Three Must-Have Items for Birth

Posted by  cheryl  Oct 17, 2017

This is the second post of a four part series.  See the first one here

I have given birth six times in the last 13 years, so I feel like I can pretty safely give my opinion on this subject.  It took me 6 times to come up with this list though. I didn't have them all at every birth, (expect number 3 and I'll explain why.) but by my last baby I feel like I figured it out! 

1. Support person or doula: I didn't know what a doula was until my third baby (turns out my high school best friend was one and had been for years.  Who knew?!) My first two births were home births with a wonderful, loving, hands on midwife, but adding a doula to my birth team was a game changer.  She and my husband took such good care of me.  I felt loved and supported in a completely different way.  It was amazing and I vowed to never birth without her again!  

Some couples decide not to hire a doula and choose to birth just the two of them (and an amazing care provider), some couples choose to have a mom or sister or friend attend.  All of these choices are great!  The main thing is to be surrounded by people who you love, feel comfortable around, and support the way you have chosen to give birth. 

2. Affirmations:  I didn't add these to my birth space until birth #6 and man, I wish I had before!  A group of sweet, wonderful friends threw me a party and made a banner of birth affirmation posters.  I hung it in my room and read and meditated on them throughout the rest of my pregnancy.  During my birth, I hung on tightly to the truth that my body was made to give birth, I am strong, and birth is tough but so am I.  I also told myself to breathe, relax, and open as my posters reminded me.  It was hard work and having prepared my body, mind, and spirit for the big day, helped me have an amazing birth experience. Find more about affirmations here.

3. Camera: This one is important and can range anywhere from the camera on your phone to hiring a professional photographer.  When I was pregnant with my first baby my midwife asked me if we were planning to video and take pictures at our birth.  My answer was "NO! Gross!"  (I've come a long way in 14 years!)  Her response was " well, just know that you don't ever have to watch the video or look at the pictures but if you ever wanted to, you can."  That made a lot of sense to me, so we did.  She snapped some pictures during my labor and I had a friend video for me and we have for every birth after.  And I'll tell you, I've watched the videos and I've looked at the pictures. They aren't something I leave out on the coffee table for guests, of course, but they are so special to me and I'm forever grateful she encouraged me that way.  

I love giving birth.  It's amazing and powerful.  You are strong, remember that, birthing mamas!