Birth planning- to plan or not to plan- that is the question.
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
When it comes to writing a birth plan a lot of people don't know where to begin.
What should I write? How should I write it? Use an online template? Hand write it? Will my midwife read it and and understand what's important to me? Will my preferences be respected and will I get the kind of birth I want.
I've lost count of the number of times women have said to me "'I'm not going to make a birth plan then I wont be disappointed" or "I'm just going to go with the flow..the midwives and doctors are the experts and they know what is best for me and my baby".
On the surface, going with the flow and having trust in your care givers to do the right thing sounds like a good plan, especially if it saves you the time writing out a birth plan, only to not have birth go according to this plan and then you feeling let down. It can almost be temping to think this way and hand your birth experience across to the 'professionals', right?
Even if you've done very little antenatal preparation for your birth I can guarantee you will have some idea of the types of birth experience you want, even if you don't realise it.
Since before you even got pregnant you have been subconsciously building up an picture of birth and new parenthood and what to expect.
We get our information about whats its like to give birth from so many places -TV, social media, friends and family etc. Since before you even got pregnant you have been subconsciously building up an picture of birth and new parenthood and what to expect. I can almost guarantee that the majority of that information has been around the negatives or the challenges this will bring.The pain of labour and birth, the things that could go wrong, the stitches afterwards, the sleepless nights etc etc. It can be hard for the women with positive stories of empowerment, satisfaction and transformation to have their voices heard over all that noise..
So how can you plan for a positive and empowering birth when you've never done it before? My advice is to focus on what a positive birth means to you and then research how to make it happen. You are the professional when it comes to you are your baby and only you know what positive birth means to you. Search out the positive stories and tune out from the negatives. Learn about the process of birth and how our bodies were designed to give birth. Understanding this can really help you feel confident about your own abilities and will help you realise that theres nothing to fear. Giving birth in a place that you feel safe in, surrounded by people who also understand about the process of birth and are dedicated to helping you achieve a positive birth, including birth partners and care givers, will give you the peace of mind that you need to focus on giving birth and not letting the doubts creep in.
“You've always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” – Glinda (The Good Witch), The Wizard of Oz.
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