I was speaking with a pregnant woman the other day, and she was asking me my thoughts on birth and what is one key thing to help.

I considered the question, as there are numerous things you can ‘do, or not do’ to assist and support that magnificent moment when new life enters the world.

But, I answered her like this;

For many pregnant women I have met, they are naturally orientated to thinking about birth. It captures their thoughts and intrigues them. When it is something you haven’t done before, then there is a natural curiosity about it. Questions start to form in your mind about what it will be like, how will my body respond, and will I have the strength or focus or ability to do it. And all of those questions are to be expected and require thought, and time and exploration.

We, and its human, place our thoughts far into the future and often on the end result, but perhaps (and I believe) there is great value in first knowing where you are, and then taking steps to take you to where you’d like to be.

So I feel like as group of women, we need to begin by asking a different question. And it’s about how can I work towards a better birth, because being curious about it is one thing, but taking steps towards what you would like is another.

And in that case the answers would start with you, not me.

This might appear a little strange, and this might be uncomfortable, but it’s where I begin with all women that I work with. We have to have a better understanding of ourselves in order to move forward or towards something.

So getting clear on things like- Where does your health sit right now? Is there something physical that needs attention before embarking on thinking about birth? If you’re in a relationship, do you feel supported? Are there past events that may affect your decisions about birth? How do you feel about birth? What gives you a sense of safety and why? What is your belief about the word safety? Where would you like to birth? What are your reasons for that decision? These questions are a place to start.

It’s like building a nest. The birds collect the things they need to create a safe, warm zone in which to raise their young ones and they chose where it will be best protected. And you too are building a nest of sorts- collecting all the physical things you may need, and choosing where will be best. But it’s the going deeper to the emotional or physical or social aspects of your world that equally need time and attention so that your bodies can birth our babies with calm minds and bodies that will respond to all the signals they are getting. This may require support, and learning techniques to use – not just for birth, but for your path into new parenthood and even lifelong.

And once you’ve begun to understand yourselves and what you’re wanting, then you can best decide who/ what type of care will support you best towards birth.

It is never such a simple question, but if you dive in - the answers might be surprising and provide a piece of the puzzle and bring peace of mind x so I guess to put it simply, you must begin to birth… with you first.