One of the most difficult things to deal with during pregnancy is when you are told that your once straight forward, easy pregnancy has all of a sudden become ‘high risk’ or that your circumstances have changed, meaning that your birth plan needs to adapt.
Suddenly you are in danger of not making it to that spa-like birth center that you have been dreaming about or the home birth you have been preparing for is starting to look like a distant memory. Despite having practiced hypnobirthing meticulously the calm, zen, pregnant you is now replaced with an over-thinking, panicked, negative version of yourself and you don’t know how to get back to how you were feeling before.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Try the below to get you back on track;⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Research. Knowledge is power. Visit reputable sources of information to help you get a deeper understanding of the situation and look at studies, evidence, research papers, books & websites (e.g AIMS, Evidence-Based Birth, Cochrane Library, NICE Guidelines, RCOG, World Health Organisation).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. Know Your Rights. Sometimes words like guidelines, policies & protocols can be thrown at us and we get the impression that we don’t have any rights. Even the language used by medical staff can dis-empower and make us feel like we have lost control. According to Birthrights, human rights law “…gives pregnant women the right to receive maternity care, to make their own choices about their care, and to be given standards of care that respect their dignity and autonomy as human beings”. This is vital to remember. If you aren’t in the UK, take a look at what organisations are available in your country of residence to help you understand your rights.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Acceptance. It’s the hardest one to do but is usually the most beneficial. Resisting your new situation and clinging on to what you had or wanted won’t serve you as you progress through your pregnancy and childbirth. Doing your research & understanding your rights help you to accept the new situation in whatever form it may take.
4. B.R.A.I.N– What are the benefits, the risks, the alternatives of the situation you have found yourself in. What does your intuition/instinct tell you? And what happens if you do nothing? Asking yourself and your care providers these questions will help you see a clearer picture of what is happening, why a certain thing is being offered and will led you to make a decision.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. Make YOUR Choice. The research, understanding your rights, accepting your new situation and running through the B.R.A.I.N acronym drives you to a place where you must make a choice. Know that it is YOUR choice. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
6. Take Control. Now your choice is made start modifying your Birth Preferences to make sure you understand what things you can control & how you want to control them & letting go of the things you can’t.⠀⠀⠀
If you are working with a hypnobirthing instructor, reach out to them and allow them to remind you how EVERYTHING you have learnt whilst practicing and preparing for birth still very much applies to this new situation.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You have got this! ⠀⠀⠀⠀