Educating Yourself for a Better Birth

Educating Yourself for a Better birth, a helpful post from

Written by Kristen @ Smithspirations, Contributing Writer

Like many moms, I don’t think I’ll ever forget my first pregnancy. My husband and I were young and utterly unprepared for what laid ahead of us! I was finishing up college, he was in his first year teaching, and neither of us gave much thought to preparing for birth.

I decided at some point that I wanted us to go to the childbirth classes held at our local hospital, and my hubby dutifully came along. We listened to the instructor talk about the birth process, potential complications, and likely interventions while wrapping things up with various breathing techniques.

After the class ended, I didn’t feel ready for birth, but at least I felt like I did something to try to prepare for the natural birth I thought I wanted. My husband was far less impressed.

It wasn’t until after my induced & medicated birth that I realized how incredibly unprepared I really was for the birth process, despite my faithful attendance and attention at the hospital class. I realized too late that I needed to do much more to educate myself about the process if I wanted to have a positive birth experience.

When we were expecting the second time, I knew I wanted something different. I didn’t want to be hooked up to all sorts of machines and have an internal fetal monitor inserted into my baby’s scalp unless there was a serious reason for it. I needed to figure out what it took to have an unmedicated birth, and I went to reading! What a difference that made!

Why Educate Yourself For Birth?

Quote All too often, we are prone to simply take one healthcare provider’s recommendations without asking questions. We tend to forfeit our patient rights and responsibilities and simply go with procedure and protocol when we aren’t armed with information. 

When we invest the time into educating ourselves about God’s awesome and amazing design for birth, we can trust our bodies to do what they need to do in order to bring forth a new life. Rather than think about pregnancy as a risky condition and our bodies as dysfunctional, we can have confidence in the birthing process.

Sometimes things go differently during birth than we thought they would. Medical intervention is at times crucial to a positive outcome for mom and baby. When we are educated ahead of time, we can ask questions, weigh the risks, and make a more informed choice on suggested procedures.

What To Consider When Educating Yourself

There are so many questions to consider when you are expecting a new baby! This list is by no means exhaustive, but rather a springboard.

For Pregnancy:
  • What is an ideal diet for pregnancy?
  • What exercises help with common pregnancy complaints?
  • What can be done to prepare your body for labor?
  • What supplements are most helpful during pregnancy?
For Birth:
  • What birth place options are available to you? Home? Birth center? Hospital?
  • What pain management options are there? Medication? Water? Music? What risks do they carry?
  • What are the benefits and risks of eating and drinking during labor?
  • What positions and movements help or hinder labor?
For After Delivery
  • What are the risks and benefits of typical newborn procedures, like eye ointment, Vitamin K shots, and Hepatitis B vaccines?
  • What are the risks and benefits of circumcision (for boys)?
  • What can be done to best facilitate breastfeeding in the early moments after birth?
  • What pain relief options are best for afterpains after delivery?

How to Educate Yourself

There are many options when it comes to becoming more informed with pregnancy and birth. Some options will provide more reliable and up to date information than others.

  • Online resources can be a great place to start, but be cautious about getting all of your information from the web.
  • Books were a great help to me when I started to educate myself. I read books by well-respected and experienced figures in the natural birth world (like Dr. Bradley and Ina May Gaskin) and gained confidence because of it.
  • Childbirth classes can be a great experience, too! Though my first class experience was far from beneficial, I later attended one held by my home birth midwife and greatly benefited. Ask the instructor about the class outline to know if it will be a good fit. Local doulas and breastfeeding support groups may also have suggestions.

Did you feel well-educated when you went through labor and delivery? Was there something you read, watched, or attended that helped you feel informed?

About Kristen

Kristen is a Christian, wife to her high school sweetheart, and mother to a growing brood of sweet little people. She spends her days keeping the home, homeschooling, making real food, gardening, blogging, and working from home as a Lilla Rose Consultant. You can find her at Smithspirations and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


  1. oh, to be able to go back armed with the information I have now! I was sooo naive when I had my kids! But at least my grandchildren, when they arrive, won’t be subjected to the same idiocy. I have taught my children, and they will be much better prepared than I was

    • Kristen says:

      Me, too, Heather! I was so naive with my first, and still was caught off-guard with my second by things that happened after he was born. I’m also thankful, like you, that my children are growing up to see birth as a natural process, and in the vast majority of case, not a medical emergency.


  1. […] with confidence. I’m sharing some of my tips on educating yourself for a better birth at Day2Day Joys, and I’d love for you to click over and read them […]