Why Birth Preparation Pays Off

Pregnancy & Postpartum

The birth of a child marks a significant milestone in the lives of expectant parents. Adequate preparation for it is crucial to be physically, mentally, and emotionally ready. This article highlights the purpose of birth preparation and why it is rewarding.

Preparing for Birth – What For?

Many individuals are familiar almost exclusively with horror stories regarding childbirth. These stories, whether from their own mothers about their own births, from people in their surroundings, or from social media, often associate hospital births with violence and trauma (Wigert et al., 2020). 

Such stories and associations significantly influence attitudes toward childbirth (Hoffmann & Banse, 2021). Various studies and expert opinions show that a positive birth experience without fear or a sense of helplessness is possible through good preparation (Büttner et al., 2024).

In a prospective longitudinal study, Hoffmann et al. (2023) found that pregnant women’s attitudes toward childbirth were a significant predictor of birth outcomes. Thus, women with positive attitudes and expectations toward childbirth tended to have better births, such as shorter duration, fewer complications and interventions, and overall higher satisfaction with the birth. Pre-existing birth anxieties and negative attitudes led to significantly worse birth experiences. Based on these results, the authors emphasize the importance of appropriate birth preparation and promoting positive attitudes toward childbirth.

Birth anxiety affects 5 to 14% of all pregnant women (Wigert et al., 2020). This can affect women in their first pregnancy or subsequent pregnancies and can have diverse causes and effects (Wigert et al., 2020). In their systematic review of interventions for birth anxiety, Striebich et al. (2018) found that specially tailored childbirth preparation courses conducted by midwives are one of the most helpful interventions to reduce women’s fears and strengthen their confidence in their ability to give birth.

Childbirth is an experience that pushes mental and physical boundaries, comparable to extreme sports like a marathon or mountain climbing (Büttner et al., 2024). Just as in these athletic disciplines, it requires appropriate physical and mental preparation.

With childbirth comes parenthood, which can bring new challenges. Therefore, it is worthwhile not only to plan and prepare for childbirth but also to consider the postpartum and breastfeeding period. The birth of a child also brings a significant change to the partnership. It can be beneficial for couples and expectant mothers or fathers to prepare for their new roles.

Conclusion and Author’s Notes

The research literature demonstrates in various aspects why good birth preparation is important. My personal experience as a midwife also shows me that good birth preparation is essential. Becoming a family is a significant process – physically, emotionally, and mentally, individually for the expectant parents and together as a couple. This process requires comprehensive preparation, ideally holistic. Therefore, my recommendation is to start birth preparation in the second trimester of pregnancy.

There are many diverse types of birth preparation, and the choice should be individual and tailored to the specific needs.

As a midwife, I am an expert on the reproductive phase and a competent point of contact regarding birth preparation. It is important for me to care for each woman and family individually and to adapt my counseling accordingly. One of my goals is to empower women in their confidence in their own bodies and their child so that they can approach childbirth with trust. I want to support them in making an informed and autonomous decision about their mode and place of birth.

Through online counseling using Holistiq, diverse needs and questions about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood can be addressed. Long-term support allows for in-depth exploration of individually tailored techniques. The holistic approach also enables targeted support for a healthy pregnancy, which is also part of good birth preparation.


  1. Bundesamt für Statistik. (2021). Reproduktive Gesundheit. https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/de/home/statistiken/gesundheit/gesundheitszustand/reproduktive.html
  2. Büttner, M., Stockrahm, S., Graf, K., & Lütje, W. (o. J.). Wir sollten Schwangere mental unterstützen wie Hochleistungssportler (12.02.2024). Abgerufen 12. Februar 2024, von https://open.spotify.com/episode/7i9B5ma5cecXk0BCz1lscC?si=H8Ze1lmgSimO4-3eiX-zFg
  3. Hildingsson, I., Rubertsson, C., Karlström, A., & Haines, H. (2019). A known midwife can make a difference for women with fear of childbirth- birth outcome and women’s experiences of intrapartum care. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, 21, 33–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.srhc.2019.06.004
  4. Hoffmann, L., & Banse, R. (2021). Psychological aspects of childbirth: Evidence for a birth-related mindset. European Journal of Social Psychology, 51(1), 124–151. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2719
  5. Hoffmann, L., Hilger, N., & Banse, R. (2023). The mindset of birth predicts birth outcomes: Evidence from a prospective longitudinal study. European Journal of Social Psychology, 53(5), 857–871. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2940
  6. Striebich, S., Mattern, E., & Ayerle, G. M. (2018). Support for pregnant women identified with fear of childbirth (FOC)/tokophobia—A systematic review of approaches and interventions. Midwifery, 61, 97–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.02.013
  7. Wigert, H., Nilsson, C., Dencker, A., Begley, C., Jangsten, E., Sparud-Lundin, C., Mollberg, M., & Patel, H. (2020). Women’s experiences of fear of childbirth: A metasynthesis of qualitative studies. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 15(1), 1704484. https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2019.1704484
  8. World Health Organization. (2021, Juni 9). WHO Statement on Caesarean Section Rates. https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/who-statement-on-caesarean-section-rates-frequently-asked-questions
Topics: Pregnancy & Postpartum
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