Why You're Responsible for Your Birth and Your Baby

When you’re looking for birth stories online or elsewhere, you can easily find encouraging and discouraging stories, depending on what you’re looking for. For some women, birth turns out to be a very satisfying and exhilarating event. For others, childbirth becomes a big disappointment. Then there are sad stories that ended badly for the mother or the baby. There are two things that you should know when it comes to childbirth:

1. Nobody can guarantee a perfect outcome.
2. You are responsible for your birth and your baby.

How You Give Birth Matters

It’s important for mothers-to-be to take responsibility for their birth experience. Unfortunately, there are too many women who get coaxed into doing things they didn’t really want to do, for example, getting an epidural, having a C-section, getting induced etc. The best way to prevent someone from messing with the process of childbirth is to educate yourself. While it’s perfectly fine to have a caregiver that you can trust (and why would you want a caregiver that you can’t trust?), you need to be part of the process.
Childbirth isn’t something that happens to you. You are the one that makes it happen. While your doctor or midwife may say that they delivered the baby, you should know that you’re the one who gave birth.

What Happens Afterwards Matters, Too

Childbirth is not over when the baby is put in your arms. And I’m not talking about the birth of the placenta, although that’s certainly something you should be aware of. Your childbirth experience includes the days after your baby was born. Babies and mothers do best when they get the chance to bond early and often. If you want to hold your baby 24/7, go right ahead. You can’t spoil a baby, even though there are plenty of people who would disagree with that statement.
Therefore, when you start educating yourself about childbirth, you shouldn’t neglect to look into raising a baby. You may also want to read up on the postpartum period. If you don’t know much, then you will end up having lots of questions and concerns. Of course, it might also be helpful if you surround yourself with help. If you and your parents or in-laws can get on the same page, then they can make a tremendous difference for you.

You Can’t Abdicate Your Responsibility

As you mature, you will realize that you can’t abdicate your responsibility ever. Although you might send your child to school, you are still responsible for his education. And even though you may take your child to regular well-visits, you are responsible for his or her health. When it comes to childbirth, you are responsible for your baby.
You can certainly engage a medical professional to help you during labor and childbirth. But letting them make the decisions for you is not the answer. In the end, you will be better off when you prepare yourself. Incidentally, the same is true for every other aspect of your child’s life. As a parent, you’re responsible until they’re old enough to make decisions for themselves.