Single mom childbirth tips: Finding support
If you are a pregnant single mom preparing for childbirth, it is important you have a support system when it is time to deliver baby. Having a baby is an exciting time, but the delivery can be a little intimidating to go through alone. Single moms share their tips on finding support when you need it the most.
When Desiree, a Las Vegas, Nevada, mom, was just a few weeks pregnant, her partner walked out on her.
"He looked at me two weeks after being excited that I was pregnant and said "I've changed my mind, I'll pay for you to have an abortion. I'm not ready to have a baby." Here I am, 30 years old, making over $40,000 a year in a great career, pregnant by a man I had known for 10 years. Having an abortion was not an option for me. If he wasn't going to be involved I was bound determined to do it on my own," Desiree said.
She has, and credits her mom being nearby with helping to provide emotional support during pregnancy and birth.
Desiree isn't alone. Many moms go it alone for delivery - whether by choice or not. If you are taking that route, read on for helpful advice on how you don't really have to be alone.
Having support, and especially someone to advocate for you during birth is essential. However, when a mom is going it alone, it may not be so clear cut who that support should be. Doulas, who are trained labor support people, are equally helpful to moms with and without their partners at birth.
"If a mom is planning a hospital birth, the best support person for a single mom would be to hire a professional labor support person (a birth doula) for the delivery and also, a post-partum doula for after the baby to help at home," says Renee Sicignano, a Certified Professional Midwife and Lactation Consultant in Los Angeles, who works at Gentle Beginnings Birth Service. "Having a birth doula and/or a midwife will help tremendously in alleviating the stress associated with labor."
But a doula isn't the only way to go. Some moms, like communications strategist Tamar Abrams, surround themselves with friends and family to welcome their child."I chose a team. Why limit yourself to just one coach if you don't have to? I had a primary coach who went to the birthing classes with me and five others who were with me at various times during labor. They even had 'Team Abrams' t-shirts made up," Abrams said.
Celebrate life, not absence
Whatever the reason for going it alone, moms-to-be should celebrate the miracle and joy of their child's birth. Do your best to forget about any emotions relating to the absence of the biological father.
"The main thing for single moms is to celebrate the abundance of love in their lives, not the absence of a husband/partner. They should surround themselves with people who are genuinely happy for their upcoming baby, whether it is family or friends or both. My baby was born into a circle of family and friends who were so happy that she had come into the world that it was infectious. And now, 16 years later, they continue to celebrate with me the wonder of her life," Abrams said.
Desiree agrees. "Choosing people who wanted to be there to welcome my daughter was more important than having people who should be there out of obligation. This is your body and your child. If you are becoming a single mother, either by choice or not, you are in charge of letting people in the room that want to be there and will hold special memory for this life changing event," Desiree said.