Top 5 Tips for Having a Better Birth

Birth is unpredictable and can go in many unexpected directions, BUT there are ways to increase your likelihood of a more positive birth experience! After over a decade of owning the largest doula agency in the world, here are Anna's top 5 best tips for having a better birth.

Top 5 Tips for Having a Better Birth

This article was written by Anna Rodney, a founder of Chicago Family Doulas, and Birth & Baby University.

Tip 1: Choose your healthcare team wisely!

This includes the doctor or midwife as well as their colleagues and the hospital. You need to consider what they believe and if those beliefs align with yours. This is a must and will have a huge impact on your labor as their beliefs and policies will dictate much of your birth.

Photo Credits: Chicago Family Doulas

Tip 2: Learn and prepare

There is much to learn about pregnancy, birth and postpartum and the more you prepare the more likely you are to have a positive experience. Read books, take birth and baby classes, join support groups and connect with your support community. Knowing what is normal and how to cope through labor will help you to feel empowered and less afraid.

Photo Credits: Chicago Family Doulas

Tip 3: Plan for support

Doing this alone is not only hard, but it is often unnecessary. Classes will help you and your partner feel more prepared for birth and postpartum, but having a professional doula with you as a guide and for support will be so helpful for the both of you. Doulas work hard to prepare you and keep you comfortable and coping. They also do their best to help uphold your wishes.

Tip 4: Create a birth preference sheet

Many refer to this as a birth plan, but since birth can be a bit unpredictable I like to call it a birth preference sheet. Know your options and know your first, second and even third choice for each stage of labor. Knowing what you would like to happen in each unique circumstance will help you and your partner to navigate this all during labor.

Photo Credits: Chicago Family Doulas

Tip 5: Stay strong

Staying strong physically and emotionally, if possible, will help you to have a more positive experience. Staying strong physically can help labor to be shorter and more manageable. Also, this will help you to implement a wide range of coping techniques. Being in a positive place emotionally can also help labor to be more manageable and calmer.

Lastly, be gentle with yourself and your partner. Pregnancy can be so hard, and do what you can to have a more positive birth, but also take time to rest and sleep.

Photo Credits: Chicago Family Doulas

Bonus section - FAQs

How Can I Ensure My Healthcare Team Aligns with My Birth Preferences?

Choosing your healthcare team is crucial for a positive birth experience. It's recommended to discuss your birth preferences with potential doctors or midwives to ensure their beliefs and policies align with yours. This can significantly impact your labor and delivery experience.

What Should I Focus on During Pregnancy to Prepare for Birth?

Preparation is key to feeling empowered and less afraid during birth. Engaging in educational activities such as reading books on pregnancy, attending birth and baby classes, joining support groups, and connecting with your support community can vastly improve your readiness and confidence.

How Important Is Having a Support Plan for Birth?

Having a support plan, including the presence of a professional doula, can make a significant difference in your birth experience. Doulas provide guidance, comfort, and support to both you and your partner, helping uphold your wishes and prepare you for various stages of labor and postpartum.

Can You Change Your Birth Plan During Labor?

While it's beneficial to create a birth preference sheet to outline your choices for each stage of labor, it's also essential to stay flexible. Birth can be unpredictable, and knowing your first, second, and even third choices can help you and your partner navigate the process more smoothly, even when changes are necessary.