Jul 022012
 

Birth is a natural phenomenon, rite of Passage. It is a way of getting a baby to the world. It is a Joyous occasion full of celebration. It is an empowering, affirming and nurturing experience to the parents and especially the mama.

Before Industrialization, births happened at home and women supported women throughout pregnancy, birth and early parenting. This has slowly changed as the advancement in both technology and medicine has set in. Births now happen at the hospitals. Unfortunately, the techno-medical model of care has a lot of policies engraved on it that do not support the natural process that is birth. Medicine aims at making one better within a given time. Birth is not an illness and what it requires the most is time and support. Unfortunately, these tend to be the things missing at the hospitals.

Our social support systems especially in the urban setups have changed as people are busy working and studying. Lack of social support, plus the fear of birth that comes from various birth stories and previous experiences have caused the fear of birth. The ones joyous situation is now a tensed time that is surrounded by lots of anxieties.

Some facts every woman should know about Birth:
• Your body knows exactly what to do, learn to trust it.
• Labor can be painful but is manageable
• The labor process is a mind game, empty your mind and prepare for your own unique experience
• The EDD is not an expiry date; baby knows when to come, wait for their cue patiently.

Some tips to help make Birth a reality:
• Gather Information:
Exploit all the birth options available to you.
Ensure that you and your care provider are on the same page
Take a childbirth class
Read from reliable resources

• Prepare:
Emotionally: Put a Birth plan together that expresses your birth vision
Mentally: Visit the hospital where you will be. Shop for your baby
Physically: Eat right, exercise and sleep enough. Keep anxiety at bay.

• Take Charge:
Become the central focus, you are the one having the baby
Make the decisions, the care provider should ideally guide you
Avoid focusing on other women’s  Birth Stories unless positive ones

• During labor:
Relax, let your body do the work
Use positions that promote gravity
Have a companion for support.

 

Lucy Muchiri

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