Looking towards birth for a beloved mother & baby, we all put safety first, without question.
What does safety mean to each one of us? When we start to unpack safety at birth, it has many dimensions. Health and well-being of mother and baby are foremost. Trustworthy medical care, available to support a woman when needed, is a priority. In any circumstances, including challenging health complications, well-being is also central for a woman to birth safely.
Trust is fundamental to well-being. Our trust in a woman’s capacity to bear her baby gives her strength and faith in herself. This does not mean that every woman makes exactly the same choices about what upholds her. Every woman’s choices in birth planning and in the actual birth are to be honored.
What gives us safety?
We all want the best outcomes for mother and baby. Whether you are a pregnant woman, partner, grandparent, sister or best friend, we want the best care for birth to ensure the health and well-being to bring this little one in.
A woman’s choices in her health care are central to her own well-being. Her own agency, taking the driver’s seat for the care of herself and her baby are the beginning of being a mother. Partners/dads, this is the beginning of your parenting, too, as you are holding a big picture of what is best for your woman and baby and taking part in decisions.
Our sense of safety has both emotional and objective components. Let’s respect both. We can start by sorting out. We want to understand how birth works as both an emotional and physical process, so that we are in sync with what a woman actually needs to birth well, however that looks for her. We want good information and reasoning for the objective part of making decisions. We want to respect a woman’s inner world; her values, her vision and her own sense of herself and her baby. And we want good communication, because we care about making decisions together as a new family in formation.
A good conversation to have as a couple is: What gives me – what gives you – a sense of safety? Family members and friends – we can all look at that too. And couples, know that you may be treading carefully through the assumptions of other close folks who care about mother and baby.
Better care for mothers and babies in birth