Women we’ve connected with have shared differing opinions on having a Birth Plan. We’ve heard the enthusiastic, “Yes, having a birth plan was immensely helpful!” to the discouraged “Don’t even bother with a birth plan, birth doesn’t go as planned”.
While we agree — birth doesn’t always turn out as we initially plan — we still feel like a lot of thought should go into approaching this life changing experience. Information and preparation are powerful tools to help you navigate the unknown path of a birth. It’ll give you the confidence you’re making decisions that feel best for you and your family.
Mama’s Bump Squad 2.5 member, Megan, shares her perspective on this topic:
I personally feel that a birth plan is a HUGE part of preparedness, throughout pregnancy and going into birth. One huge misconception of birth plans is that “there’s no point in making one” since anything can happen during birth and you don’t want to be disappointed if it doesn’t go according to plan. However, the real purpose of a birth plan is to inform yourself of your OPTIONS and highlight your preferences, that you can then discuss with your birth partner and OB/midwife/doula. It helps to build confidence and eliminate some of the fears of the unknown. I have numerous friends who felt they were pressured to make decisions during their labor because they “didn’t know better” until afterward. A plan ensures you’re equipped with knowledge, so when your doctor makes a recommendation, you’re able to question their decision and perhaps offer alternatives.
I love Earth Mama’s (FREE) Birth Plan since it offers several options for different scenarios.
My team this go around will include my husband and midwife. My hubby was an incredible support person for the birth of our first daughter, so I have no doubts he’ll pull through again this time. He’s confident, supportive, and patient — all qualities I think are crucial for a support person to have. We had a birth plan with my daughter, and several of the items didn’t “go as planned”; however, I was confident going into that birth, and now I know which items are non-negotiable for us. It actually gets me really excited to sit down to consider birth plan #2.
For example, six days after my daughter’s due date, although it wasn’t part of my plan to be induced with medication, (we tried more natural techniques and it just wasn’t happening) my husband and I agreed to an induction. I was steadfast on my decision not receive pain medication and this was something we reviewed with my nurses beforehand as we were discussing my birth plan. They didn’t even ask so I was never faced with the decision during a time I was most vulnerable.
I was also able to
labor as my body told me to, whether that was on or off the bed. I felt free to
move about unrestricted. This was crucial for me and something
I had discussed with my OB early on. Her support allowed me to design my birth
plan, and begin to visualize my daughter’s birth.
Visualization is a powerful tool!
My birth plan included little things I preferred for after her birth, like immediate skin-to-skin and delayed cord clamping. Well, those little things became some of my fondest memories from that day. She was placed on my chest, seconds after coming into this world, and not moved for over two hours. My daughter was able to feel my warmth, feed from my breasts, and just relax, as she and I both had been through an incredible physical feat.
It wasn’t until after that special bonding time, with me and her dad, when I felt that she was comfortable in her new surroundings to venture onto the scale. She shocked us all by weighing in at over ten pounds! That made for a good laugh from everyone in the room.
So, do I think making a birth plan is worth your time? Yes, yes, a million times yes!”
You can read Megan’s full birth story here.
Expecting? We’d love for you to consider browsing Earth Mama’s Birth Plan. It’s a free template that helps you ask the birth-preparedness questions, so that you’re better informed about your options.
It’s an empowering move. Think about it: taking the time to thoughtfully consider areas of concern helps prepare you for better communication during this big day.So go on and empower yourself! And know this: we believe in you — and believe in your right to know your options.