"Having the essence of the people who support you and your choices; surrounding
The older I get, the more I realize how important we are to one another. Everywhere in life there are choices to either work as a team with those around us or go it alone. I have found that in any given situation the “go it alone route” is truly a lonely path. It may seem appealing; you can make your own decisions, no accountability,
come and go as you please. But in the end that path can lead to heart ache and disappointment and on top of that you are generally left to deal with it alone.
Developing a birth team is crucial to achieving your desired birth goals. Even if the members of that team never have to touch you, bring you a drink, help you change positions, apply counter pressure, check to see that baby is doing well, or the countless other things I could list that go into supporting a mom in labor. Having the essence of the people who support you and your choices surrounding you during labor can be enough to create an environment of protection and safety for a laboring woman. You may never truly need anything from your team but it is impossible to know ahead of time exactly how much team work it will take to get the job done.
In one instance I had a couple whose birth plan did a complete 180 because of a truly needed medical intervention. I at first wondered if I would provide them with enough care and support to compensate for the care and support they expected to receive from me based on the original birth plan. I quickly realized that although my role on the team had changed some, my importance had not. In the end I gave to that family what they needed to birth their baby with confidence and the peace of mind knowing they did everything in their ability to bring their baby into the world safely. I also realized that without the support and care of every team member who played a role in this birth that their ship would have sank midway through the journey.
Your spouse, your family, your care provider, your nurses, your doula, or whoever it is that you have in your life
that supports you, should be the team that helps map the path of the safest route for delivery, sometimes that is completely hands off, and sometimes that is completely hands on. However the goal is accomplished, you can and should feel empowered and satisfied when you have had the loving support and team work of the people you have placed around you working on your behalf. How can you be sure you have a strong birth team? Answer the following questions as honestly as possible. If you answer no to one or more of these questions you may want to
reevaluate your birth team and be sure you have the support you need to achieve what you believe about birth!
1. Does my care provider truly support my birth plan, or am I just receiving lip service?
2. Will my care provider provide me with options, time, information, and the respect of making an informed decision?
3. Do the people I have asked to attend my birth agree with my birth goals?
4. Does the hospital I am delivering at staff nurses who are familiar with the type of birth I desire?
5. Is my doula there to support my individual birth goals or does she have a personal agenda that is more important?
6. Am I being heard by the people who are closest to me?
Jenny is a dedicated christian wife and mother. That is now pursuing her passion for everything birth!
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