by Dr Zoe Williams published in Fabulous Magazine
IN a few weeks I will become a mum. Like all first-time mums-to-be I feel a mixture of emotions, from excitement to anxiety and back again.
I still haven’t packed my hospital bag and have only managed to tick a massive pack of Pampers off the long list of things to get.
Birth plans are encouraged but can prove difficult if, for some reason, you have to deviate, says Dr Zoe
But I keep reminding myself that if the baby was to make his or her appearance tomorrow, everything would be OK.
We live in a world where there are endless things you can get for your newborn, but if I was giving birth in a remote village in Africa I wouldn’t be relying on all those mod-cons.
While I might not have got everything on our list, I have been doing things to prepare both physically and mentally.
Birth plans are encouraged but can prove difficult if, for some reason, you have to deviate.
Women can feel they failed. That’s why I’ve tried not to get too stuck on one set plan.
Having had experience of obstetrics and gynaecology in my career, I had always thought about childbirth in very medical terms.
As a result, when I first found out I was pregnant I was really considering an elective C-section.
As a doctor, the only time you are generally called to a woman giving birth is if something is of concern or the mum-to-be is deemed high risk or has complications.
Most births can be handled by the wonderful midwives, without specialist intervention.
It’s only since being pregnant myself that I’ve really appreciated that straightforward births are the norm.
I chose to have a doula – a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional – to help me through my pregnancy and birth.
My partner Stuart and I have seen two doulas, Leti and Lauren, regularly and they’ve helped me address my over-medicalised view of childbirth while remaining evidence-based and appreciating scientific data.
Most women choose vaginal delivery and give birth without intervention.
As I have grown in confidence and felt my body do amazing things, growing and nurturing my baby, I have changed how I feel about birth.
I am leaning more towards having our baby at home, if my midwives deem it safe.
If I go into spontaneous labour before my due date, it’s likely they will support my hope.
But if I go beyond my due date, an induction may be recommended due to my age of 41, and hospital is likely to become a more suitable place.
Whatever it takes to achieve that, we will do.