3 steps to a positive birth

Forget the scary stories – giving birth can be a positive experience. But you need to be prepared to make that happen.

While you can’t control everything that happens during your baby’s birth, you can definitely improve your chances of a positive experience.

Here are three steps you can take for a more positive birth:

1. Choose your care provider

The place and people you choose to have your baby with has a huge impact on your birth outcome.

The birth you want needs to be supported by the care providers looking after you during labour.

Midwifery care is when one or a group of midwives care for you consistently during pregnancy and birth. Research has found this model of care offers the best chance for a positive birth experience, with fewer interventions.

2. Get prepared

Being informed about labour and birth can make a huge difference to how you and your partner experience the birth of your baby.

Choose an independent birth class to enhance your knowledge and prepare you for birth.

Evidence has shown independent birth classes can significantly reduce your risk of having an epidural, needing your labour speeded up, or a C-section.

Techniques learned, such as breathing, massage and acupressure, can reduce the length of labour and increase your satisfaction with your birth experience.

3. Hire a doula

Traditionally, women were supported during labour by other experienced women.

This is called continuity of care and evidence shows the presence of a support person during labour and birth has huge benefits.

This includes giving birth without needing interventions, reduced requests for pain medications, as well as less risk of needing a c-section.

Doulas have become a more popular addition to the birth room in the past 10 years.

Birth doulas provide continuous, one-on-one support, as well as information, physical and emotional support to birthing women and their partners.

Women who have doulas say they feel more satisfied with their birth experience and may have shorter labours.

Sam McCulloch is a childbirth educator and doula

Watch Pinky McKay discuss what to do when your ‘mummy mojo’ has been hijacked on House of Wellness TV.