On our pregnancy forms we always ask if you’d like help writing a birth plan, yes or no? Every time a birth plan is mentioned I get the “ oh yes I loved help” or “I already have one”, which is great! But I also get the “oh that’s pointless because it’s never going to go like you plan”. I completely understand having that pre-conception that nothing is going to go as planned so why be prepared anyway. That being said I still think there should be some kind of plan, just even if it were just for you and your husband.
When you are pregnant there are so many things to think about besides having a healthy baby. Do you want a hospital, home or birth center birth? Ob-gyn or midwife? Doula? Classes? Vaginal or C-section? Positions? Clamp the cord or not? Routine antibiotic ointment, vitamin K and vaccines or no? Baby in room? Skin to skin before bath? Breastfeeding? Just so much to think about that making a birth plan just helps to organize your thoughts and prepares you for when you’re in labor and the last thing you want to do is answer questions. That’s another great thing about having a birth plan, this will let everyone on your birth team know what you do want or not.
Looking back at our birth plan from 3 years ago was quite eye opening. For one I’ve learned so much since then, there were things I wish I had on there. Secondly, things definitely did not go according to plan, and that’s OK too. It took me awhile to get over that because we had prepared so much for a natural vaginal birth, having a C-section in the end was heart breaking. But I have to come to terms that Evie was born the way she needed to be born and there was not much in my control. It was all God’s plan and intention.
We used a digital birth plan that was a great visual you can find here. If there were one thing I would add to it was a gentle C-section plan. I was so gung ho about having a vaginal birth that I was completely unprepared for the C-section I had, emotionally and just options wise. I would have added something along the lines of this: (which will be in the plan for baby #2)
Gentle C-Section Plan
No screen between mom and OB
Husband will remain with mom at all times
No pulling on baby’s neck, please assist if needed from underarms
Thermal/space blanket for mom
Immediate skin to skin with mom (while being stitched up)
Allow baby to latch onto mom’s breast (while being stitched up)
Husband will remain with baby during check up and bath while mom is in recovery
Baby will return back to room with Husband and remain in room
I’m sure there’s more to add but this would be the basis of it. I just remember so much fear and just not being ready, I wouldn’t want that again. I was fortunate that I got most of these request during my C-section. At the end of the day a healthy baby is always the goal, but having a birth plan will only make your experience better. I would have no idea where to even begin with a birth plan had it not been for Tania and her Bradley Method class. I hope this is helpful and will at least give you a start!