D’Andra Parsons, Birth Boot Camp Instructor
As Birth Boot Camp instructors, we often hear lots of reasons why couples don’t really think they need a birth class. One of the more common ones for home birth or birth center couples is that they feel confident that their birth experience will be wonderful because they feel they have chosen a good care provider, in their case, usually a midwife. Now, don’t misunderstand – choosing a care provider you trust and one that will do what she can to help you meet your goals is HUGE. In fact, care provider and birth place choices are the number one factor in whether or not you’ll have a vaginal, surgical, medicated, or unmedicated birth.
However, home birth couples must understand that choosing a midwife is only one part of the equation when preparing for out of hospital birth. Part of the beauty of midwifery care, in my opinion, is the responsibility and participation expected on the part of the mother/couple. With my own first pregnancy, I switched care providers around 20 weeks from an OB to a midwife. The difference in the way she put the responsibility for my birth experience back on me was both startling at first, as well as intriguing. Instead of feeling as if things would be handled “for me” by my OB, I was now expected to educate myself and participate in decisions about my care. She made it clear that she had given birth to her own children, and those were “her births”. This one would be mine. She would be facilitating it, but I would hold the responsibility for figuring out what I needed to have a good birth experience for ME.
This is where Birth Boot Camp comes in! We are here to help couples physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare for birth. So many things can impact your birth. It’s important to know what those things are and what options will be available to you, so you can begin to decide with what you are and are not comfortable.
For instance, if an intervention is offered, what are the risks and benefits of agreeing to it? If you are planning a home birth but a transfer to a hospital is needed, are you prepared for what you can expect in a hospital? What aspects of your birth will be different in the new location, and which of your wishes can still be honored? How involved does dad want to be in the labor/birth process? Are mom and dad both on the same page about wishes for the birth?
These are just a few of the topics covered in a 10 week Birth Boot Camp class series. Your birth preparation is designed to enhance the partnership you have with your midwife. She can better work with you to achieve your birth goals if you have taken the time to really become educated during your pregnancy. That education includes both logistics and processes of birth and inwardly accounts of personal things about birth that are important to you. It is your birth, and your midwife is your partner in facilitating your journey to motherhood. But she can’t do it for you. It’s YOUR labor, YOUR birth, and YOUR baby. Be prepared! This birth only happens once; there are no “do-overs”. I assure you that you will never regret the investment of time and finances spent on a quality birth class. Birth Boot Camp is that type of class!
See below the list of local BBC instructors and current schedules. Any of us would be happy to talk with you in more detail about Birth Boot Camp.