As many other wise people have written, a maternity letter is a good idea to get the word out and find out what you wish and want. It is making an active decision to familiarize yourself with both what rights and choices you have. You don't want to be in active labor and start discussing the various options available, this can create stress and anxiety, which is something we don't want during birth. The stress hormones the body sends out work against, among other things, the body's oxytocin, which is the hormone that creates pain.
The process of writing the letter is what is powerful; the way there is what gives you what you need from a maternity letter. It is during this process that you take command and think about how YOU want it. And who you are. The
Many people misunderstand that a birth letter should contain a plan about how the birth SHOULD be, but we know that we cannot guarantee or know in advance. The
I also think it is a good tool to sit down and think about past events in life:
- How have you felt and reacted in the past when things were tough or challenging? The
- How do you think, feel and act in different psychologically and physically stressed states? The
- How do you react to different types of people?
- Also think about what you do when you take care of yourself, preferably when you feel a bit sorry for yourself, for example with a cold or after a hard day at work - maybe it's a bubble bath with lit candles, a special film, a certain skin product or a big pile of chocolate?
- And if you have a partner - how does he react and function in the same matters?
Think for yourself and talk/talk with those who will be with you during the birth, eg partner, friend, parent, doula or other support person. The
It is also a nice way to sit down and visualize your birth.
How do you WANT to feel? How do you WANT to give birth? What do you WANT to see & experience?
Let the dreams take hold of you & let your dream birth take place! Continue to visualize your dream birth, preferably every day. See, feel and experience it! Our mind or brain has a powerful effect on our body. The
In the end, it is also a good way to be able to communicate your wishes in advance both to staff & support persons.
There are millions of maternity letter templates, so search around the internet for inspiration or save my template further down.
- Remember to keep the length of the letter to about one A4 page and use point form when you write (sometimes nursing staff are under a lot of pressure, which means they don't always have time to read the entire maternity letter).
- Think about what is most important for you to convey to them. Base the design of your letter where the most important comes at the top, then "second most important" and so on.
- Always start the letter with the first and last name, social security number and estimated date of birth. Then enter the partner's, support person's or doula's name.
- Please bring two copies of the letter. You can enter the letter in your journal, your midwife at mvc does. I personally like being able to give a letter to staff on site but also have a letter that we don't give but just ask the staff to read. As personnel change in shifts, which is common during one's birth, loose letters can easily disappear. Then it's good to have one in the room that each new team gets to read. Good information for a partner or other support person - keep an eye on the letter and ask staff to read it.
CHILDREN'S LETTER - tips on content:
Social security number:
Estimated birth (BF):
Name of partner/support person/doula:
How do you function as a person in pain, difficult situations? When you get pressured/stressed? When you get sad? Disappointed? Here you can also enter your partner's/companion's personality, for example "my partner can be perceived as angry when he gets worried or scared".
Fear & Worry (this part can be combined with the part above)
Are you worried or afraid of something that is important for the healthcare staff to be aware of (also partner (/support person))? Can be both physical and emotional things, for example: needles, blood, showing yourself naked, vaginal examinations, etc.
Medical or non-medical? Are you open to sterile swabs, nitrous oxide, acupuncture or EDA?
Thoughts on childbirth positions. Which postures would you like to try? Which one do you think you want to give birth in? Or are you open to the staff's suggestions?
When the baby arrived
Breastfeeding, first hour, then weaning. Do you want to wait with a hat, diaper, measure, weigh, etc.?
Support and communication
How would you like the staff to support you and address you. Do you want to be encouraged and hear that you are good? Or do you want everyone to be quiet?
Previous childbirth experiences
Describe previous experiences of childbirth or sexual abuse/other traumatic experiences that may affect you during birth, etc.
Information for nursing staff, for example, if you are giving birth with students or male midwives during labor, do you have any "stop signs/pains". Are you ticklish somewhere or dislike being touched on a certain part of your body. How have you prepared for the birth? The desire for a partner to cut the umbilical cord or put on the first diaper?
Good luck & big hugs,