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Since I recently faced different options for the birth of my son I decided to use this experience for my Photovoice Project. The pictures I have included are pictures from a book distributed at our Childbirth Preparation class. These pictures illustrate the different options in medical procedures an individual has when planning a hospital birth. The book outlines what it means to make decisions during birth, methods for induction, methods for fetal monitoring, methods for pain relief and further interventions if necessary.

When answering certain questions for this project I found I was able to answer:

  • “How healthy IS it?”
  • “What choice/s do I have?”
  • “Do I really know what I need to make a healthy choice?”

As for how healthy the options for childbirth are I found that there were pros and cons for the different medical procedures available. Among the different options I was set on having a natural birth and if necessary an epidural was my choice for pain relief. I found that other pain relief methods would travel to my son and I didn’t want that. When it came to finally having my son I tried my very best to get through labor without any medications. I made it through 16 hours before finally giving into an epidural, but even when I had my epidural my son came and was perfect. Knowing the different choices and their different risks or affects truly aided in my birth planning. For myself, this book was extremely helpful in guiding my decisions in giving birth. It allowed me to feel prepared and be informed of the choices I could make. Overall, the book provided me with the information necessary to feel comfortable in making the decisions I thought best for my son and I in labor and delivery.

Birth planning and taking this class at the same time really opened my eyes to see or look at things differently as a consumer. I discovered that as a consumer I hold the cards of my own care. I realized that I control what goes in and out of my body, but with the right information I can make better-informed choices. I also found that I was setting the tone for my son’s health even before he was born by my food consumption as well as his experience in birth. Before taking this course I felt that I was not as informed or aware of my choices as a consumer. I wasn’t actively taking hold of my role as a consumer, but now after taking this class and after giving birth or creating a birth plan I feel empowered to make informed choices for my future health.

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