A better birth is one where the mom and her partner come out feeling like they had a positive experience. So many births can be made better by choosing a provider and birth location that will support you in your decisions and have the determination to do everything possible to help you have a safe and satisfying birth. This is called Mother Friendly Care, and all birthing women deserve it.
I had planned on delivering my baby unmedicated, but coping with labor while being stuck in a bed with straps around my belly and being hooked up to equipment by the arms, belly and leg, and having a tube and cable coming out of my lady parts... well, I just couldn't do it. I asked - NO - I begged for an epidural. The delivery is still a blur of miserable memories.
After that experience, I decided I'd get a doula and wait for labor to start on its own with #4. Things went MUCH better, but I still ended up getting poked a bazillion times and having an anesthesiologist come do my IV (which was originally supposed to be a saline lock). I hadn't had this issue with my first two children, but going through it with the 3rd AND 4th made me realize I had to do something drastically different for a better birth. I had a natural birth and it was better. But for me, and what I wanted out of my birth, I knew it could be improved upon.
Baby #5 was eventually born at home. The picture on the right is of me laboring comfortably in my tub during transition. She was actually born less than 30 minutes later. No IVs. No tubes. No cords. No machines. No needles. And did I mention she was breech? She came out easily. My memories of her birth are so joyous. It was a positive experience where I felt safe and supported. It was my better birth. Finally.
I realize not all women are going to want to birth at home. It is not the "better" birth for everyone. But there is a better birth out there - yes, for everyone.
There are so many choices in birth. It's important to know them, because if you don't know what they are, then you don't have any choices at all. I urge every woman to ask their care providers the tough questions. Demand evidence based and gentle care. Invest in your births. Do these things so that you, too, can have your better birth - whatever that looks like for you <3
What was/is your ideal better birth experience? What did/will you do to try to set yourself up for a positive experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments!