new parents, I strongly believe that managing expectations is crucial so you are better prepared for more of the reality of birth. No-one can predict what your birth will be like or what you will want or need but it is useful to know what those possibilities could be.
My experience also means that my role is about enabling you to think about the issues that you might not have considered, as well as giving you the space to ask questions and to talk through any concerns.
Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting
Copyright: Janine Smith 2022