Something that occasionally comes up during birth classes when talking about birth plans is, “well, I completely trust my doctor, so I feel like his judgment will be right for me…” (the reverse comes up more frequently, see my previous post!). I recently finished reading an older book called Education and Counseling for Childbirth and the author mentions this:
“‘Trust’ in doctor or midwife, valuable as it is, is not always a sure recipe for a happy labour. It may be enough for a woman to be healthy and hopeful and to know what is happening to her; it may be enough for her to be looking forward to her baby and to trust her attendants; enough for her to learn some breathing exercises and leave it at that. But it may not. Time and time again I meet women who need more time and care than is given by an overworked general practitioner or the enthusiastic but psychologically uninformed antenatal teacher—-women who need an opportunity to talk, express their fears and worries, and work through their problems in pregnancy in readiness for the responsibilities of motherhood.”
Trust is important—though I really emphasis trust in yourself, trust in your body, and trust in birth rather than exclusive trust in provider—but there is a lot more involved in preparing for a great birth than simply trusting your care provider. Additionally, there is definitely a lot more to birth education and preparing for birth than knowing medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, and the phases of labor! I continue to strive for classes to will help build women’s inner knowing and sense of self-confidence. One primary benefit I see to teaching private classes, as I do, is that the couple is my sole focus of attention and so are able to have all their questions answered without feeling as if they are monopolizing class time (or embarassed to ask questions in front of other couples).