(You can jump straight to the Find a Birth Buddy contact form here or read on . . .)
Feeling anxious or even frightened about labour and birth is a common experience for women today. Once upon a time, and not that long ago at that, a newly-pregnant woman would have felt drawn in by more experienced women around her – supported and surrounded by all that it means to be a new mother. She’d have seen pregnancies, heard stories of births or maybe even been at one. And by default, given all the good and useful ‘knowing’ she was going to need.
Just a few decades later, and it’s a very different story. A pregnant woman now finds herself very alone – short on support and faced only with the option of ‘learning’ about birth in an abstract and often unhelpful way.
It’s hard to get any real kind of reassurance from books, or even from ante-natal classes – where everyone’s in the same boat. Work is work, and friends – well, all too often, it’s only the scary stories that are forthcoming. Enough ‘just-you-wait’ kind of tales to implant the fear of God.
But there is support to be had. The kind of encouraging, word-of-mouth wisdom that would have once been commonplace is out there to be shared now too. There are many women who have recently had uncomplicated, positive birth experiences, and some of them have heard of this website and are willing to share their stories with you.
Good birth stories are wonderfully infectious. Hearing one will get you into the right gear mentally – and leave you feeling self-reliant, positive, and strong. Well-placed, in other words, for having a good birth experience yourself.
So if you’re feeling uncertain – or even properly worried, please get in touch. Complete the Birth Buddy contact form and send us a few details about yourself, and we will send you the contact details of a woman with a good birth story to share.
You can email them in the first instance. Then if you want to, perhaps talk on the phone. We’ll try and match you with someone in your area, so if it suits you both, you could meet for a chat over a cup of tea.
You may have a specific anxiety – perhaps you want a homebirth but are being told it’s too late in your pregnancy to opt for that, or the hospital is putting pressure on you to have a sweep or even induction before you’re ready. Let us know and we’ll try and match you with someone who has had a similar experience.
And before you go thinking, ‘Well what good could it do? That was them and this is me’ – just try it. Seeing another woman excited will make you curious. Hearing about the ups and downs of her journey; what comforted her and kept her strong; seeing the plain-as-day satisfaction on her face. All of this will give you the most important tools of all – hope, encouragement and confidence.
Speak to someone who has had a good birth experience and you will see for yourself that it was nothing to do with luck, or the right-sized pelvis, or a high pain-threshold. You’ll discover that she is no different to you. Give your body and your baby what they need to get on with the job, and we all of us stand a pretty huge chance of having a good birth.