Nicole Malcolm, LMSW, Childbirth educator
It goes without saying: a person who is pregnant spends a lot of time planning for upcoming transitions. Much time is invested into changing your wardrobe to accommodate a growing baby bump and registries are created to ensure that all necessities are purchased and assembled prior to baby’s arrival home. This planning and preparation, all completed so that we can say, “I’m ready!”
I can remember being focused on these very things during my first pregnancy. I was pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl, and I was obsessing over convenient strollers and wondering how I was going to manage my life with two, new, tiny humans. I followed up regularly with my OB for prenatal visits and as my twin belly grew, my anticipation about labor and delivery did, too. I kept waiting for my physician to explain all the inner-workings of labor and what I could expect and what was going to (or could) happen. I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Thinking back, I’m not sure what prevented me from diving headfirst into learning more about labor and delivery. I had expected that those topics would just be covered at some point during my visits with my doctor.
When my twins were born via an emergency cesarean section at 31 weeks pregnant, those expectations clearly changed. My cesarean was uncomplicated, but my babies were premature and small; they resided in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for approximately one month after birth.
As I sat at their isolettes, waiting for the okay to bring them home, I remember going through a whirlwind of emotions. One thing I kept going back to was this feeling that I had somehow missed out on something I didn’t even know I wanted so badly: labor. It was in those moments I realized that if I were ever to be pregnant again, I needed to be prepared in a different way. Strollers, clothes, toys, stuff… all those things were great, but I had prepared so much for the reality of bringing the babies home,I failed to prepare for the process of bringing them into the world.
Childbirth Education was a foreign realm to me but when I got pregnant a second time, I decided to dive in. I couldn’t believe what I was being taught and even more couldn’t believe that during my first pregnancy my doctors hadn’t explained or described anything I was learning!
A quality childbirth education class covers a variety of topics related to pregnancy, the process of labor and what your body goes through during labor and delivery, labor positions and managing your emotions and tolerance of pain during labor as well as partner support, newborn care and postpartum.
The information provided in a quality class goes far beyond what contractions feel like and how soon to get to the hospital after your water breaks. Childbirth Education teaches you what is happening inside your body as it prepares for birth, how your body changes during labor and reminds a birther that they can work in conjunction with their body to have an incredible birth experience.
Knowledge is power. Having the knowledge of labor and delivery provides a sense of security and trust that a birther has in their body. Trusting your body and knowing what you can expect from childbirth opens the door for you to better advocate for yourself and feel empowered to utilize your voice; thus, feeling less intimidated and silenced and able to embrace vulnerability in an extraordinary way.
Often, the information learned in childbirth education far surpasses the singular event of birth. The strength, courage, and empowerment follows a family as they embark on their journey into taking care of their baby. The skills learned in childbirth education contribute to having the ability to embrace life as confident, new parents.
While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of newborn clothes, pacifiers, strollers and designing a space to bring baby home to, it’s equally important to prepare yourself as a birther for the birth experience. Learning about the physiology of birth allows you to feel less apprehensive and more in control of your delivery; shifting the focus of birth from being a medical event to being a beautiful, life changing experience.
My newborn son ten minutes new after an incredible birth experience thanks to information acquired through childbirth education.
The first group of certified Birth and Beyond Education coaches! Check out www.birthandbeyondresources.com to meet the team and find a Birth and Beyond education class near you today!
My name is Nicole and I am a licensed social worker and mom of three. As my family grew, I realized how difficult the transition is to motherhood and how little support is available for women who have been, and are, struggling in silence.
Three Little Birds is the product of my commitment to support other women and mothers so that no individual feels alone or unheard during their journey. My experiences have ignited a passion in me to be the advocate for others who are struggling, the educator for parents who want to feel informed in the birth of their children, and the listening ear for those adjusting to life with tiny humans.
Some other capacities in which I am involved include:
Volunteer Vice-Chair of the Peer Counseling Committee and Peer Counselor for the 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization, Milky Mommas
Board member for the 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization, Birth and Beyond Resources
Director of the MamaMoon Program in Nassau County and MamaMoon volunteer
Nicole Malcolm LMSW, CBE