Some women are perfectly happy with the information they receive from their midwife. In our centre, we make sure you have the time and opportunity to ask questions during your check-ups. At 35 weeks pregnancy we offer an extended appointment where we spend time going through planning for the birth. During this appointment we will discuss your expectations and wishes with regard to the birth. You will receive information for example about the birth, contractions, the waters breaking and it will be clear when you need to call us during the birth.
For some women, this information is not enough. They are anxious about the birth, possibly because of something they have experienced. Or because they have themselves experienced a traumatic or difficult birth. Such an experience can have an effect on how you see birth. Sometimes women are anxious and uncertain, and can have the following doubts:
- Can I deal with the pain?
- Will the midwife or gynecologist listen to me?
- Is my baby healthy, and what if it’s not?
- I would like pain relief during my birth, but doesn’t that have side effects? I would really rather not use pain relief, but I’m really dreading it.
- Everyone is interfering with my pregnancy, all the different advice makes me so uncertain.
- I am afraid of needles and injections, what do I do?
Anxiety is a poor counselor. Anxiety stimulates the production of adrenalin, which helps your body to fight, run away or freeze. It is the Fight-Flight-Freeze hormone. It is essential in the case of real danger, but it is a hormone that you don’t need during your birth. It blocks the production of hormones that stimulate and drive contractions, such as oxytocin. Recent research has shown that high levels of adrenalin can have an effect on the baby’s developing brain.
The good news is – you can do something about it. If you recognize any of these doubts and fears with regard to the birth, discuss these with your midwife.
You can also choose to schedule extra appointments with Arjenne Hoeksema, who is a midwife and a qualified coach – specialised in anxiety. Arjenne has a wealth of experience, both as a midwife and coach. She will help you to gain insight into your emotions. You will work on your self confidence and your belief in yourself and your own abilities. You will learn about making positive choices that you are happy with. You will learn to let go and to trust, whilst also respecting your own boundaries.
Because Arjenne is also a midwife, she will be able to address all of your medical questions regarding the birth. An appointment with information about the birth, together with your partner if that is your preference, often forms the final step in this short process. The process usually runs through a series of 4-5 appointments. Each appointment costs €50. Check with your insurance whether they will cover any of these costs.
You can email your coaching question (with no obilgation) to email@example.com, or call 06-242553I0. You can also give your name and telephone number to our assistant at DelVi centre.
Pregnant women who are not under the care or our midwives at DelVi, but in another practice or with the gynecologist in the hospital, are also welcome to access coaching with Arjenne.
Further reading suggestions: ‘The Myth of Perfection in Chilbirth’ by Diana Koster.