Mother’s Responsibilities on Preparing for a Home Birth
I like to think that when I care for my clients, I’m building a relationship based on trust. She trusts that I will care for her and her baby and I trust that she is taking good care of herself. That being said, here’s a list of things I expect from her:
- To inform and educate herself: through reading material and childbirth classes. She should surround herself with people with positive thoughts about natural childbirth, especially home birth to avoid anxiety. Here’s a list of recommended books to start with. I have a lending library where my clients can borrow books from. Childbirth education classes are also a great way to learn about pregnancy and the birthing process as well as allowing the partner to learn how to integrate himself in the process and how to help physically and emotionally.
- To keep a healthy diet. On the first visit I make a nutritional assessment with every mom. The goal is to make sure she is nourishing herself with optimal foods that will provide her and her baby with all the vitamins and minerals and nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy newborn.
- To exercise: Pregnancy is not a disease. It is a time to enjoy! Exercise plays an important role on staying healthy during pregnancy and growing a healthy and optimal weighed baby. Unless certain conditions prevent a mom from exercising, exercising as little as 30 minutes a day (brisk walk, swimming, yoga) can potentially have a positive effect on the pregnancy and birth. However, it is important to not exaggerate and listen to our bodies when it asks for some rest. Pregnancy is not a time to try new exercises but a time to use exercise to keep us healthy and relaxed.
- To relax: even though pregnancy lasts about 10 lunar months (yes, pregnancy lasts about 280 days), this time can go by really fast! There is so much excitement and preparation to do. Maybe buying stuff, maybe renovations and remodeling at home, maybe moving homes…so many things but the important thing to keep in mind is that if everything doesn’t get done by the time the baby has arrived, all what baby needs is mom! So it is important to enjoy this time with our partners. A lot of women miss being pregnant afterwards so, to make the most of the pregnancy, take pictures, make memories. I always tell my moms, enjoy this time left with your partner because it may take 18 years to go back to that stage! So enjoy your partner, I don’t get tired of saying it!!! Always find a space for both of you to share a moment together…it’s very important and it reduces anxiety and stress which are actually not good for pregnancy.
- To prepare for breastfeeding: whether planning to attend a breastfeeding class or planning to hire a lactation consultant, it is important to be surrounded by people that support breastfeeding. Outcomes are so much better when people around us give ideas and tips rather than telling us that we don’t have enough milk. It’s also good to have family support for after the birth, since this is a very sensitive time and the extra help can be beneficial. That way mom can only focus on resting and feeding/bonding with baby.
- To collect birth supplies: these are indicated by every midwife. It includes a number of items to gather for the birth as well as a birth kit that needs to be purchased. You can find that list here.