What is a birth plan?
A birth plan is a document that communicates your wishes and details regarding giving birth. You can outline your preferences regarding the environment, your medical options, and the immediate care of your newborn. If you don’t have such information documented, you are probably opting for a fully medically managed birth. That means you are choosing to have your care providers make all the decisions for you. Decisions regarding your pregnancy, labor, and birthing experience.
Why is Important to Plan Your Delivery?
A birth plan is your voice in your own birth, empowers you to be prepared, and therefore reduces your stress greatly. These three reasons alone make this document invaluable. Your birth story will unfold based on the decisions you make regarding your pregnancy and childbirth experience. You can help shape your birth story by preparing yourself ahead of time with the knowledge, skills and tools to have your best birth possible. The knowledge, you acquire from your childbirth education class(es) will help you determine the things you would like to have happen and the things you would prefer to avoid. They will also help you feel more prepared for the unexpected which has been shown to lower stress and anxiety. Always understanding that birth is unpredictable and that there may be cause for an intervention you had hoped to avoid.
Writing your birth plan
Writing a birth plan can be a vital tool in helping you understand what is most important to. In addition, it will educate your birth coach and team about your desires. Some women have difficulty deciding on their birth preferences as they are unsure about all the options and consequences. Not knowing the possibilities can also mislead your choices. That means you may not choose the best options you would otherwise have chosen if you would have known. That is why My Baby Lady devotes a lot of time to this particular topic with expecting parents.
The goals are to help you define your ideal and share that with all the members of your birth team, especially your care provider. As you are experiencing your pregnancy and learning about childbirth and postpartum, it is perfectly acceptable changes your wishes. Moreover, there could be further changes necessary after discussing your desires with your doctor or midwife. With that in mind, don’t look at your document as a concrete plan. It is rather a guide to experiencing your best birth possible. When complete, this document is a writing understanding between you and your care provider. This document will be made available to your birth coach and to all members of your birthing team.
Do you know which procedures you would prefer and which you want to avoid?
By creating a plan you will define what are your preferences in regard to each intervention that may be offered. You may have a simple plan, deciding on an epidural at the onset of active labor or as soon as you are admitted to the hospital. Or you might choose to avoid as many interventions as possible. Most new parents fall somewhere in between the two.
The goal is to understand each of the different interventions, the necessity, science, and evidence behind its use. That will help you tremendously to determine which you are comfortable with and which you’d like to avoid.
There are many interventions. From epidurals and electronic fetal monitoring to labor induction and augmentation (speeding up labor using medication). Every expectant parent and baby are different, and every pregnancy has its own characteristics. Being aware of the different options that may be presented to you will help you be more confident in your decision making when being faced with making one.
Planning Your Birth helps you and the birth team
The nurses in the hospital and the birthing coach assistants at the birth center will be grateful for your written plan. While you are doing the hard work of labor, they can get a quick look at your preferences without having to disturb you. Such preferences also involve who you want to be on your team and who you may want to avoid inviting. You want people who support your choices. People who are encouraging, loving, and who will advocate for your preferences. Your birth plan will be given to each person on your team ahead of time. Therefore, they will be familiar with your desires, should you be in a position that someone need to answer for or advocate for you.
When should I make my birth plan?
Your birth plan can be an evolving document while you educate yourself about all the options you have. From the day you decide to become a parent, you can begin working on your birth desires. You can change and update it any time during pregnancy. That is expected as you bring your preferences to the table with your care provider. A pregnancy coach will be extremely helpful for those who are unsure of what it is they are trying to accomplish. Ensuring the best birth planning for each mom and family is one of my big goals as a pregnancy and birth coach.
What Pregnancy Personality are You?
How do you feel about giving birth? Have you thought about your options? Do you know what your options are? Find out what you think about some of these thought-provoking questions today!
What do You Get in Your Free Consultation?
We get to know each other, your fears, your dreams, your goals, your concerns.
That will allow My Baby Lady to create a FREE birth “style” assessment. In the follow-up consultation we will build a personalized Service Menu for you to address your most pressing concerns and deepest desires.