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What kind of birther are you?

by Ann Charles on April 26th, 2013
Different colour and sized question marks

Hairy Hippy?  Earth Mother?  Trouble-maker?  Worried patient? 

There are so many different types of woman, and ways to give birth.  Here’s a fun quiz to find out what kind of birther you are…

Question 1

You are planning to give birth…

a) In a Yurt in the middle of your eco-village

b) In the local hospital

c) In a birth pool at the nearby Birth Centre

d) In the supermarket, because you’ve heard they’ll give a free hamper to anyone who has a baby in aisle 18

Question 2

Your ideal birth companion is…

a) Mother nature

b) Your Mother

c) Your partner

d) Anyone who brings champagne

Question 3

You are in labour in hospital, and the Midwife asks if she can hook you up to a monitor.  Do you…

a) Agree immediately – after all, the medical staff know what they are doing!

b) Politely decline as this is not part of your Birth Plan

c) Ask why the Midwife thinks continuous monitoring would be appropriate, and what the benefits and risks would be

d) Immediately panic that there is something wrong with your baby

Question 4

The monitor is making an annoying bleeping sound, and has lots of flashing lights.  Do you…

a) Grab a home made shawl from your bag and throw it over the equipment to cover it up

b) Get a pair of ear plugs

c) Ask your partner to turn the volume on the machine down

d) Worry that all the noises mean that something’s wrong but feel too scared to ask for more information

Question 5

You feel like you want to push.  Do you…

a) Update Twitter and Facebook to let all your followers know

b) Start pushing

c) Call the Midwife to ask if you are ‘allowed’ to start pushing

d) Resist the urge to push as you are still on the bus and haven’t made it to the supermarket, yet

Question 6

After the birth, the placenta…

a) Should be kept out of my sight

b) Is something that the Midwife will deal with and dispose of safely

c) Is buried under a tree in honour of our newborn child

d) Makes a lovely pâté to be served at the baby-naming ceremony

Question 7

A brilliant name for the baby is…

a) Any character name from Eastenders

b) One picked at random from a baby book

c) Orville

d) Whatever the Doctor chooses – after all, they are the experts

Question 8

You’re planning a homebirth and discover you are expecting twins.  Do you…

a) Immediately switch to hospital-based care and follow every piece of advice the Consultant gives to the letter

b) Plan an elective caesarean

c) Ask a Supervisor of Midwives to support you and the local Midwives to continue with your homebirth plans

d) Ask your friends to start bulk collecting ‘buy one, get one free’ baby clothing vouchers

Question 9

Your friend recommends a post-natal Doula, as she found having one really useful to help out when she had her second baby.  Do you…

a) Wonder what a Doula is, but not feel brave enough to ask

b) Think she has accidentally turned into a hippy overnight

c) Agree with her wholeheartedly and book a Doula immediately – you want to make sure you do exactly what your friend does

d) Look up Doulas on the web and do your own research

Question 10

Nappies are…

a) Disposable – really convenient

b) Cloth – better for the environment

c) Unnecessary – we just follow our baby’s cues and hold them over the sink

d) Sold in aisle 18 of the supermarket

Mostly As, Bs, Cs or Ds, or a mixture?

You’re a human.

We’re all different.  We all have different hopes, wishes, fears and ways of dealing with the world.  There’s no ‘right’ way to birth.

If you choose to have a Doula to be part of your birth story, then you’ll find she is supportive and non-judgemental.  She won’t mind about what choices you make, so long as she knows you are happy and confident in those decisions.

You are far too extraordinary to be defined by a little box.

Having said that, I’m the kind of person that likes to question and probe.

So here’s the challenge: Do the quiz again, but select different answers.  What might it feel like to be that person, and make those birth choices?  What might the consequences be?  How does that feel?

What did you discover?  Please let me know by leaving a comment below.  I’d love to hear what you found out.

  1. My best friend asked me if I’d started thinking about my birth plan (21 weeks along) and I told her ‘yeah, give birth’. The whole idea of planning something that unpredictable seems a bit weird to me.

    • Everyone takes such different approaches, don’t they! Whatever works for you is great – some people like to ‘be prepared’ and think through the options, and others prefer to trust their body. I know sometimes birth ‘plans’ are called ‘birth wishes’ or ‘birth preferences’, which is a title that refelects that ‘planning’ birth doesn’t mean a step-by-step check list 🙂 Hope everything goes well for you and thank you for commenting!

  2. Liz permalink

    The scientist in me says one thing (doctors, monitoring, intervention etc), the rest of says something else. Good job it won’t be happening any time soon for me!

    • You may find the scientist in you likes academic articles looking at this stuff – e.g. (the site is user-friendly and has links to relevant research documents). You may also find that studies looking at the role of (natural) oxytocin and the way it makes birth work appeal (it’s quite a ‘shy’ hormone and doesn’t like lots of poking and prodding). And listening to your intution is great practice for becoming a parent!

      It’s a personal decision and your own medical circumstances at the time of pregnancy will also make a difference. However, as a scientist, I’m sure you’re used to questioning the status quo, so it sounds like you’ve got plenty of time to do the reading around you’d like to get head and heart happy with each other. Thanks for the comment 🙂

      PS Wherever you give birth, the evidence for the continous emotional support provided by a Doula is knock-your-socks off amazing. I know I’m meant to say that, but honestly – I keep being surprised by the research. Good summary here:

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