A crisis pregnancy is a turning point that is a significant emotional event. It doesn’t matter how you got here; it matters what you do with this time. People who have planned pregnancies have thought about everything of when ovulation starts to college plans. These long term plans change quickly as children develop their own personalities and ideas, and most of these things aren’t necessary to worry about at this time.
When making decisions in a crisis pregnancy, the most important thing is to get “out” of the crisis mode. Make sure that you surround yourself with people who are interested in you, and supporting you and your ethics. One thing that I recommend to all pregnant women, and especially pregnant women in crisis pregnancies, is to hire a doula. Having the emotional support of a doula can help you take the “crisis” out of a crisis pregnancy.
I am currently working with pregnant and parenting women at a not for profit organization. I get to see a whole lot of classes, groups, workshops and situations around pregnancy and birth and after care. From my experience of being a first mom, and also working with this organization, I have seen women whose choices around birth were not honored. Women who have had doulas state that they were satisfied with their birthing experience.
When I was giving birth, I did not have a doula. I wanted to hold my daughter after she was born, but the doctor did not permit it. I wanted to breastfeed, but the nurses had been told that I was considering adoption, and would not let me. I wish that I could have been assisted by a knowledgeable doula to let me know what my rights were.
Doulas assist pregnant women, helping them throughout their pregnancy and labor. They are knowledgeable about the physiology of pregnancy and birth, and will assist pregnant women with making a birth plan. Whether choosing a hospital or home birth, picking out music or candles, a doula can give ideas and support for making the birth plan. Many doulas also have training in acupressure, massage for labor, reiki, and many other skills. They will also typically offer a post partum visit as well.
Having a doula will help you to focus on the pregnancy and on the present. They offer emotional support and can often give you leads to other assistance, like breastfeeding supports, food assistance, and classes for childbirth education. Also, one thing you can do to help out the budget is to find a doula that is still in training. They are required to attend at least two births before being certified. Many will also be flexible and work within your budget.
Make sure you have support in your pregnancy. Having a doula can be one way to take the crisis out of your pregnancy, take charge and become empowered. If I could go back in time, that is the first thing I would have told myself, find a doula.