Surround yourself with people who support your choices. You are most likely to have a positive birth experience, in whatever way it occurs, if you feel respected for your decisions. “Support—both emotional and physical—builds a woman’s confidence and has been shown to ease a woman’s labor and birth,” says Judith Lothian, co-author of Giving Birth with Confidence. “Women who are confident in themselves are confident in their ability to birth their babies.”
Most people (even strangers!) give pregnancy advice or share stories out of genuine friendship, or simply to make conversation. If a story or piece of advice makes you anxious, thank the person for their concern and change the subject. If you feel there is something to learn from a story, ask for more details and compare it to your own values and knowledge before deciding to let it influence you.
Make Connections with Others Who Understand What You are Going Through
Pregnancy can feel isolating, especially if you do not have other friends or acquaintances who are expecting a new baby at the same time. Parents going through an adoption may feel detached if other friends have not been through the adoption process.
Feel supported in your decisions by connecting with other expecting parents who share your values. You will learn and grow through your shared experiences. The friendships you develop now may continue beyond birth, offering support after the baby is born and throughout parenting. Other expecting parents may share your experiences and concerns, and may understand what you are going through now.
Find Supportive People and Groups in Your Area
Friends Who are Already Parents
Connecting with friends who are already parents can be valuable, too. They bring personal experience, and can give you a sense of what is to come. Each person has a different gift to bring to the relationship. Find others who empower you and support your choices, people who offer helpful perspectives instead of "war stories." Above all, these friendships should build your confidence in yourself and in birth.
A Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator is your trusted partner for one of the most important journeys of your life.
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