Guiding Principles for Women Giving Birth
Women giving birth these days are bombarded from all directions with information and opinions. What they really need are a set of empowering guiding principles that will promote a low risk pregnancy and prevent childbirth complications for the best possible birth experience.
For a woman giving birth, it is easy to get lost in a tangle of rules and judgments about things like diet, natural birth, epidurals, c-sections, doctors and hospitals, etc. These can become limiting and rigid without a principle-based framework to filter them through.
Defining your guiding principles gives you an openness and flexibility that allows you to see the "big picture." From this perspective, creative solutions can be found and inspired, authentic action can be taken.
These are the principles I suggest as a starting point for guiding you toward an inspired childbirth:
- Intention and positive expectations for a low-risk pregnancy and inspired birth: You become empowered when you recognize the large degree of control you have over the health of your pregnancy and what kind of birth you have. Being an active participant in things like your education, nutrition and birth choices helps tremendously in achieving your desired birth outcome.
- Trust in birth as a normal, natural and healthy process: Recognizing the wisdom of Nature and the incredible track record of human evolution, you are able to approach childbirth calmly and meet labor in a healthy, relaxed way.
- Discernment with medication and interventions: This allows you to make thoughtful decisions about the value and wisdom of any medications or medical interventions that may be suggested to you. Reserving these options for true complications is a good guideline.
- Vibrant health for mother and baby: From this principle will flow enlightened decisions about lifestyle, pregnancy nutrition and infant feeding.
- Personal freedom and responsibility: This principle makes you a good consumer of pregnancy and obstetrical goods and services and produces educated, confident and empowered birthing couples.
- Relationship: This refers to establishing positive communication & collaboration with your partner and birth team, and a deep connection to your baby. When these relationships are nurtured, everyone's needs get met and discussions about informed consent and evidence-based practice become natural and fruitful.
- Respect for life: Fetal and newborn advocacy are the focus here. From this principle, gentle birth and newborn practices that prioritize and protect bonding and breastfeeding will prevail.
I urge all women giving birth in today's often confusing and negative birth culture to consider these principles and adapt them as needed to your own unique values and preferences. If you do this in earnest, I guarantee you will achieve your highest and best possible birth!
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