To Do or Not to Do … A Birth Plan
In this post, I will skip the grand intro and cut to the chase – DO! Definitely do prepare a birth plan.
Even if it is a short one, and even if you are doing so in the conscious state that things may not go to (birth) plan. In fact, having the understanding that your birth may not stick to the plan you have envisioned and chatted through with your birth partner and midwife or doctor is a healthy approach to birth plans.
Women and their partners are often encouraged to refer to their birth plans as “birth preference plan”, as in fact this is what they actually are. No one can place an order of how they would like their birth to be (that is, in absolute detail and step by step). But you can, and absolutely should have a detailed conversation with your birthing partner and your medical caretakers about how you feel about the different options available to you, and what is best for you in your particular circumstances.
Birth plans further invite you to consider a plan B and a plan C, maybe even a plan D. Of course, everyone would aspire to achieve their plan A (which may be different for different mothers-to-be), but it is important to feel prepared should the process deviate from that original plan.
There are many examples of women who wished for an all-natural birth, and ended up asking or needing an epidural / forceps / C-section, and are absolutely content with the outcome. The reason – they fully understood their options and felt they were making informed choices and remaining in control. Likewise, for someone who absolutely counted on the epidural to then be told things had progressed too quickly and that was no longer an option, being prepared to have an epidural free labour would be absolutely invaluable.
So, do write your birth plan. Feel educated and prepared for the most exciting day of your life – the day you will meet your little baby!