3 Things to help you have a positive birth

birth support packages

Are you looking for things that you can do in order to have a more empowered and positive birth experience? Here are 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 fantastic things that I recommend as a birth doula to help you have a more empowered, positive labor and birth journey!⁠

 

1. A trusted care provider

Who your care provider is (either an OBGYN, Midwife, or co-care with both) & where you give birth are the biggest determining factors of what kind of birth you will have, regardless if you have all the birth education & doula support in the world.

 

Studies have found that in order for women and birthing people to feel that their birth experience was positive, that they need to achieve their priority expectations [Hauck]. It is important that you invest time and energy in finding an OBGYN or Midwife who respects you & your birth goals/priorities, makes you feel comfortable asking questions, & a birth place that has policies that support the type of birth you are preparing for. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘏𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘈𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘝𝘉𝘈𝘊.⁠

 

How could you have a positive birth experience if you hire a care provider who feels very differently about birth compared to you? For instance, if a care provider feels that birth is an emergent situation that requires close management and intervention and you would like an intervention-free birth, some things might go differently than you were preparing for.

 

I have worked with several fantastic Oklahoma OBGYNs and Midwives who have been supportive and respectful of my doula clients. This is why I have a preferred provider discount & home birth discount for my doula families. I believe that respectful and supportive care makes such a difference!

2. Doula Support

Doula support has SO many fantastic benefits, including increasing your chances of a positive birth experience ! As a birth, bereavement, and postpartum doula, I nurture and support  my doula families with emotional, physical, and informational support throughout their pregnancy, birth experience, and their postpartum period.  As a doula I respectfully  advocate on my client’s behalf by  supporting the birthing person in their right to make  decisions about their body and their baby.  My primary responsibility as a doula is to the my clients —not to a hospital administrator, nurse, midwife, or doctor.

 

Benefits of hiring a doula

Research has found that when a birthing person has continuous labor support from a doula– someone who is NOT a staff member at the hospital & who is NOT part of their social network during their labor experience there is a:

  • 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief.
  • 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean.
  • Shorter labors by 41 min on average.
  • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
  • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience [Evidence on: Doulas]

Doulas Provide Emotional Support

Doulas provide impactful emotional support to their doula families.  As a doula, my goal is to focus and care for my doula families by offering reassuring continuous support, empowering the family by encouraging them to become active advocates in their care, & supporting the family’s goals and priorities for pregnancy and birth journey so that they can have a more positive birth experience.

Doulas are Incredibly Helpful Navigating pregnant & birth Information

Feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information about pregnancy and birth? 
Part of my commitment to my doula clients is to provide them with informative, evidence-based resources so that they can make informed choices about their care. These resources include books, videos, local & online classes and more all tailored to my client’s needs and goals. 

This streamlines the educational process for families.When it comes to physical birth support, As a doula I provide clients with everything from foot massages, labor position & birth tool assistance, to counter pressure during contractions throughout their labor and birth journey.  This physical support can also be a huge help for partners/spouses making it a more positive birth journey for them as well!

3. Child Birth Education

Child birth classes are an amazing way to become informed about your options during birth as well as the physiological process of birth. When we understand what is happening to our body when birthing a baby, we are less likely to feel fearful. This prevention of fear can keep you from entering the ‘Fear Pain Cycle’ where because you are afraid, you feel pain more intensely, then because you feel pain more intensely, you become more afraid, and so on.

The Importance Of Child Birth Classes

There are several reasons why I feel child birth classes are so important for families that I included it in my doula contract under ‘Client Obligations’. Some of the benefits of birth education classes are:

  • Increased confidence for labor and birth among parents who attended classes
  • Higher likelihood of breastfeeding success
  • Improved communication between parents and their care providers
  • Decreased need for analgesic medication (epidural) in labor
  • Increased satisfaction with birth
  • Families who attended child birth classes are also significantly less likely to have a cesarean surgery. [Chalmers]

 

The significant difference in the cesarean surgery rate among those who take birth education classes and those who do not is nearly 20% among first time parents!  While hiring a doula onto your birth team is a fantastic way to increase your odds of the benefits listed above, the educational responsibility of becoming informed about birth cannot be removed because of doula support. 

In Conculsion

These are three powerful tools that could help you have a more empowered and positive birth! As a birth doula and midwifery assistant, I have seen these factors have the most power in my client’s birth experience. Do you feel comfortable with your care provider?  Have you hired a doula to your birth team?  Have you signed up for your out of hopsital birth course? 

Sources

Chalmers & Kingston, 2009; Enkin et al., 2000

“Evidence on: Doulas.” Evidence Based Birth®, 5 July 2021, https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/.

Hauck, Yvonne, et al. “The Influence of Childbirth Expectations on Western Australian Women’s Perceptions of Their Birth Experience.” Midwifery, vol. 23, no. 3, 2007, pp. 235–247., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2006.02.002.

 
OKC Birth Doula Jenni Jenkins


Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma City Bereavement, Birth, & Postpartum doula who serves her Central Oklahoma  community.   She is also a midwifery assistant with Holistic Birthing Services and planning to begin her student midwifery journey in 2022. 

Jenni has been a Thrive Mama Collective Member since 2017.  Jenni is also the creator & facilitator of the Kaleidoscope OKC LGBTQ Family Support Group & the Nurture Oklahoma Live Interview Series.

To learn more about Jenni, please click here.