My Story: Cultivating Confidence During Pregnancy

Marie shares her experience of how she prepared herself for childbirth. She discusses using the hospital birth classes as well as finding books on her own.

Transcript:

OBOS Today: Before your first pregnancy and childbirth, what did you do to kind of, like, prepare yourself or to learn information?

Marie: You know, I took, like, the childbirth classes at the hospital, and I think it was a lot scarier than it needed to be because it was like — there was like a lot of emphasis on, like, “Oh, you’re going to be in excruciating pain, and most of you are going to get an epidural right away,” and it sort of had this… and it went through a lot of, like, “This is what Pitocin is, and this is how it makes — it forces your body to have contractions,” and so there was almost, like, a lot of mechanical preparation and then with my second and third pregnancy, I read a lot more of the, like…

I think one of the books is like Spiritual Midwifery, and then there’s another one that’s like… I forget what the names of them are.

But those books gave me a lot more confidence about labor and delivery with the idea that, like, your body knows what it’s doing, it’s supposed to be able to do this. And nature wouldn’t design something, like if the fate of humans rests on like reproduction, it wouldn’t make something so painful that people didn’t want to do it.

Or at least like, you know, manage the pain of it or whatever. And so I really liked reading about that, and reading about like the positive birth stories. And I think that gave me not only, like, a lot more confidence, but also made me look forward to the labor and delivery a lot more instead of being, like, nervous about it. And so my second and third labor and delivery were like really easy and, you know, and this sounds crazy but like actually I enjoyed, you know, the process; I think it’s when you, when you feel like confident and feel, um, like proud of what your body can do, I think it really changes the whole experience of it.

OBOS Today: Yeah, that’s awesome, and that’s awesome that those books could kind of reframe it for you.

So we’re kind of getting towards the end of our 20 minutes and I was wondering, I guess if you had to give, like, one piece of advice to people who have, like, never gone through pregnancy or childbirth before who are going to, like what would it be?

Marie: My piece of advice, for people who are going through childbirth and haven’t done it before, is to seek out positive birth stories and books that are going to help cultivate a level of confidence and pride in the process rather than, than only learning about the fear-based component of it. I think if the first impressions about childbirth are positive, with the kinds of people who tell you, you know, positive stories and things like that, it can really make a big difference. And it certainly did for me, and I think it reinforces that, you know, women have been doing this for a long, long time, and doing it pretty well and, you know, and I think having that positive outset is really important.