Pregnancy: 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Give Birth

Approaching childbirth is akin to stepping toward a mountain range, and what lies ahead is completely new terrain. There is no way around it; it must be traversed somehow. There are choices, but the outcome is out of your control -- and unknown.

1. Childbirth is a huge event in a woman's life!
Birth is a life process, not a performance. Visualize what labor will be like if all goes well. Prepare yourself to deal with the pain of labor and work with your partner, friend or doula to get the support you need throughout the process.

2. Consider all your options
Open your mind to the idea that there might be more that one way to give birth. "Painless," "medicated," "uncomplicated," "natural," etc., are all viable options.

3. Work through negative feelings

This will increase your chances for a smooth delivery. Once anxieties are addressed, visualization can give your body a release from past trauma. This is not "magic" -- it is physiological.

4. Women should be supported throughout this incredible experience
This is true whether the outcome is "positive" or "negative." As women, we deserve support, with honor and respect for the process of life we are embodying.

5. The right kind of help can be empowering
Getting the support you need can take a lot of effort at a time when you may feel overwhelmed. If you look for the right questions to ask, rather than just focusing on answers, you will be led toward what you need.

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