Birth plans. To create one or not to create one. That is the question.
It's not a rigid laundry list of items to cross off. No, not at all! Creating your birth plan is much more. It's about the preparation and the foreknowledge. This is a time to learn all of your option, research evidence-based information to help you make your decisions, and decide what is best for you and your family. This is a time to mentally walk through your labor, birth, and immediate postpartum and decide what you want it to look like. This is a starting point to prepare. After you decide, go back and re-decide, and maybe go back again after more research and thinking... Use your BRAIN (benefit, risk, alternatives, intuition, nothing) analysis. You get to start preparing and practicing. This is labor, birth, and beyond. You don't want to practice while you're running a 5K, you want to train and prepare. Now that you have your birth plan created, this is the time to work with your doula and learn what it's going to take, practice labor, and practice techniques with your doula and support person(s), should you have one.
What if I'm afraid that everything will go awry if I started planning my birth to be a certain way?
Isn't this setting me up to be disappointed if things don't go the way I plan?
These, and many other questions are very valid and have very real feelings and concerns behind them. Again, creating a birth plan is not a laundry list. This is the opportunity to become fully informed of all of your options. Meaning that if birth is taking a few turns you weren't anticipating, you are still ready for what is happening and able to make informed decisions that are best for you and baby. You are able to reassess your birth using your BRAIN (benefit, risk, analysis, intuition, and nothing) analysis and all of the information you've prepared with to make the next decision for your birth without feeling pressured and ill-informed and ill-prepared.
You are included. You have a voice. You are informed. You are empowered. You are supported.
Birth is a labyrinth and there are many paths to my baby. Being prepared with a birthplan helps you navigate your way through your birth labyrinth while being informed and empowered.
Founder of Transcend Maternal Services, Wife, Mommy, Homeschooling Momma, and Doula!