I've recently been thinking about how I viewed preparing for my first child's labour and birth and what would have made sense to me to look into at that time. What did I prioritise? In all honesty, hypnobirthing wasn't top of my list initially because I had no idea it even existed! I was thinking about how cute all these tiny items were, dreaming about strolling around in the park with a lovely looking pram with my newborn safely tucked up inside, about learning a new language while on maternity leave - Ha! I kid you not, I really was!
There is so much to think about when you're pregnant and it all comes around so fast from the very moment you find out, everything steps up a gear and seems to suddenly be a priority! But what really is a priority when everything seems to be one at that point?!
The pushchair? The cot? The car seat? The baby monitor? The colour of the baby's blanket?! The birth? The support plan? (I'll talk about the 'support plan' in another post soon too!)
I'm teaching a couple at the moment who, in our most recent session, said: "We didn't really know where to look for all of this information as it's not something we've actively been involved in... until we became pregnant ourselves!" Right there! Nail. On. The. Head!!! Why would you know about all this birth preparation lark until you need to?! Soooo true!
I've recently spoken with ladies, who are now Grandmothers, and when asked if they remember what the cot was like, the brand of pushchair, the colour of the handle or what was on their baby's first babygro? On the whole, they couldn't say with great precision what brand of item they bought was, or how happy it made them feel. However, without exception, they all remembered the day they welcomed their baby/babies into the world and how that experience made them feel emotionally and physically. They recounted their experiences, what they wish they had known beforehand and how much more of a more positive experience they may have had to etch into their lifetime memory bank had they had more information and more support at such a pivotal time in their lives. No surprises there then.
Nowadays, there are SO many courses, books, websites, talks, podcasts, social media accounts and articles, to choose from that if I were expecting for the first time I think I would find it all just a little overwhelming myself.
So what I would say is this:
If you're expecting, look into what labour and birth are all about. Look into the various birth preparation courses out there. If you're not quite sure about a course, look into getting a book to begin with then perhaps look into a hypnobirthing course in your area and invest in a one-to-one course as a couple. Try and meet or speak with the person who runs the course as you'll want to 'click' with them to get the most out of your time together! You'll learn so much and by the end you'll be wondering what you would have done without all the information, knowledge and confidence the course will have given you!