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A First-Time Mom's Guide to Understanding Birth Preferences

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A First-Time Mom's Guide to Understanding Birth Preferences

Dec 18, 2023
A First-Time Mom's Guide to Understanding Birth Preferences

As a first-time mama, understanding birth preferences is a key step in ensuring a positive birthing experience. 

A birth preference is a written document that outlines your desires and goals for birth and the immediate postpartum period. It is the best way for you to refine your wishes and preferences and communicate them to your birth team, which may include your healthcare provider, doula, and other members of your care team. 

By discussing your birth preferences, you can make Informed decisions about your childbirth experience and feel empowered throughout the process. Your birth plan may include topics such as the type of birth you prefer, pain relief options, birthing positions, fetal monitoring, cord blood options, skin -to -skin contact, and postpartum care. 

Let's explore some of the key considerations every mama needs to make when choosing her birth preferences. You got this, mama! 

Two pregnant women talking

How to Decide on Your Birth Preferences 

Deciding on your birth preferences is an important part of preparing for the arrival of your little one, and it is a step in the pregnancy journey that every mama must make. A list of birth preferences helps make sure that your wishes and needs are considered during the birthing process. 

The first step is to spend a few hours considering what you want out of your birth journey and jotting down some of your preferences. 

The next step is to review your birth preferences with your care team, which includes your healthcare provider, birth partner, doula, and any other professionals involved in your care. It is crucial to consider their suggestions and feedback, as they have the expertise and knowledge to guide you. 

When deciding where to give birth, you have various options to consider, such as a midwifery unit, birth center, hospital, or even your home. Each setting has benefits and considerations, so seeking advice and researching your options is essential. Just remember that the choice is yours, mama! 

How do you prepare for a home birth? Check out this guide! 


Why Do First-Time Mamas Need to Know Their Birth Preferences? 


First-time mamas embark on an incredible journey as they prepare to welcome their little ones into the world. With so many decisions to make, understanding birth preferences becomes pertinent.  

Knowing your birth preferences allows you to take an active role in your birthing experience. It helps you make informed decisions about comfort management, interventions, and the overall atmosphere during labor and delivery. As a first-time mom, it is important to educate yourself about different birthing options and interventions so you can choose what aligns with your vision and values.  

Having a birth plan informs your medical providers and caregivers about your desires for labor and birth. It serves as a communication tool, giving them insight into your ideal birth experience. By sharing your birth preferences, you can build a trust-based relationship with your healthcare team, foster open conversations, and ensure that everyone is working together towards a common goal. 

A pregnant woman kneeling and resting upon an exercise ball

Finalizing Your Birth Preferences 


Once you have gathered information about different birthing options and interventions, it is time to finalize your birth preferences. This involves creating a clear and concise document that outlines your wishes for labor and birth.  

Below, we will explore some options you will need to consider for your birth preference list. These are options that many mamas forget about, but they are especially important. If you are having trouble making up your mind, your doula is here to help. 


Exploring Birthing Positions 


When it comes to labor and birth, one aspect that often gets overlooked is the importance of exploring different birthing positions. Your choice of a position during labor can significantly impact your overall birth experience. It can help you feel in control, reduce discomfort, and assist in the baby's journey through the birth canal. 

You know your body! Your birth position is up to you! Here are a few birthing positions you may consider exploring: 

  1. Squatting: Squatting can help widen your pelvic outlet and increase the space available for your baby to descend.

  2. Kneeling: Kneeling on all fours can help alleviate back discomfort and promote optimal fetal positioning.

  3. Hands and Knees: This position can help relieve back discomfort and encourage the baby to rotate into the optimal position for delivery.

  4. Side-Lying: Side-lying can provide rest and relaxation while still allowing gravity to aid the baby's descent.

  5. Standing: Standing or swaying can help open the pelvis and encourage the baby to engage in the birth canal. 

Each position comes with its own benefits and considerations. It is essential to discuss these options with your doula and birth team to determine what will work best for you and your specific circumstances. 


Pain Management Options 


During labor, there are various comfort technique options that you can consider, to help you cope with the intensity of contractions and provide comfort throughout the process. Here are some popular options:

  1. Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese practice involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points of the body to help promote relaxation during labor.

  2. Acupressure: Similar to acupuncture, acupressure involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to relieve discomfort and promote relaxation. This can be done by yourself or with the help of a partner or birth doula.

  3. Breathing exercises: Focusing on your breathing can help distract from the discomfort and provide a sense of calm during labor. Deep, rhythmic breathing can help you relax and manage your contractions more effectively.

  4. Massage: Gentle massage and gentle touch can help relax tense muscles and provide discomfort relief during labor. This can be done by a trained professional, your birth partner, or even by using tools such as massage balls or handheld massagers.

  5. Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation techniques during labor can help you stay focused.

  6. Reflexology: Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific points on the hands and feet that correspond to different areas of the body. This can help promote relaxation during labor. 

  7. Homeopathic Remedies: Homeopathic remedies consist of homemade plant-based medicines that you can use to give your body strength.

  8. Epidural: This is a type of anesthesia administered to numb the lower half of your body, providing significant pain relief during labor. 

Each comfort management option has its own unique benefits, so it is important to discuss them with your doula and make an informed decision based on your preferences and medical situation. Remember that every labor experience is unique, and finding what works best for you is key. 

What does a strong support network do for your pregnancy and birth? Check out the guide here! 

Stork Helpers is Here for You and Your Birth Preferences 


As a first-time mama, it can be hard to know what you want out of your pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time of extreme selflessness, where you are putting your developing baby's needs over your comfort. Because of that, developing your birth preferences is one of the most important parts of the pregnancy journey.  

Every mama needs a guide on her journey. That is where Tamara and Skylar from Stork Helpers come in. We are here to help you through every step of your pregnancy journey. Your doula is here to answer all your questions and ensure your voice is heard.  

If you want to learn more about what a doula can do for you as a first-time mama, then click here to start a conversation today

For more fertility and pregnancy tips and support, follow Stork Helpers on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!  

Happy with the difference Stork Helpers made in your birth journey? Leave us a quick five-star review here! 

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