Having a confident birth begins your parenting journey on the right page. You know the kind of day where you start out stubbing your toe and then everything seems to be messed up? That’s NOT how you want to start parenthood.
Confidence is key, and it is possible without going to medical school!
Hi, I’m Hilary. I’m the curly head behind the website Pulling Curls, the nurse behind The Pregnancy Nurse, and the creator of The Online Prenatal Class for Couples.
I’ve been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of labor and delivery nurse experience. I am an expert at helping families have a confident collaborative hospital delivery. I’m excited to give you some ideas to use at your own birth.
Scared Of Childbirth? Here’s How To Have A Confident Birth
Getting Your Confident Birth
Benefits of a Confident Delivery
Everyone likes to feel at ease. I like to compare it to driving somewhere. When I moved to a new town I had to give myself often double the amount of time to get to my destination.
However, with time I got more confident and I’m grateful that I don’t have that pit in my stomach finding the places I need to go.
Labor is very similar, except you don’t get to choose your timeline.
If you spend the majority of your time in labor wondering where you’re going, what will be next, and if you’re making the right choices — you won’t be able to relax and enjoy the anticipation of meeting your new little person.
The stress you feel at delivery can transfer to that sweet babe who’s sharing the same blood system as you and you don’t want that. Staying calm will benefit both of you.
ALSO, one of the things I have heard most from moms who felt confident is that they just feel better about how they handled things.
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I have zero judgment for how people handle labor as someone who has spent so long at their bedside. That being said, sometimes people carry some feelings about how they handled labor or the delivery that weighs on them. There is absolutely NO need for that — but it’s also something that families appreciate when they have a confident delivery.
Elements of a Confident Delivery
Know what to expect
I don’t want you to think that I can teach you exactly how labor will go. The most predictable thing about labor is how unpredictable it will be.
It involves both you, your baby, and our good friend mother nature — so you’re navigating through uncertain territory.
That being said, I think you can have a pretty good idea of what’s next, and what type of bumps to expect coming up ahead.
That type of thing takes experience though — seeing lots of different births with people with different backgrounds and medication situations — so don’t take your friend’s word for what will happen, because each one can be very different.
Know how to get the information you need
Talking to your healthcare team can sometimes be more difficult than you’d prefer. Learning the words and the information you can get from them is such a skill.
Remember, they are setting their own boundaries and they also can’t tell the future — so you have to be thoughtful about what they can tell you.
Make good choices
Once you have a basic idea of what to expect, and how to get information, now you need to know how to make the important choices that matter to you most.
How do you combine all that knowledge to make yourself feel as comfortable and confident as possible during the birth of your babe?
How to Get Your Confident Delivery
I think your confident delivery starts with three things:
You can’t get a confident delivery talking to friends about their birth experiences. That’s a one-person experience that doesn’t translate to yours. Looking to more broad information can be helpful in this instance.
What are the things you REALLY need to be concerned about? There is a lot to take in during a hospital birth — what do you need to pay attention to?
What is your end goal?
Is your end goal a vaginal delivery without an epidural, or is it a safe mom and baby?
Back to the driving analogy, yes — often our goal is to get to a place on time, but I think we’ve all been caught up in traffic or a weather pattern and realized that our main goal was safety and no one getting hurt. Being mindful of an attainable end goal is so important (and remembering that end goal may shift during the process).
How I Can Help You Have a Confident Delivery
While most confidence comes from experience, birth makes that tricky. The second best thing is education, and walking hand in hand with someone who knows their stuff.
I love educating new moms about their upcoming birth.
I love teaching and have created an engaging prenatal course that allows you and your partner to get ready on your own timeline.
I love what Samantha had to say:
“Hilary presented real information with a blend of humor that encourages memory and a feeling of realness many online classes fail to achieve.”
I have seen it, time and time again how much happier couples are when they have taken a prenatal class before delivery. They’re less stressed, they know the moments to savor and feel more bonded by the experience.
I hope you’ll find a class that works for you. There are a good number of prenatal classes available online, and if you don’t think mine is a good fit for you, there are certainly lots of options out there (honestly, I just don’t think they have the winning combination of my experience and engaging teaching).
If you’re still not sure, I have a free class that I offer that tells more about third-trimester testing, what to expect at delivery and even some information on postpartum care. It’s a great test drive to see if I can get you the confident delivery you desire.
It truly is possible!
Hilary Erickson has 20 years of experience in a labor and delivery unit. She has been a nurse since 1997 and she has been writing about pregnancy and childbirth since 2005. You can have a look at Hilary’s blog over at Pulling Curls right here.
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