It’s so funny the amount of women that turn up their noses at even the mention of a birth plan. First comes the squashed face and then comes the horrific story of the ‘friend’ who had the birth plan and failed miserably due to some medical emergency or unforseen circumstance followed by the ‘don’t’ you just want what’s best for the baby?!’ Of course we all do!!!! Daahhh!!!
Planning for your birth. How can you ‘plan’ the way your birth is going to go? Birth doesn’t always go to ‘plan’. Why set yourself up for failure?
I have always had a birth plan and having it has made me more relaxed about knowing how it can also change when ‘things’ happen. I know how I would prefer to labour, what pain relief I would like and generally how I would like the experience to unfold. Just deciding that I wanted a birth plan made me research birthing options I never knew existed. Knowledge is power and I am of the firm belief that the more knowledgeable you are the more relaxed you will be during your labour especially if things are not going to ‘plan’.
I don’t see a birth plan as something that is set in concrete, it’s not a ‘this is what will happen or else’.
A birth plan is where you have done your research, decided how you would ideally like to labour and have a knowing that you do have the opportunity to have that plan seen through.
Most of the points in your plan would have been discussed with your doctor and birth partner prior to labour and of course, nothing is in concrete. There are so many intricate, constantly changing and unknown factors about labour that it is first and foremost important to trust the professionals assisting you. I will also say that a lot of ‘medical’ issues can also be solved with more ‘natural’ options and if you are informed prior to labour, then you will be more relaxed and trusting about making any necessary decisions during labour.
Just reading “Up The Duff” or “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” has nowhere near enough information to really teach you all there is to know about birth. Women need to know the importance of choices. It’s important to read informative, empowering books that give good quality information. My book of choice is A Labour of Love.
When writing your birth plan I would keep it short sharp and to the point. You don’t have to include every intricate detail about how you would like every hour to turn out. You don’t need to include the list of songs you would like played or how you would like to be massaged as hopefully these sorts of things you have discussed with your support partner prior to the big day.
My birth plan included
– The labour I wanted an active labour (the ability to move freely)
– The pain relief I wanted
– The sort of monitoring I wanted (unless medically necessary)
If I had to have a caesarean
– Where my partner would be
– What I wanted done with the baby immediately after
Birth and soon after
– If I would like immediate skin to skin contact
– If I would like to breastfeed immediately
I didn’t hand these around the room for all to see although I am very happy if you are comfortable to do this, good on you! I found that I was lucky enough to have a connection with my husband where he knew exactly what my intentions were and I trusted he was capable of helping me achieve them as well as making decisions with me about what is best for our baby.
I do have to tell you that my first two ‘birth plans’ did not go to plan. This didn’t make me upset or disappointed or feel at all like a failure. It actually helped me feel less under pressure at times when I needed to make decisions as I had done my research and knew my options.
Although my ‘plan’ wasn’t perfectly executed I still feel like the labour and birth’s were totally mine, I felt in control as they where my decisions and that’s the ultimate outcome you want from your birth plan.
Have a birth plan and be knowledgeable, know your options because you do have them. Birth is a miracle. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing to experience, whichever way it happens.
Healthy mum and healthy baby, that is all of our objectives.
Did you write or do you plan to write a birth plan? I would love to hear your thoughts below
I want to state very clearly that I am not a doctor, midwife or birthing expert. The information is intended solely for general educational aid and must not be considered medical or health care advise. I am writing on personal experience and the opinion’s expressed here are my own. Please consult your doctor or medical advisor if you require specific information.