Is everyone a little too concerned about the condition of your cervix these days?
When a woman goes into labor, it is important that her birthing space is respected. How can you trust that your own space isn’t invaded?
First of all, what in the world is ‘Birth Space’? This is both the physical and non-physical atmosphere around your birth.
It is easiest to describe the physical atmosphere around your birth. This would include the place you labor and then eventually birth your child and it even includes the space you are in during the immediate postpartum period.
The non-physical part might be a little ‘out there’ for some people, so bear with me. 🙂 When someone gives you unwelcomed advice when it comes to birth, they are essentially inviting themselves into your birth. A place where they might not be welcomed. For instance, when a well-meaning family member sends you a message wondering if you’ve ‘had that baby YET?!’ they are helping exactly zero and they are now invading your birth space. Get that person out of your head!
What are some ways you ensure that your birth is kept private?
Be honest with friends and family.
Who do you want to attend the birth besides your partner and doula? Your mom? Sister? An aunt? Be honest with those that you would like to NOT be in attendance and don’t be afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings. Nobody has the right to invite themselves into your space.
Keep your due date a secret.
If your Great Aunt Sally doesn’t know that your due date is on October 6th, then she will have no reason to question why you haven’t had your baby yet once the 6th has come and gone. (Due dates ARE just an estimate, remember?) You can say things like “early October” or “sometime between September 15-October 15th”. Make it broad enough so that your crowd of well-wishers stays at bay.
Is your birth scheduled? Don’t tell anyone!
If you are having a scheduled birth, try to tell only the important people who need to know. This might include those you need to watch older children or your boss, but not necessarily everyone in your extended family. You may not want a nervous sister-in-law waiting anxiously with a fist full of balloons outside of your door while you are having a baby.
Find a doula that is great at ‘holding space’.
Doulas have the important role of helping to maintain calmness, peacefulness and a place that you, as a laboring mom, feels comfortable. We are mammals, in fact, and it has been proven that we have a more difficult time laboring in an atmosphere in which we don’t feel safe or comfortable in. Is your doula comfortable with holding that space and letting your body do what it needs to do to get your baby here?
Wait a little while before announcing the birth.
Think about the people that you want to visit you in the hospital. Who would you rather wait and visit when you get home? Excited family members sometimes forget that the hours immediately after birth are crucial for the bonding time for baby and mom (and dad!). You might even consider not allowing anyone to hold the new baby that doesn’t live in the home. Scents are very important and baby needs to learn the scents of mom, dad and his/her siblings!
The influences of a stressful presence in your birth space, whether physical or non-physical, can take a toll on your birthing experience. Take some time ahead of your estimated due date to purposely plan out who you are willing to let in and who you aren’t based on your comfort levels. Focus on the goal of creating a team of supportive and calm influences. And remember, when you in labor, you are in control!