Evidence Based Research

When it doubt, check it out…

It seems like I spend a lot of time calming parents over topics they’ve seen online. You know the one…the fear-mongering “YOUR BABY WILL BE DOOMED IF YOU DO/DON’T...” posts.

Whether it’s about the size or position of baby, due dates, GBS status,, pain management, tearing…the list goes on…it’s always from a place of fear. Typically, the conversation starts with “my friend said…” and then it smacks you right in the face… “my vagina will blow apart if I get an epidural”.
Whoa. Let’s slow this train of doom down a bit.

Whoa. Let’s slow this train of doom down a bit.

Can epidurals be amazing? Yes. Can epidurals be horrible? Yes. Can they be somewhere in the middle? Yes. Is your story her story and her story your story? No.

There are so many variations of birth. No right or wrong. There’s only what works best for you, in your birth, in your local hospital (or house). Every hospital has a set policy, but that’s their policy. Not your policy. Every pro has a con. Every situation has a different outcome, no matter how similar they may seem.

If I could offer a pro-tip – do your research.

Not via a Facebook pregnancy or birth group, but via legitimate sites that are evidence based. Social media groups can be amazing for pointing you in the right direction but they should never be your sole source for information. There’s a birth site called “Evidence Based Birth” that has studies that go beyond “my friend said so”.

Whether it’s pregnancy, birth, or even your daily-life stuff be mindful of where you gather your facts. Are there studies you can read? Are the sources legitimate? Are there hidden motives or agendas? Can you google the writer of the article to see their stance on the subject? When in doubt, check it out, via respected source. You’ll likely find that you lose a bit of fear as you do more and more of your own research.

Partner Support

“Why do I need a doula if I have a partner?”…

Well, for starters, nobody needs a doula. But everyone deserves a doula. Even your partner.

A doula isn’t just there for the person giving birth. A doula can help calm a nervous dad. A doula can remind a frantic grandma that “this is normal”. A doula is there to point out to a withering partner that they also need to take care of themselves and that it’s time to take a quick break for food. A doula is there to make sure you aren’t alone when your partner has to leave the room for a few minutes (partners poop too!)

A doula isn’t just there to support the birth. The doula is there to support the entire birth journey…which includes the partner. They are also tired and overwhelmed and anxious and feeling all the feels of a new baby being born…except the physical pain (for which a doula is there to remind them that their sore feet/hands/ back don’t count today!)

Whether your partner is your spouse, your friend or your family, they are more than likely emotionally tied to the birth of the baby.  It’s their baby too. Or it’s their grandbaby. Or it’s their first time witnessing birth. There are a thousand potential reasons why your partner needs support.  A doula can you’re your partner how to do proper counter-pressure or some them some tips for a more relaxing massage. Having a supported partners means a calmer, more reassured partner who can support you.
It’s a full-circle journey. 

A doula can help you communicate more effectively with your partner. Have you talked about how what you’d like from them on your birth day? Have you discussed whether you want their prompts for pain meds or whether you’d rather they wait for you to ask? Have you talked about expectations and the reality of sharing the responsibilities of having a newborn? We throw them to birth wolves and expect them to be our everything.  We expect them to just know what we want and need, in the moment. We often expect that they read our minds, not only in birth, but in daily life too, and then get frustrated when they don’t do it right. Sometimes that works out beautifully. Sometimes our partners are just fully intuitive to our needs and emotions.

Other times, not so much. Most partners haven’t spent a lot of time around on birth.  Some partners have their own sense of insecurities around how to help.  There’s no reason for them to feel any extra pressure.