Welcome to Day #3 of the Blog Carnival honoring
the International Week for Respecting Childbirth.
We are focusing this Blog Carnival on the importance of childbirth education!
How Childbirth Education Helps Women
by Kathy Morelli
Childbirth is a transformative emotional and psychological event. Women are transformed into mothers, men become fathers, marriages & partnerships are transformed into families. It is a full mind-body event, bringing in all aspects of a person's self-hood: physical, psychological and emotional. Some women are interested in a natural birth experience, and many others are emphatic this is not their personal path. Woman have the right to choose how they wish to manage their childbirth experience. All are valid personal choices.
From a public health perspective, childbirth education, like sex education, is an essential component to overall reproductive health. The latest Listening to Mothers (LTM III) research indicates that 30% of women surveyed indicated their provider seemed rushed during their visits. A community-based, professional childbirth education class provides an important component to public health.
On a personal level, research shows that women want the childbirth education process to increase awareness about the physical aspects of what happens during pregnancy and birth. They want to increase awareness of how their birthing institution manages the birth process and want to learn specific coping skills for pain management and strategies to manage their emotional responses. In addition, research shows that women want help in reducing their anxiety and fear about the birth process and about becoming parents of an infant. Research indicates the socialization aspects of the shared group experience is personally helpful to many women and their partners.
However, in childbirth education, one size does not fit all. In the LTM III survey, a portion of the participants had chronic conditions before they became pregnant. One in eleven women (9%) were diagnosed with either Type 1 or 2 diabetes, 11% were diagnosed with gestational diabetes, 8% reported taking medication for high blood pressure, and 13% reported taking medication for depression.
So, it's important to note that there is a certain portion of the population that may need more individualized care in childbirth preparation than others. Those who have pre-existing anxiety or depression, those who are managing chronic pain, often need more individualized and personalized support.
Childbirth education touches women on multiple levels: physical, emotional and psychological. It is a good community intervention that serves people in their healthcare.
Kathy Morelli, LPC, is a licensed marriage and family counselor in Wayne, NJ. Kathy specializes in helping women and their families with the emotions of birth, pregnancy, postpartum and in the adjustment to parenthood. Author and blogger, she is the author of the BirthTouch® series of books on motherhood. She writes at her own blog, BirthTouch®, is co-hosting the Postpartum Support International's May 2013 #PSIBLOG Hop, and has served as a Guest Editor for the Lamaze Science & Sensibility blog. Visit her at birthtouch.com and kathymorelli.com
|For more information on the IWRC, click here.|