Words of Encouragement: Decision Making in Childbirth...and Life

I want to share some insight that is super useful for childbirth as well as in everyday life. We make hundreds of choices each day. The decisions, whether big or small, are made through past experiences. If you haven't had a similar experience, the decisions are inferred from past experiences. We base the outcome of the decision of the results (positive or negative). When decisions end up with a positive outcome, we save that in our brain as a good decision. When the decisions end up with a negative outcome, we save that in our brain as a bad decision.

My point, trust me I have one, is that you know what you know and you don't know the unknown. When you make a decision without understanding the consequences, you make a decision with the information you do know. The outcome you experience will then tell you if its a good one or a bad one. Acknowledge what happened and look to see how you can improve the outcome rather than feel bad.

It took me a year to understand that our outcome was related to my husband and I not being knowledgeable enough before childbirth and another 6 months for me to forgive myself.

I will use the birth of our first child as an example. I went to an AHS course over a weekend, received the basics in knowledge but didn't it go into much detail. I relied on the idea that my caregiver was in charge. I thought I didn't need to practise relaxation techniques, I would just know them. I didn't think about breastfeeding or techniques while pregnant, other than knowing I wanted to do it. My outcome was that accepting an epidural without total knowledge of the consequences and birth/postpartum period left me very unfulfilled.


So how did this affect our second birth? We sought out a doula after talking with friends whose outcomes were more aligned with what we wanted. She encouraged us and gave us resources to read and a class to visit run by other doulas that supported what we wanted out of the birth and gave  instruction on mental and physical relaxation. I was in charge of my body and the birthing process. My husband and doula were my clear voice with the hospital staff. I was in charge of the "golden hour" with our baby. We had a very seamless and efficient birth with a quick exit home to recover in comfort.

You don't know what you don't know until you know. Once you know, you can use that information to make a better outcome.

Mistakes are how the majority of us learn. Mistakes happen. Accept that you make mistakes and then use that information for the next decision. And recognize this in other people...the majority of people are genuine in their decisions thinking that it will benefit them and others. Forgive yourself and others.

What words of encouragement do feel you need to share with others? Please share with us in the comment section!

In love & light,


October 06, 2014 by Laurie McGowan
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