Natural? Normal? Find your middle ground.

When it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing, natural and normal doesn’t always mean easy and effortless. Why do we expect it to be?

Technology and modern conveniences teach our brains to expect more, that things are automatic. And so, we apply this mentality to parenthood. Exiting the 9-month bubble of pregnancy can be a similar experience for parent and child, leaving the womb for something completely different.

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After baby showers and choosing names and painting nurseries comes a wash of feelings many parents are unprepared for. Guilt, anger, fear, blame and regret, while parents pine for that old sense of “normal.”

Questions we often hear include: “When will he sleep through the night? When will she not feed so often? When will I be able to put him down?” and the final exclamation of “Nobody told me it would be like this!”

The best way to release yourself from this is to find a new normal, a middle ground.

Don’t get to D-day without help! Birthing and baby prep classes with an experienced midwife or specialist can make the difference. These professionals are chock-full of knowledge that will have you in a more informed place when it comes time for baby.

Also, create a birth plan letting family and close friends know your goals for the pregnancy and delivery. Circumstances may change in the moment, but you’ll feel more comfortable having a unified plan with your team whether it is husband, partner or medical professional.

Once you have this support circle of family and friends, go with the flow and be flexible. You can never be totally prepared, but you’ll feel comfortable knowing you’ve given yourself the best chance. There is no natural and normal when it comes to childbirth. Not knowing what to expect is totally natural and completely normal.