The "birth plan"
You hire your care provider because you trust their medical opinion. So why should you write a birth plan when birth never goes to plan anyways.
That being said, should you write one or should you go to your birth with 100% faith in whatever happens is going to happen?
Well... a Birth plan is not a plan. It is actually more of a list of preferences. Even more then that, it is an opportunity to take a in depth look at what your options actually are. It's important to know about those options that you don't want, so that when birth takes its natural path of progression, you know how you feel about the things being suggested to you, if or when they are brought up. No one normally wants to utilize interventions, that's a given.
But what if you need to?
Where ever you choose to have your baby there is a set of tools and/or protocols that the people around you can offer in certain situations. Such as different types of monitors, medications or hands on support, etc. A birth plan is a helpful tool for women birthing in the hospital, birth center, at home or if a transport to the hospital becomes a reality. No matter if your plan is for a vaginal birth or planned c section.
Knowing what you want and don't want is just as important as knowing why you don't want those things.
Being able to make the decisions that are right for you during your birth gives the power back to you and lowers unneeded stress.
Ultimately.... You are a consumer of the services offered by the provider you hire.
As helpful as the tools offered to you are, they are more helpful when used in a helpful way, at a helpful time.
When you are deep in the middle of giving birth, being blindsided by words you don't know or procedures you have no idea what they actually do, can cause your labor to be more stressful or take longer.
Having this discussion about your birth plan before you go into labor gives your birthing partner the knowledge to say " what is your medical opinion and what evidence do you have to back up what your suggesting to do to my partner or baby".
Because they love you and that will be their job... and they will take good care of you... right partners?! :)
Being educated on your options gives you the ability to believe, trust or disagree with the information your care provider is giving you, because you already know what the risks and benefits of the procedure are. You know how you feel about having that done to you and can make an informed choice instead of a rushed or fear based decision.
You know you didn't pitocin, but the doctor is suggesting it because of what is happening in your labor.... During your birth plan session you learned that pitocin can easily be turned off if you don't want it anymore or if the baby does not handle it well, As opposed to other options which effects may not be as easily turned off or reversed if negative results occur. You know you don't want to use pitocin, but the doctor said a low dose could bring your contractions closer to bring your baby out. Not because he wants to rush your labor but because of x,y,z. By knowing how you feel about it, you can make an informed decision with the information given. Your doctor is suggesting it, but do you still want it or do you want to try any other things first or instead?
You also have the option to hire a doula to remind you what questions you can ask if you feel you need the extra support to help guide you. But even with a doula supporting you, the decisions are fully yours.
A birth plan is an important educational opportunity even if your preferences go completely out the window.
Finding ways to feel empowered and supported are never a waste of time!
There is nothing we want more then a mama to know her options and have the birth she wants while feeling supported in her decisions!
(Copy link and paste into your browser)
The link above is a free resource for you to learn what options you have and create the perfect birth plan just for you.
You also have the option to do a in home birth plan session with a doula (a service I offer as well) to go over your birth plan with you and get a more personalized look on additional things you may not know!
Please feel free to use our custom birth plan as a reference to your other plans, use it as your main birth plan or just skim through it and see what it is you may not know.
After you finish, you can print two copies. One for you to take with you to your prenatal appointment to look over it with your care provider and the other to take with you in your birth bag for when you go into labor.
Not only is a birth plan helpful in labor but it also opens up some important topics with your care provider prenatally that may not normally get discussed without some encouragement on your side.
Finding out how your care provider reacts to how you want to have your baby is a good sign of how they will be towards your decisions in labor. It's a good way to know if you may have to fight for your options in labor and if you are okay with having to fight during this vulnerable time.
You have lots of options during your birth. I hope these birth preferences will help you have a more empowered, educated and beautiful birthing experience.
Happy Birthing from Austin Womb Service!