Sometimes there is a common misconception that I hear "Don't doulas only attend home births?"
And the answer to that is a resounding "No!".
Here in Cape Breton, we are blessed with a beautiful landscape, incredibly friendly folks and the longest winters I've ever endured.
What we do not have is midwifery care, at either the hospital or in our homes! (Stay tuned in the future for a blog post all about the state of midwifery care in Nova Scotia!)
What we do have, however, is experienced doctors, friendly and open minded nurses and a couple of amazing doulas that you can add to your birth team!
Without further adieu, here are my 5 tips for rocking your hospital birth!
Amber's 5 Top Tips
1. Do the Prenatal Tour! It is ideal to birth in atmospheres that you feel comfortable in. Learn the layout, see the rooms, meet the staff!
Ask questions! The nurses want you to feel informed and educated about all your options!
2. Know What You Want (and Don't!)
What is important to you for your birthing experience?
Want to go all natural without pain relief medications? Great! Have a plan to support that!
Want an epidural as soon as humanly possible? Great! Make that clear to your nurses when you arrive!
Basically, just do your research before going into labour and have an idea of what works for you and what doesn't! (Always maintaining a flexible attitude because birth is unpredictable!)
Things to Think About:
Pain Relief Options, Cord Clamping, Labour Positions, Baby Care (ie: do you want erythromicin used in their eyes? Do you plan to breastfeed? Formula Feed?), etc.
3. Use Your BRAIN
As the birthing person, you have the right to make choices about procedures that are done.
When a suggestion is made, you can ask:
"Is this medically necessary?" (If the answer is Yes, please listen to your medical team)
If the answer is no, please proceed with BRAIN
What are the Benefits to this?
What are the Risks?
Are there Alternatives?
*Check in with your Intuition*
What happens if we do Nothing?
The medical staff wants the best for both you and your baby!
We are so lucky to have a team that honours collaboration and collective care!
4. Use Those Showers!
Showers are an underrated comfort measure! There are so many benefits to utilizing them during early and active labour! The warmth of the water, the upright position and the added bonus of washing any fluids off can really contribute to a more comfortable labour experience.
According to a study
"Showering in Labour: An Effective Pain Management Alternative" (Kathleen A. Austin, Grand Valley State University) *See link at bottom to read study
" Odent (1984) reported that the warm water reduces adrenaline secretion, relaxes the muscles, and induces alpha brain waves, creating a state of mental relaxation."
And to this date, I have never seen the hot water run out!
5. Hire a Doula!
The ideal birth team includes a trained birth professional, a supportive partner, and your supportive medical team.
Imagine it like several circles of support all around the birthing person.
Studies have shown that having a Doula present at your birth can :
*Increase your chances of a vaginal delivery.
*Increase your positive feelings about the experience.
*Reduce the use of pharmacutical pain relief medications.
*Reduce the risk of Cesarean birth.
*Reduce length of labour.
*Improve the experience of your partner!
A doula works hard to provide you with all the facts about labour and delivery and provides continuous emotional and physical support to you and your partner!
At Cape Breton Regional Hospital, you can now have 2 support people AND your doula!
A hospital birth can be a beautiful birth! Especially with a staff that is caring, compassionate and respectful!
As always, reach out if you want more information, to book a Prenatal Information Session or to secure your spot for Doula Services! *Now Booking into 2019!*