I have been busy over the last week with antenatal visits with new clients and post natal visits with clients who have just recently had their babies. Each of these meetings is special in their own way.

One of my antenatal visits this week was a Birth Plan meeting where I help a couple prepare an outline of their hopes and expectations for their care at hospital and for their birth. I love these meetings as they are so informative for everyone involved. For the couple they are exploring what they envisage for them to be their ideal birth. For me it is about building a relationship with them and getting to know them as individuals and as a couple. It also gives me an opportunity to play an educative role in highlighting issues they may not have considered and things they need to discuss so we can all be clear about what might be needed on the day.

The conversation goes far beyond what their ideal birth may look like – birth is a dynamic process and we can’t guarantee the outcome, we can only prepare ourselves for any scenario. Often the discussion encompasses birth choices and ideas that the couple hadn’t considered or even heard of. Whilst looking through some Birth Plan samples there are moments where the couples say, “Oh I hadn’t even thought of putting that in!” or “What exactly does that mean?”

While the conversation can be serious at times, talking about birth choices that need deep consideration there are also many moments of laughter about the lighter side of birth. One of my favourite moments occurs when a woman’s partner, usually a man, relaxes and engages with the process – realising that their chosen birth attendant is as invested in supporting him as his partner.

These Birth Plan meetings are one of at least two antenatal visits we do with clients as their Birth Attendant. Across these two meetings I use my training as a Birth Educator, my experience as a mother who has birthed two children (one in a private hospital and one at home) and as a woman who has a passion about birth, to help them feel as informed and confident as possible about their pending birth.

To me the most important thing for any couple is that they feel safe in the choices they are making, empowered with knowledge of how their chosen system works and what important considerations require their attention as part of their preparation. My experience has shown me that, as always, it is this early preparation, knowledge and empowerment that leads to satisfaction in birthing – no matter what the actual birth outcome.

I never take for granted when people choose me as their Birth Attendant or consult with me to help them plan or prepare for their birth. I always feel truly blessed to be invited into these intimate spaces. Each couple and each birth teach me something new – no two birth experiences are the same. They differ in how long they are, how they progress, how women approach the intensity and how I need to support the woman and her partner.

Upon arriving home one night after being at a birth all day, my 5 year old daughter said to me, “Mummy why did you take so long at the birth?” I told her that some births (particularly first births) sometimes take a long time. To this she replied, “Yeah, because the woman hasn’t done it before and she is just learning.” “Exactly” I said, “and that is why I am there to help them!”

Melanie Maycock
Birth Attendant/Birth Educator

Melanie Maycock also offers Birth Choices/Birth Planning Consultations at FGHG. You can contact our reception team if you require any further information about any of these services – telephone 9419 9988.

The Fertile Ground Health Group Birth Attending Team:
Melanie Maycock, Fiona Harrison, Kathryn Moloney, Nicole Tracy and Kerry Marshall (Nicole and Kerry are currently both on sabbatical caring for their own new borns.)

Not there yet?

Join FGHG Naturopaths Rhiannon Hardingham and Kathryn Moloney for an in-depth seminar specifically designed to inform your about ways to improve your fertility.

Only 3 seminars left in 2013:
7pm Thursday 10th October 2013
7pm Thursday 14th November 2013
7pm Thursday 12th December 2013

Cost: $35 per person or $55 per couple
Bookings: phone FGHG on (03) 9419 9988 or book online.