Created by Jeni Dansand, using excerpts from a letter by Cristen Pascucci (whom you can find over at www.birthmonopoly.com), because I sincerely believe no one puts it better than Cristen! Seriously, go read the original source. It’s amazing and Cristen Pascucci is my spirit animal.
Alright, let's talk about where babies come from. I know you may have some questions, so let's work through this together.
Q: Jeni, why is childbirth ed. vital/necessary/one of the most important life choices I'll ever make?
Excellent question, and I will add I'm thrilled that you already understand that gettin' educated matters. Gold star, friend! The answer is:
If you're expecting, you need to know I want you to ROCK YOUR BIRTH. I believe you deserve the best. If "rocking your birth" sounds like something other people do, and you just want to "get through it" with a healthy baby— friend, RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS. You're both too valuable to whiff on this one. If this is your first baby, it's even more important, because it will set the tone for your future births and may determine your options for the rest of your life.
Please don't feel judged that I'm saying this to you, or like I'm trying to tell you how to do things. In fact, how you give birth–that's your business. But because I care about you and this incredible journey you are on, you have to know you're facing a system where great maternity care is a gamble for most women. Nine in ten women lose that gamble.
I'm not trying to scare you—I'm trying to POWER YOU UP. I don't ever, ever want you to say, "If only I'd known….!" about your pregnancy and birth. Because,
YOU ARE IN CHARGE.
Now is not the time to "wing it" or let anyone else take over (including your care provider). This is Step #1 to becoming a mother, when you will be making all kinds of decisions and will be asked to do all kinds of things that are outside your comfort zone and for which you may feel completely unprepared or unqualified. That's okay. PUT ON YOUR GAME FACE, because this is one of life's all-time best learning and growing opportunities.
I can't say this enough: THIS IS YOUR SHOW. It's your body. It's your baby. You are responsible for the decisions you make, and you will bear the consequences–good or bad–for any decisions made about your care. There are a few ways this can go: it can be traumatic and life-changing in a bad way; you can "get through it" just to get to the other side with some minor complications; or you can grab the bull by the horns and do everything possible to make it the SAFEST, MOST POSITIVE LIFE-AFFIRMING EXPERIENCE you've ever had, and something that will make you LOVE AND RESPECT your own body in a profound new way.
Q: So, what's a pregnant lady to do?
A: Get yourself (and your partner!) good, solid, comprehensive birth education.
There's so much inaccurate, outdated information and so many negative messages out there - “unlearning” about birth is almost as important as learning about it. When you start researching and really learning how awesome birth can be–and not the crazy shenaniganry you see in the movies–you can formulate an evidence-based plan for what is truly most beneficial and least risky for you and your baby.
Q: Can I just take the hospital course?
A: You can, and I know it's enticing because it's cheap and quick, but it’s NOT comprehensive. This also means you are accepting the medical-system bias and an agenda centered around insurance profit and litigation minimization.
Q: Can I do an online course?
A: If you’ve done online learning before, you can give it a shot, but be aware procrastination is not an option, because your baby will come even if you’ve only done the 1st module. Also, if you have questions or want to discuss something further, you have to Google it, and that’s a pretty intense proposition when you’re pregnant.
Q: Do you teach a course?
A: I sure do! I offer a comprehensive course and I absolutely love doing it. It’s a blast, I promise. We do activities, play games (with prizes!), and you get a sticker at the end!
Q: Can I replicate the course on my own?
A: You could read my resource list, but you’ll miss out on the having fun part. And the snacks.
And the sticker.
“…keep your expectations high and do the work to have those expectations met. Don’t let anybody convince you that you need to step aside for your baby. You need to step up for your baby. I’m rooting for you in this once-in-a-lifetime process.
I know you can rock this thing.”
I know you can rock this thing.”
LET'S DO THIS!
Okay! Register for the Jeni Dansand Childbirth Education Project Experience, or TJDCBEPE for short. Because it’s not just a course, it’s an ever-evolving experience. (The “project” part is because there are stickers, duh.) It’s evidence-based. It’s funucational (new word I just made up right now, just for you). It covers pregnancy preparation and nutrition, labor and birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and newborns. And it’s going to rock your socks, I promise.
Also available is a Postpartum Partner course. If you’re looking for a ridiculous an acronym for that one, it’s obviously the TJDPPEPE – Jeni Dansand Postpartum Partner Education Project Experience. Because adjusting to postpartum life is easier when you plan for it and and have some super-awesome insider tips and tricks. So go ahead and sign up for that postpartum class and subsequently breeze through parenting like a rock star. We cover how to transition smoothly, partner checklists, emotional adjustments, relationship/marital nurturing, cultivating emotional intelligence in your offspring, and sleeeeeeeeeeep.
And if none of the in-person teachings work for you, let me know and let's figure out an alternative; bringing a new human into the world is kind of a big deal and you totally deserve to feel confident in doing so.
So, let’s get together, friend, and learn a whole bunch of neat stuff! As always, you can contact me if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or neat ideas.
Reference material: Pascucci, C. (2014). Dear Friend, Birth Doesn't Have to Suck - ImprovingBirth. Retrieved from https://improvingbirth.org/2017/07/dear-friend/