Plan for Success
Lately, I see tons of talk on social media about birth plans being useless and every time I have to pause while my brain recalibrates because I cannot believe what I just read! Do you need a birth plan? It’s a yes for me! Here’s why, an appropriately planned birth can happen. “But Kyra! Birth is unpredictable”. Of course, it is! That doesn’t mean you don’t plan for it! Poor preparation leads to poor performance! Let’s discuss!
Birth plans are not concrete documents but fluid guidelines to help you along the way. Even for the most Laissez-faire birther, birth plan can insure that you are the captain of your ship. One thing I encourage my clients to do is pick something that they absolutely want, their non-negotiable. I tell them to pick something tangible. So even if their birth gets turned on its head, they can still get a thing they desired. Something to keep them feeling in control of the unexpected. Honestly, some well thought out request have come from this.
“I want a picture of the moment I meet my baby”
“I want to keep my necklace from my grandmother on or close”
“I want photos of my birth”
“I want my mom updated every hr.”
“I want to listen to this song as my baby comes into this world”
Each of those requests are things that can happen in almost any birth, even some of those that turn emergent. This exercise also opens the door to talk about the unexpected and make plans for those moments too. A well curated birth plan should be an opportunity to decide what’s important to you, what you’re interested in trying and what you absolutely do not want. It's ok to set expectations. It’s also ok to be fluid. Give it a try. Below are a few of the exercises I take my clients through when creating their birth plan.
· When you imagine the perfect birth who is there?
o If they cannot physically be there how can we represent or include them?
· What pain management techniques are you excited to try?
· Do you want photos of your labor? What moments would you like to capture?
· What do you see yourself doing in labor? Are you in the bed with an epidural? are you up moving through labor? is it a combination of the two?
· Have you thought about newborn procedures and medications? Would you like to have the golden hour first?
Those are just a few ways you can begin your journey to planning an amazing birth. Get a paper, write it down, believe in your birth. 99% of the time you are walking into a hospital to be received by a nurse you do not know, never met and will possibly be leaving during your labor. How do they know what your birth vision is? How do they know which way to use their expertise to help you achieve that vision? You could tell them between contractions and hope you don’t leave anything out, or you could have a well fleshed out birth plan to guide your conversation.
Ase’ and Amen
Kyra the Doula