Learning to follow your intuition is imperative in building your trust in your body’s ability to birth. Education is important—it will help you know the options you have and the pros and cons of each one. But when it comes down to making the choices before, during and after your birth, your intuition is the most powerful tool you can use to determine the best choice for you.
I have three different examples to share with you that show how a mother’s intuition can guide her in making decisions regarding her birth:
Jenni was planning a home birth but
“When I went into labor I just felt very panicked internally… something didn’t feel normal to me… so off to the hospital we went. I asked for an epidural… a first for me out of all my births. I also declined AROM… another first for me; however, I felt very strongly that for some reason with this pregnancy and birth my water needed to be intact for as long as possible.”
By continuing to follow her intuition throughout her birth, she was able to avoid a cesarean when it was discovered her baby was breech as she started to push. ( Jenni’s Story )
Michele surprised herself by choosing a cesarean
Michele was planning for a natural birth and had a care provider that was supportive of her desires. However, because of concerns for the baby discovered soon before her due date, she found herself in a situation where she had to have her baby that day. Her care provider was supportive of either inducing her or doing a cesarean. Michele surprised herself by choosing a cesarean.
She said this:
“I was totally surprised at my own decision to have surgery rather then go through the natural process of birth. I’m a real naturalist about things and get a little nuts when I feel I can’t work with the natural order of things. It was weird. No matter how much I wanted to make the decision to be induced it never felt right to me in the hour and a half I was making the decision. At the time I couldn’t have told you why, it just was what it was.”
After he was born by cesarean covered with meconium and was a fairly big baby, Michele felt strongly reassured that her choice was the best for the baby and her. ( Michele’s Story )
Shelly switched to a home birth at 37 weeks
Shelly was my doula client planning a hospital birth, but really felt “drawn” to a homebirth, but never took the time to meet with a midwife. At 37 weeks she mentioned again to me the unease she felt about going to the hospital and I again suggested the idea of meeting with a homebirth midwife to explore that option.
This time she took the time to meet with her. After their meeting she called and said,
“We are having a homebirth and I finally feel great about my plans!”
Her birth was long and the baby’s head was tipped a little funny, but Shelly and her midwife trusted her body and she birthed her little boy vaginally after 35 hours. When we met for our postpartum visit we both agreed had she been at the hospital she would have ended up with a cesarean.
Intuition led the way
In all of these situations, fear, society’s expectations and information threatened these moms’ best-for-them birth scenarios. Butthey were able to quiet those forces and connect to what intuitively felt right to them.
You can see by these stories that there is no one RIGHT choice for everyone.
In some situations an epidural is a GREAT choice.
In some situations having an un-medicated birth is going to be a GREAT choice.
In some situations a cesarean is the BEST choice, in others a vaginal birth is BEST.
Each situation is different and a mom has the right to choose what that is for her! Life is unpredictable, and we need to remain flexible and use our intuition to make the choices for us.