Having a baby is an exciting and pivotal time in your life . It is important to be informed and proactive in order to make your pregnancy , labor and birth and postpartum experiences as healthy and positive as possible . Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your upcoming birth .
1Be a partner in your care . There is a lot to learn when having a baby , and no one is more invested in your child or your birth experience than you are . It ' s vital to stay engaged in your healthcare during pregnancy . You should feel comfortable asking your health care provider questions and feel supported in your health care decisions .
2Establish your goals and priorities . You want a safe , positive birth experience that results in a healthy mother and baby . Although this is a simple concept , there are many different ideas about what that means and how to best achieve it . When you begin to understand your own perspectives about labor and birth , your goals become clearer . Then , you can make decisions to help reach your goals . You can use the pages in the back of this book to help clarify your priorities and communicate them with your health care team .
3Designate a support person who will be with you throughout your labor . This may be your partner , a family member or friend , or a doula . Having a support person by your side is comforting and reassuring , and has many documented health advantages . Discuss your priorities and goals ahead of time so that your support person is prepared to advocate for you , if needed .
4Be open to how your birth experience unfolds . Birth is unpredictable , and no amount of planning can guarantee that it will happen a certain way . Your education and preparation ahead of time will enable you to handle a variety of different situations . When you trust yourself and your birth team ( support people and medical care team ) to navigate the unexpected , you ' ll be able to face your birth calmly and confidently . Being open will also help you feel positive about your experience , whatever it may bring .