Talking to friends about birth
I presently have three close friends due with their first child and one cousin due with her second. All have expressed an interest in natural birth and have a various times come to me with questions about my experience, seeking advice on everything from care providers to laboring techniques.
My first advice is always: get a midwife not an OB. After that I find I get tongue tied. I of course have an opinion on everything from how to labor, to the best baby carrier to buy for newborns. But I fear sometimes that I’m so passionate about my birthing opinions that I might come across as almost militantly anti-intervention.
I also think it’s nice to let a new mom explore birth options on their own and come to conclusions that feel right to them. So what I’ve tried to do lately is steer them towards resources I’ve found helpful.
What helped me the very most in terms of preparing to have a baby was reading birth stories. The internet is filled with some fantastic ones and I definitely have my favorites.
Here are my top five birth stories, in no particular order (FYI, most if not all of these links contain birth pictures that may not be safe for work, click with discretion!):
Xan’s UBAC Birth, by Babyslime This story is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. Unassisted birth is definitely not for everyone but it was the right choice for this mom. For me the fact that she’s 5′ 1″ and birthed a 9+ lb baby after a section gave me lots of motivation to trust my body.
If you’ve not read her blog before, definitely worth checking out. She’s a fantastic writer and offers some interesting info on everything from cloth diapering to no poo-ing (that’s no shampoo btw!)
The Birth of Grey Forest Walt: Outdoor, midwife attended VBAC This is the first birth story I remember reading. I re-read it the other day and it reads far more ‘earthy crunchy’ than I remember. Some might find that a turnoff but it’s lovely in all of its detail. It’s also a great illustration of the transformative power of birth for moms.
One Journey to Homebirth after 3 Sections: Slideshow/Video Love, love, love this… makes me cry every time. A beautiful story of a mom taking change, learning to trust herself and enjoy her child’s birth.
Home, midwife assisted water birth from Birth Story Diaries I just discovered a lot of the links to the birth stories on this site are now down but this one is still up and it’s fantastic. Lots of pictures!
Olive’s home/waterbirth video/slideshow This is just a lovely, simple birth experience from a mom who birthed at home with a midwife and her husband.
Does anyone have any others they love to share?