Birthing with Boundaries: 5 Ways to Take Control

November 8 - HeHe Stewart

Having a baby is one of the most transitional life events that one can go through. From changing bodies, to hundreds of choices and preparing yourself mentally for parenthood, it can be intense to say the least. Imagine if you have a magic genie that met with you throughout your pregnancy, stayed with you during birth, and helped you during the first 12 months of your child’s life. Turns out, that’s exactly what you get with you birth the TBH way! The TBH Approach is a mindful approach to birth founded in evidence-based practices of women’s health, birth, infant development, and family studies. Here are find easy ways to begin to set boundaries and take control of your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.

  1. Do your research.

    So many women blindly trust their healthcare providers and while I believe that most doctors will practice ethically, I can’t say that I haven’t seen otherwise. Expectant mother’s feeling pressured, forced, or totally terrorized into a decision is not uncommon. There are several places you can access your own information. To start I recommend the books, Expecting Better, Pushed, and The Birth Book. I also am a huge fan of take what you want and leave what you will. There are also great websites such as Evidence Based Births and MaMa Natural is a wonderful resource for mothers who are interested in a more natural approach and non-traditional remedies. This is your birth (although, you can’t dispute the facts). Finally, you can turn to other moms. Your friends, your moms group, and yes, even Facebook. I don’t advise asking medical advice to random strangers on Facebook, however, it is a great place ask about experiences and connect with people in similar situations.

2. Ask Questions.

When you are choosing a provider to be part of your birth team, you might find yourself searching for a new doctor. This doesn’t mean that your current doctor isn’t great, but choosing your birth team should be intentional. You want to make sure that yours and your doctor’s approaches, outlooks, and personalities are compatible. If you are searching for a specialty such as breech, twin, or VBAC deliveries, then you want to make sure your doctor is well-trained and comes highly recommended. You will also want to make sure to take into consideration things like chronic illness, diabetes, or any other high risk factors that may impact your birth. You want to ask yourself if your doctor makes you feel heard, if they communicate clearly and honestly, if they obtain consent appropriately, and if you feel comfortable with this person supported you in a very fragile and transitional period of life. This blog helps put things into the important role that each person on your birth team will play. A good place to start is creating a list of providers in your network that are accepting new patients.

3. Hire A Doula:

If setting boundaries is hard for you or you fear that in the midst of labor you might not be in the best condition to really stand your ground (..understandably so…) then hiring a doula will be worth every single penny. I come to each birth equipped with physical, mental, and emotional comforts tools that are intentionally designed through careful conversation prentally. But, be aware, finding the doula that feels like the perfect fit is crucial. It can make or break your birth. You can find doulas in your area using this website. This is the only website that is filtered to ensure reviews are legitimate client reviews.

4. Filter Your Surroundings.

This can be the icky part. Now is the time to evaluate who isn’t serving you in this pregnancy right now. Your pregnancy is only 9 months long. You need to protect the pregnancy and sometimes that means taking a hiatus from certain people temporarily until your baby gets here. Sometimes, filtering your surroundings means establishing or setting new boundaries with people in your life or it may look like temporary distance. You have permission to set healthy boundaries as to create a gentle and nurturing environment for your baby to grow.

5. Shift the Energy.

Here are a few social media accounts that I love and find to be inspiring! Search them all on iTunes, Facebook, and Instagram-- Doing it at home, Free Birth Society, January Harshe, The Birth Hour, BirthTube and my personal favorite, The Tranquility Tribe Podcast.

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