Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

There’s nothing quite like reading an article where a pregnant woman who has researched and made clear her choices for her child’s birth are her informed choices and should be respected as such being called “a birth brat”.

You’ll have to forgive me if this blog comes across as a bit ranty in places, it’s possible I am, just a little bit wound up!

There’s nothing quite like reading an article where a pregnant woman who has researched and made clear her choices for her child’s birth are her informed choices and should be respected as such being called “a birth brat”.

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, is choosing to buck the Royal trend and my oh my is it causing a stir!

Not only has word got out that she’s opting for a Doula (a birth supporter who will provide vital support during labour and birth and very likely the postpartum period – which research has shown will reduce the intervention rate significantly) she’s also declined the usual Royal team of Obstetricians instead opting for her own team and possibly a completely different maternity unit from the Lido wing her Sister in Law and late Mother in Law birthed their babies at – Can you hear me cheering from there??

Let us not discount how educated and informed the Duchess is – she is a very intelligent woman who will have researched and taken advice from the best people in the field and is not likely to be making any decisions about the birth of their baby lightly and to call her a Brat for opting to do things differently from the women who have gone before her is to be treating her as if she was a child: undermining her and belittling her as if she is a child demanding cake instead of dinner. Something we see happen so often when a woman is pregnant and in the birth room.

As the author of today’s piece in the Metro (which spurred my blog today) Rebecca Reid states:

“Meghan is not letting anyone tell her how she’ll be giving birth – she’s insisting on making her own choices…

 If being a ‘brat’ is how you get full control of how you give birth, then sign me up. I’m delighted to be a birth ‘brat’.

Women are entitled to elective c-sections. They have the right to refuse induction, and to demand as much or as little pain relief as is safe to take.” 

We need to remember something really important; this is her birth, not mine or yours or even the Queens. The Duchess of Sussex can birth how she wants where she wants in what ever way she wants and it isn’t anyone’s damned business. I can bet that she will take everything necessary into consideration that she needs to, there will have been a lot of advice sought and considered and there is help ready and available should it be deemed required because she is not going to take undue risks, because she, above anyone else, will want her baby in her arms more than anyone else. That I can promise you.

When she married Harry, she knowingly gave up a lot of her old life, entering into the establishment will have taken a lot of commitment and sacrifice, let not forget that. Give the woman a break and let her make her own choices about how she gives birth. 

Yours Sincerely

A Birth Brat.

One Step at a time…

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a runner. I don’t feel the urge to pull on my trainers and go for a jog, but I do admire those who do. I understand that long distance runners think about taking one step at a time in order to achieve their goals. This is exactly what I teach you to do for your birth.

“Helping you to have a more positive birth one step at a time”

I remind each couple that each surge is a step closer to holding their baby. I encourage them to visualise themselves holding their baby and taking steps towards the end goal: the birth.

I use running a marathon as a comparison to labour during the courses I teach. They are both a challenging test of endurance and mental strength in addition to physical exertion.

You can’t run a marathon without training and preparing for it for some time before hand. Or rather, it’s not a good idea to, but plenty have given it a go! Building up those miles each week, preparing mentally as well as physically for the task ahead, eating the right foods, wearing the right clothing, hydrating and thinking positively about getting over the finish line, 26 and a half miles later, are all key to good preparation. Perhaps reading up about good running techniques, joining a running club and finding like-minded people to train with are also considered?

So, compare it to labour; why not train for it? Why not attend a Birth Preparation and Hypnobirthing class where you and your birthing partner will begin to prepare for your birth mentally? Find out what will happen to your body and how you can ensure the best way of coping physically as well as mentally? Begin to train yourself to deal with the challenge in order to feel most prepared at the start line? And, potentially feeling much better at the finish line too?

Completing a marathon requires a positive mental attitude in order to reach that finish line. Labour’s finish line is to birth your baby, safely and positively. By ‘training’ for your baby’s birth, you’ll be prepared, mentally and physically.

Much of Hypnobirthing requires practise. You have to regularly listen to the relaxation tracks and train yourself to relax while at home. You’ll also need to practise the positions for labour and consider what I teach you about choices surrounding birthing your baby.

Early labour tends to be like the first 6 or 7 miles of a marathon, getting into your stride, finding your rhythm, managing comfortably. For the next 15 miles, imagine active labour. It might not be easy, but you can tell yourself you’ve got this, and you keep going at a steady pace, keeping hydrated and refuelled. The 2nd stage of labour is comparable to the final miles, edging closer to that finish line. Many athletes speak of hitting ‘the brick wall’ and saying they’ve nothing left. For some women, this is the transition between labour and full dilatation, the part when maybe they doubt themselves and need reminding by those around them, “You can do it; you are amazing; you are strong, and you can birth your baby. Those last few miles are the last few surges pushing the baby down and out into your arms.

Inspiration for this blog came from Kathrine Switzer. In 1967, she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. When told she wouldn’t be able to do it, she proved them wrong.

As women, we can do anything we put our minds to, we are amazing, determined, unique, and strong. We need reminding of that.