Let me start by saying that the number of adult single women who desire to become mother’s is on the rise…they are often the accomplished professional whose biological clock is ticking and time is running out in terms of being able to accomplish a pregnancy as well as have the stamina and patience to raise a child.
The hot topics on their minds include:
Who to use as a support person?
A dear friend or family member OR both would be ideal. Someone who knows you well, and can provide unconditional support as you move through every emotional color in the rainbow-labor has a way of doing that! This person needs to be logistically available to be with you at home in early labor, transport you to the hospital and be then with you for an undetermined number of hours in labor (10-20 hours would be a safe estimate.) This is why I think it is advisable to have two people in mind and at the ready; they can both be there and/or they can approach it as sort of a job share where one spells the other kind of thing. The main point is to be sure you have reliable support from people who know you and feel honored to be a part of this very special time in your life.
How can you prepare for delivery?
Like every other pregnant person on the planet, I think it is helpful to do the ‘right of passage’ approach and take a class, read a book and even have a video for review. Your support person will want to go with you to class and be familiar with the same materials that you are reading and viewing. Strongly recommend that the childbirth educator is an RN so that you get reality based information. A sensitive, professional educator will be able to seamlessly incorporate you into the class when it comes to “partners or dads.” In your mind, whenever you hear that, you simply transcribe it to “my support person.”
How do you deal with anxieties about going into labor alone?
Again, having identified and received a commitment from the dear friend or family member that they will be there for you, will help alleviate some of this. The two of you need to take a tour of the hospital, where you will learn about parking, which entrance to use at night and on the weekends; if your friend is driving you to the hospital you will want to make a practice run to be clear about the best route to take.You each have a copy of the master list that consists of phone numbers- how to reach your support person day or night, who to call if the water breaks or to clarify if it time to head out to the hospital. Bags packed by 36 weeks-small duffle for mom and the few things you need to bring the baby home, as well as the car seat-installed in the car that will be transporting you both home.
How to maintain calm and confidence in the days leading up to labor?
The muscle that I am most concerned about is your mind! Your mind will be working overtime trying to make sense of what is going on, trying to figure out how to control this situation and provide guarantees that it will all be perfect…the best thing to do with pregnancy brain is to get your ducks in a row the best you can and then LET GO! Let the people you have identified provide you with the support you need, rely on the the healthcare team to guide you and keep you safe and perhaps most importantly: every time your mind tries to trip you up-take a deep breath-inhaling calm and confidence and exhaling fear and tension, hold the picture in your mind of your baby growing beautifully inside of you…you and your baby will benefit