Why is a good birth experience so important anyway?

“All that matters to me is a healthy mother and a healthy baby.
Why is a good birth experience so important anyway?”

Part of a healthy outcome is the mother’s memory of her birth and the feelings she associates with that experience.  Birth can be beautiful, powerful, emotional, enjoyable and fulfilling. Sadly, birth could also be frightening, confusing, and even traumatizing. Because of the hormones that surge through your mind at the time of birth, these memories and feelings about your child’s coming into the world will be firmly anchored in your memory, even more so than any other emotionally important life event. So don’t ever feel like you are “asking too much”  to expect a good experience!

Your birth experience can affect numerous things. It can influence your mental health during your postpartum period, and can put you at risk for postpartum depression or psychosis. Your memories of your birth can affect your protective and nurturing responses to your newborn, which affects the frequency of breastfeeding, which affects the supply of your breastmilk, which can seriously affect your child’s lifelong health by denying him or her all the lifelong health benefits of breastfeeding. Your birth experience can change how you suppose baby is feeling when he or she cries–is he making manipulative demands, or is he requesting my help and intervention?

All these things can be influenced by a good or bad birth experience, and these factors can change your attitude towards parenting and childrearing, and can affect how your newborn experiences his or her early years of life!

Although no one can control what may happen, your doula is completely committed to making your experience as positive as it can be. Doulas can keep you relaxed, comfortable, and informed; this creates an atmosphere where your body can produce optimal levels of the bonding and love hormone oxytocin and the blissfully addictive pain-blocking neurotransmitters known as beta-endorphins. Having a doula can help make your labor and birth a beautiful and empowering experience–something that will stick with you forever and continue to give you confidence that you can get through the challenges of motherhood.

Photos courtesy of Desiree Photography, desireephotography.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-day-alaric-was-born.htm