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Birthing Space Choices During a World Health Crisis

  • on April 5, 2020
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  • in Birth
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Hello friend, yes, I want to speak directly to you right now, as an individual, stop here with me for a second.

Set your phone down, set the screen down, get your feet on the floor, feel the earth grounding you.

Close your eyes and take one large breath in, did you feel your belly fill? And now a slooow breathe out.

How did the release feel?

Welcome back.

This is a heavy time for many of us for many reasons my friends. My heart has felt it for me, but also for so many of you. I hear your need for support, I hear your confusion. I also hear your awakening and I hear your power. Stand firm in that, even in the tears, even in the moments of doubt, even in the fear.

One conversation I hear happening is about birthing place, particularly for those folks who are in the last I would say two months before their estimated due timeline. So this blog post is specifically speaking to those folks who are at this stage in their pregnancy.

People feel scared to go to hospital and are intensely seeking alternative options. Specifically to move to a home or birth centre birth, mostly home.

For low risk folks who have a home they feel safe in, it is I think an amazing option, and a different experience to a hospital for sure.

However, if you were planning a hospital birth, there is a reason. Either a medical reason, or it is about your beliefs and where you feel sense of safety. I think it is important to honour that.

Yes, there are cases where people chose a hospital because they did not yet know they had options. If what is happening is widening the scope of who knows their options and has access to options, then that is a positive coming out of a truly horrifying world event.

However, I think it is important to sit with the feelings that are coming up and think about your B R A I N when decision making

B-enefits

R-isks

A-lternatives

I-ntuition

N-eed time

Making a decision from a heart centred, neutral state is one thing. Making a fear based decision is another thing entirely. And making a decision from this space of fear may not be what you need to feel safe.


Part of why as doulas we provide so much education prenatally and why we talk about decision making strategies like BRAIN is because we do NOT want you to make fear based decisions in your pregnancy and birth. That is why we want to help you find your voice in YOUR birthing space.

This is no different now in this situation. I want you to birth your baby
i n y o u r p o w e r
wherever you are meant to birth them, safely.

I’m here not to only to talk through options but to talk through the thoughts, feelings and fears coming up. Let’s sit with it, explore it, and get you to a place where you can make the best choice for you.

This is not a blog laying out the specific birth space options (that will be another post) but it is more to specifically talk about the process of decision making.

Here are some questions I think will help you during your decision making process

How do I feel right now, in this moment? How does my partner/support person feel?

The reasons I want to switch are:

Do I feel prepared for the type of birth I seek? Do I have the information I need to make an informed choice about switching my place of birth? If I don’t, where can I get the information I seek?

What are my fears? What information do I have to support these?

Do I know where I can access information I trust?

Does my provider offer hospital/birth centre/home birth? If they do not provide service in the place I seek, what provider do I need to seek?

Where can I find a provider I need to give me the birth I hope for? Do I have the funding for that? Are they allowing payment plans/deferral payments?

Am I medically in a position to have the birth place I want (there are usually requirements folks need to meet in order for a licensed provider to attend a home birth for example, the requirements may vary depending on country/province/state)

I think these questions will at least help to get a conversation going with yourself and/or with your support people who will be supporting you.

It may even be helpful to sit with your thoughts and feelings and do some free writing. See what comes up, you may lead yourself to your own answers.

I am talking about doing internal journeying about intention as well as external journeying for information and facts because I feel our emotional and mental state from which we make this decision is as important as the facts that we are working with.

Because I think a decision made in desperation and fear is not in alignment with your heart and mind.

Some steps to take in helping you make your decision about how to move forward with your birth:

  1. Talk to your provider openly (if this feels safe). What are the risks for you and your baby? What measures are they/their institution taking to promote health? Can your birth wishes still be upheld, which ones may not be? Who is allowed to come support you in the labour room? Can they stay with you postpartum? Will your hospital stay be impacted by the current health crisis?
  2. Talk to your support person/people. How do your support people/person feel about the switch? In their confidence to support you in alternative birthing options ? What information or support do they feel they need? Is your doula still available to support in person or virtually?
  3. Look into your alternative birthing options. Do you know much about them? What did you think about those options prior to this situation? Would that place now feel safe to you? Is there a provider that you can switch to? Are they accepting new clients? Are there any changes to what this will look like because of the health crisis happening? (I recommend making a list of potentials and calling even if it is just to get information about options) If you are switching, what information do you need or want before going through with this decision.

To close off I want to reiterate something important, and it is even mentioned in the BRAIN model of decision making, and that is Intuition. If you sit down with yourself, meditate on it, journal about it, if you quieted the outside noise and listened to the inside, what would you tell yourself to do?

I think this is a piece of information we often forget to focus on, so I want to be the one to remind you.

To close, I want to point you in the direction of a blog I wrote about How to Keep yourself Well during the current health crisis and I think the tools mentioned there you will find helpful for quieting the mind and hopefully finding the answer that is best for you and your family.

You can read that blog here.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Well if you like the things I talk about and how I do my teachings you will definitely enjoy our community over on Facebook at Sacred Spaces for Learning. It is a space for folks with womb spaces who are at any and all points in their journey to parenting. I want it to be a space for all of us to learn together, education is our power.

Until next time,

Aleks

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