August 05, 2019
Making Decisions About Birth as a Couple
By: Cara Terreri | 1 Comments
Pregnancy, birth, and parenting require making lots and lots of decisions. It's one of the things many individuals and couples struggle with most! Things like which prenatal tests to agree to, where to give birth, baby names, hiring a doula, taking a childbirth class, baby sleep habits, and many many more can be easy to tackle for some and difficult for others. So what is the best way to deal with the [likely] inevitable disagreements over potentially heated topics? Let's take a look.
Handling Decisions During Pregnancy When You & Your Partner Disagree
Timing. If it's not an urgent decision that needs to be made, consider the timing of your discussion. For example, late on a Friday night after both of you have worked a full week may not be the best time to hash out the particulars of home birth vs. hospital birth. Pick a time when both of you are rested and fresh -- you'll be able to think more clearly and approach the issues more reasonably.
Be prepared. If the decision is one you know you disagree on, prepare yourself to discuss it based on research. Task your partner to do the same. It's important to present facts and evidence, as well as personal and emotional reasons for your decision.
Really listen. If you're eager to present your case and dig in deep, it's important to let your partner know that you will also truly listen to their point of view -- in its entirety, with respect, and without interruption. Each person's feelings are valid and each person deserves to be heard.
Disagree respectfully. It's easy for things to get out of hand quickly during a heated discussion. Take a breather if necessary, and avoid calling names or putting the other person down for their opinions. It may be necessary to table the discussion and come back to it when you both are more calm.
Consult with a professional. If it feels like a mutual decision is beyond your reach, seek out professionals for help. Consider opening the discussion with your doctor or midwife to weigh in with a professional point of view, if it makes sense for the topic at hand. Or, see a couple's counselor or therapist to assist with communication -- the benefits from couple's therapy can last for years to come! It's best to avoid involving family members and close friends -- it can put them in an awkward position, and their opinions will be inherently biased to one side over the other.