Getting ready for labor and birth means preparing not only by learning (the intellectual) and bodily conditioning (the physical), but also by tapping into your feelings (the emotional).
Emotional preparation for birth is helpful for you (as the person who will give birth) as well as (if you are partnered) your partner. Despite not being physically involved in the obvious aspects of pregnancy and birth, partners go through a unique and equally important experience during the transition to parenthood.
You and your partner can emotionally prepare for labor and birth in a variety of ways, including therapy, childbirth classes, meditation, prayer, and other means of self inquiry and exploration. The questions in the following exercise offer a starting point for diving into the emotions surrounding labor and birth. Answer the questions privately and then come together with your partner to share and discuss the answers, paying close attention to where your answers differ and where they line up.
Preparing Emotionally for Labor & Birth: A Q&A Session
How do I want to feel during labor and birth?
How do I want to be treated during labor and birth?
What would it look like during labor and birth to feel loved and supported?
What would it look like during labor and birth to feel that my wishes are being respected?
How important is it to feel in control of my labor and birth?
How important is it to feel clear-headed and alert during labor and birth?
How involved/active do I want to be in labor and birth?
How important is it that my partner is active/involved in labor and birth?
Do I consider birth a spiritual experience?
How do I feel about pain in labor and birth?
How do I feel about pain medication used for labor and birth?
Do I see birth as an extremely important experience/event?
How do I feel about the experience of birth and how it affects parents and baby?
How do I feel about my partner's role during labor and birth when it comes to interacting with medical staff and acting as my advocate for things I need?
In what ways would I like support from my partner during labor and birth?
How would I describe my faith in my body's ability to give birth?
What would feel most supportive to me in labor and birth? Consider things like partner's actions and/or words, someone being present but quiet, physical touch/being held, distractions, humor, reassurance, suggestions, etc.
TagsBirth Labor Preparing for Birth Preparing for Labor Partner