Many first time pregnant women are tempted just to ‘go with the flow’ when they experience their first birth.
Overwhelmed by the advice of friends, family and their care providers, they might think it will be easier just to see what happens on the day and accept it as ‘nature taking its course’.
For most care providers a ‘good birth’ is one where there’s a healthy mother and baby at the end of it.
But what most women don’t know, until after they have had their first baby, is how unique and unrepeatable that first experience is.
4 Reasons Why Your First Birth Is Particularly Important
The impact of your first birth will resonate throughout your life in all sorts of ways.
So how important is it to get it right?
Whether you are having a natural, physiological birth, a c-section, or a birth with medical assistance, your first transition to motherhood is something you can never repeat.
Make it a good one.
Here are four important reasons why:
#1: A Good First Birth Will … Be Remembered Forever
Big events stick in our memories. Those milestone moments live large and loud in our minds.
We have a huge capacity for remembering the good things that happen to us. They help us to become resilient and have a positive outlook on life.
But traumatic experiences can also change the way our brains work, They ‘stick’ in our minds long after the event has occurred.
Giving birth for the first time will be one of your most treasured memories.
You will feel it deeply and vividly, and it can have an impact on how you think about giving birth, and about yourself.
#2: A Good First Birth Will … Set The Tone For Future Births
If you rocked your first birth experience, chances are you’ll be looking forward to doing the same the next time around – and doing it on your terms.
You’ll judge future pregnancies and births based on your first experience, but you will have the confidence to achieve the best birth experience for you.
You’ll trust yourself to make informed decisions about your birth care and support. Whether you’re planning a vaginal birth after a c-section, a home birth, or you’re navigating a high risk pregnancy, you’ve ‘got this’.
You might be surprised to find your future care providers might want to place limitations on you – because of your age, your body size, or your first baby’s size.
You know you can choose genuinely supportive care providers to help you achieve a positive and empowered experience that you will remember as being driven by your informed choices.
#3: A Good First Birth Will … Ease Your Transition To Motherhood
You are starting out on the journey to becoming a mother for the first time. How you meet your baby will affect your transition into motherhood.
If you come out of your birth experience feeling confident and empowered, it will help you cope better with the toughest job in the world.
You can take care of your tiny baby’s needs, and deal with the challenges new motherhood brings.
These positive feelings are especially helpful if your baby is premature, or has health issues, or problems with breastfeeding and so on.
Having a good first birth gives you the confidence, as a mother, to keep seeking help and support and not give up.
#4: A Good First Birth Will … Empower You
Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident. It’s about controlling your life and claiming your rights.
That doesn’t mean a drug free, normal birth is the only way to achieve a good first birth.
It’s not a competition. Pushing a baby out of your vagina doesn’t make you ‘better’ than women who have c-sections.
What’s important is the journey you take to make sure your first baby’s birth is the best and safest for both of you. And that will create a sense of empowerment and confidence afterwards.
No matter how your baby is actually born, what matters most is how you experience it, and how you feel about the process.
Being in control of the way you feel, and the decisions you make, and feeling supported, have more impact on your satisfaction than whether your labour was normal or complicated, easy or difficult.
We all know how nailing something gives us a big high. Having a great first birth experience will give your confidence and self-esteem a huge boost. Let’s face it – if you can do that, you can do anything.
Feeling confident after your first birth stretches into other areas of your life. You might find yourself doing things you didn’t believe you could do – like breastfeeding in public, studying, or taking up a new hobby.
You can deal with the challenges in life. You can be true to yourself. And you can have more amazing experiences, because you now know how strong you really are.