During my 47 years as a midwife, I have strived to improve maternity care—primarily in Stockholm, but also in other parts of Sweden. I have worked to give parents-to-be the very best start to parenthood.
Through my work as midwife, and my books “Att föda, “Att möta förlossningssmärta” and “Vattnet går”, co-authored with Nina Campioni, I have tried to share my experience and knowledge about childbirth and everything related to it.
Today, most parents-to-be have prepared for the delivery and parenthood. They’ve packed their bag with several items. Not just a toothbrush, robe and baby clothes, but also a healthy serving of self-confidence and the expectation that childbirth will be a positive experience. Self-confidence also includes knowledge about childbirth and having the conviction to trust one’s own ability. This makes the birth a positive experience, one that they will cherish for life.
Those of you reading and learning about childbirth in this guide will have greater self-confidence and more insight into what it is like to give birth.
You will: - trust your body. It’s designed to give birth. - understand that pain during delivery is perfectly normal. Every contraction brings you closer to your baby and you will have a range of pain-management strategies. - know that you need to concentrate on listening to your body’s signals. You will discover a rhythm in the contractions so that you work with them instead of against them. - be in awe of the force of each contraction, that gradually increases the further along in the birthing process you advance. - notice that there is a pause in between each contraction that gives you time to gather your strength and energy to handle the next contraction. - focus on one contraction at a time. Don’t think about what has been or make an issue of what remains—think positive: “I got this. I’m doing just fine. - know that you can never be fully prepared for each stage. Delivery is not a predictable process in which everything can be resolved beforehand. However, you will feel confident that there is a solution for everything when you reach that point. - understand that women have the most incredible innate resources to give birth as long as fear is not part of the equation and there is support from others. Together with your partner and the staff, childbirth will be a fantastic experience that you, as a parent, will cherish for the rest of your life.
I am fully convinced that women are most suited to childbirth and that midwives are here to help. Our job is to bring forth the inner strength inside every woman, and to keep fear and anxiety at bay.
In 2006, the City of Stockholm awarded me the St. Erik Medal for my work, and in 2015 I was awarded the Swedish Association of Midwives’ honorary award for “Her efforts to help change and improve the care of women who are pregnant and give birth in Sweden”. Two awards of which I am immensely proud.
Sources: - Abascal, G., & Huss, M. S. (2018). Att föda. Bonnier Fakta.