How your birth story can empower other pregnant mamas

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I did it.”

How your birth story can empower other pregnant mamas

We’ve all had that moment: a pregnant friend asks you about labor + delivery and you freeze. What am I supposed to say? Do I tell her the truth? The whole truth? Because there are things that happen during birth that are not for the faint of heart. But really, what do you say?

First you have to understand why your friend is asking.

She is asking about your birthing experience as a way to inform her expectations about what she’s going to experience when her turn comes.

She’s anxious and curious and is hoping you can calm her nerves or reveal some big secret that she’s supposed to be in on.


And you want to calm her and not scare her, but you also want to be honest and truthful and honor your experience. So, what’s a friend to do?

Here are some phrases to use when speaking about your experience that can empower a pregnant friend.

“My body impressed me.”

Delivery, whether it’s vaginal or cesarean, is the ultimate display of some of the crazy things women’s bodies are capable of. Rallying the energy to push when you’ve been awake for 48 hours straight and are sustained by only ice chips (okay, maybe a couple crackers too, when the nurse wasn’t looking).

Enduring major abdominal surgery and then rushing through recovery as quickly as possible so you can hold your baby. Withstanding pain beyond what you thought you could manage.

Your body does some impressive stuff during labor and delivery, not to mention its awesomeness during pregnancy—acknowledging that will help your friend trust that her body is capable and amazing as well.

“I had choices.”

First, I want to acknowledge that this may not feel true for you initially. Depending on the circumstances of your labor and delivery experience, your gut response may be that you feel you did not have a choice in how things unfolded. This is the painful reality for many women.

But I encourage you to dig deeper into that experience to find somewhere that you did have a choice during the process.

You may not have had a choice about having an emergency c-section, but perhaps you did get to advocate for yourself and were able to hold your baby in the recovery room. You may not have had a choice about what position you labored in, but you did get to request immediate skin to skin.

There were points at which you had the power and you got to make the decision. Finding these instances and focusing on them can be extremely healing for you and extremely empowering for your friend.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I did it.”

You’re allowed to be proud of yourself. You brought a baby into this world. You did an extraordinary thing. And it was not at all easy.

It’s okay to say that—saying anything else would be a lie. But don’t dwell on the hard part. Focus on the “I did it” part.

You made it through some physically and emotionally painful stuff, and that’s an accomplishment to recognize and acknowledge. That’s the scary and wonderful thing about labor—it won’t end until it’s over. You don’t get to back out in the middle. Once it starts, it finishes, and there’s no getting off the ride.

You can 100% honestly promise your friend that it will be hard, but she too will make it through.

So to answer the original question—what do you tell your friend?

You tell her the whole truth.

That it was a life-changing, earth-shaking, soul moving experience. One that was totally unlike what you expected. One that you could never have imagined until you were in the moment. And one that you will forever be grateful for because it made you a mom and brought you your baby.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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