Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time for Gratitude - Birth Support Groups

I have a secret. Well………sort of.

Ok, so maybe it’s not a very well kept secret…

I’m a bit of a birth “junkie” as they call it – I prefer Birth Advocate, Birth Activist, Birth Educator, Birth Servant, and Birth Enthusiast, though. After all….birth is my calling and my passion. Not just giving birth (which I happen to really love), but helping others give birth and be educated about the entire process…not just about what is going on in their body and with their baby as they give birth, but also what can happen during their labor and delivery, particularly if they are giving birth in the hospital. I am also very passionate about making sure that mamas know how to talk to their providers and also what questions to ask and to make sure and talk about during their prenatal care.

On my Birth [Junkie, Advocate, Activist, etc – you fill in the blank] journey, I have run into SO many groups of like minded women where they share their birth stories, talk about evidence based practices, give tips on different procedures, interventions – how to avoid, deal with, and truly make the best decisions on them, and offer just some great support to women and families that need it. Most of these groups are online…either Facebook or the blogosphere, but I have also found some real, physical groups of people that I have had the honor to either associate with in person, over the phone, online, etc.

No matter where I get the information – from my network of doula friends, from other members of South Dakota Birth Matters (formerly South Dakota Safe Childbirth Options), from Educated Mommy, from The Big Push, AABC, ChoicesIn Childbirth, ICEA, or any of the other groups, websites, or blogs that I frequent – I am just SO grateful that there are so many places that I can go to for reliable, evidence based, and real information regarding birth. I feel like a sponge who seriously just wants to soak it all in.

I can’t imagine living in the “old” days. You know. Before computers and the Internet.

Ok, I can imagine it, and I gotta be honest – I don’t like the thought very much. I mean, back in the day, were you able to hop online and get super-mega-support from a like-minded person living in Texas or Wisconsin? Nope. How about instantly reading ACOG’s updated opinion on homebirth (oh, how I remember reading that the morning after it was issued back in January of 2011. Argh.)? How about a real commentary on ACOG’s statement that shows why it should be completely ignored because it’s all driven by politics within the medical system? Something like that would have taken weeks, months, or years to get circulated in the days before the interwebs.

Could you have even imagined five years ago watching a LIVE stream of someone giving birth in their own home?? Amazing.

Since the advent of Facebook, CafeMom, blogs, vlogs, YouTube, live video streaming, etc, networking and connecting with people has reached a whole new level that couldn’t have been imagined before. There are a “gazillion” resources for women and families who would like to educate themselves on birth and all things surrounding birth. I love each and every one of them – mostly for different reasons (and I definitely don’t agree with every single one of them…that’s what makes it great, though! I get challenged in my thoughts and get to sharpen my opinions and beliefs because of it). I love researching and finding out new things that can help my clients or readers here.

So, today I am thankful for all of the information and groups out there where I get my information…I linked to a few of them, but there are SO many more! Let me know if you are looking for some good                     birth info/groups, and I will hook you up! J


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