Planning for birth during pregnancy after loss can be filled with so many fears, anxiety, and even ambivalence. But, it can also offer much hope to focus on preparations for the birth experience you desire. For many moms pregnant after a loss, the only thing that matters is that baby is born alive. All she wants to hear is that first cry.
However, planning for birth empowers each woman to make informed decisions during labor. That empowerment creates confidence in her motherly intuition and can help return trust in her body after a loss.
Women pregnant after a loss should work closely with their team to determine the safest delivery method. These tips are offered to give information to empower women who want to avoid an unnecessary cesarean, in hopes of stacking the deck for an uneventful vaginal delivery.
1. Prepare yourself.
Take an out-of-hospital comprehensive childbirth class, and learn your choices. Don’t take a standard class and get a standard education.
2. Practice good body mechanics through out your pregnancy.
An aligned mother equals an aligned baby.
3. Have a supportive and educated labor partner.
Your partner is your anchor. No matter how wonderful your birth team is they cannot replace the love and security you have from your partner.
4. Let baby come when he/she is ready.
Avoid medically unnecessary inductions, which also reduces subsequent interventions.
5. Build a tool kit of coping methods and practice them.
Relaxation is the cornerstone to spontaneous birth.
6. Labor at home as long as possible.
Work with your OB and/or midwife to determine the ideal time to arrive at your birth place.
7. If possible, avoid continuous monitoring when at your birth place.
If continuous monitoring is necessary, ask for wireless monitoring to facilitate coping skills.
8. Use medications and interventions wisely.
There are many tools for labor and they all have their place. However, once we use a tool as anything but as an assistant, it then becomes an intervention.
9. Labor upright and change positions frequently whenever possible.
An active mother is an active baby.
10. Hire a professional Doula to assist you in your birth.
A professional doula’s one-on-one care is critical to the mother’s well-being as her providers probably work an on-call schedule. Often times the doula is the only constant professional throughout a pregnancy and birth. The consistency and special care is invaluable for the mom pregnant after loss.