You are pregnant, it’s going to be one of the most powerful, transformative and memorable days of your life. But what have you invested into it?? I’m definitely not the person thats going to say- ‘actually don’t worry, you dont need to prepare, just go with the flow’. So if you’re looking for that answer you may either want to continue reading to find out more- or just stop right here…
It has always been apparent to me since the birth of my second child that we invest so much into other days of our lives but far less so for birth. My first ‘investment’ into my second birth was a Hypnobirthing course. Opening myself up to a wealth of information that was truly eye opening. Access to a Facebook community group gave me never-ending motivation and positive outlooks on birth, something I hadn’t realised was possible beforehand. The second ‘investment’ was time. Time to practice each and every day. Giving myself permission to practice, go to bed early just to listen to a Hypnobirthing track or watch that positive birth video. The third ‘investment’ was definitely a larger commitment. An independent midwife. Something cost-conscious me rejected immediately but then ‘invested’ into just having a conversation about the topic. Having spoken to a close family friend doula, I’ll never forget her words…
“If you can get an independent midwife, it’ll be the greatest gift you ever give yourself”.
And it definitely was an investment this time of money, carefully weighed up between me and my husband and speaking to the right people for us at the right time and deciding if that was the right action for us. It truly was the greatest gift we ever gave ourselves. Worthy of giving back my precious Bugaboo, Sleepyhead AND carseat!!
But prompted by a post by Born to Do it Hypnobirthing it really got me thinking about the other days in our lives that we invest into and the THINGS we invest into. Take for example buying a new car… we research, we go to several garages, we sit in it and we test drive. And then we potentially part with thousands of pounds once we feel informed and secure about our desicion. Never do we walk into a random garage, say ‘I’ll take the cheapest thing you’ve got!’ and then hope for the best!!!
Claire of Born To Do It rightly compared birth prep to wedding prep. Another monumental day right? (aka glorified party)
How much planning did you say you did for your wedding?? A year? Sorry HOW much money did you spend? I’m sure you can see where we’re going with this.
When it comes to ‘things’… the Bugaboo you had to have *hands up guilty here*, more precious than your car or home. With not much change out of 1K I’m sure we’re all glad that baby felt super special in its new wheels and that it changed your life…
Ok I’m being a little facetious and don’t get me wrong I have been a total guilty sucker for the ‘stuff’. But when the ‘stuff’ gets in the way of you investing in a really good birth course, a lactation consultant or maybe even looking into the value of having a doula I think a disconnect is really prominent in our society today. I am also of the school unfortunately that a hospital basic new parents course will not cut the mustard. I’ve done one and spoken to other midwives also of the same mindset. That is not slating the NHS because I’m sure funding would never stretch to what I (and most people I know) would consider a fully comprehensive antenatal and informative birth preparation class.
So when I say “invest” into your birth, what does that mean? Does is mean spend £1000 on a course instead of a buggy? No, of course not.
What I really mean is investing into yourself and your baby, that can mean just…commitment!!!
Maybe money’s not the object but time is- it’s about making a life changing investment into your time! It could be investing into a Hypnobirthing or other full birth preparation course (again a small investment vs a buggy even) OR it could be investing into just the online course. Think about the money you’ve spent on a holiday- does doing an NCT & another course really cost too much in comparison??
At the other end of the scale if it is money that is blocking you, which absolutely and understandably is the case for some people, a great investment could be joining some amazing Facebook groups like a general Hypnobirthing one or a another ‘birthy’ community which will get you feeling more informed. That is a big reason I started Gigi + Pickle Empowering Birth Experience, a free safe space for women to get educated and feel positive about birth. Another suggestion is finding your local Positive Birth Movement group- they are totally FREE!!! Or go to a free home birth group. Invest into time researching breastfeeding and have a local contact at the ready- many lactation consultants now do pre-birth consultations to get you ready which is fab. For me the hospital provided one which was great as a start!
Do your research- find out what is feasible for you and your family, think about the whether the benefits of what you will gain outweigh the costs, whether that be time OR money. Most importantly speak to other people- find someone that has done that particular NCT/birth prep course/hired that doula/lactation consultant. What was their birth outcome? What did they get out of it? If what they gained was ‘friends’ then pleeeaaase go back to the drawing board (another topic for another day!).
For me the investment and greatest gift you can give YOU is about informing yourself, educating yourself into the biggest day of your life. For you to get to the other side of your birth and perhaps think- thank goodness I didn’t get those shiny new wheels with the cream interior because what I actually got was a positive and empowering birth! That, at the end of the day is worth its weight in a shiny gold Bugaboo for sure.