You’ve probably (hopefully) been told at some point that you should write a birth plan…. Yet, so many women don’t do this… some women believe it’s best to go with the flow, other women are told birth plans aren’t worth the paper they’re written on and other women just don’t see it as important.
I believe the cornerstone of a good birth is your birth plans when they’ve been well thought out.
Plans not plan
It’s vital in your plans that your plan out for all scenarios – so plan your ideal scenario but also plan out what you would do in various situations.
Your plans should cover all the various scenarios.
Tell me why?
1. Higher birth satisfaction
Research found that women who created their own birth plans reported much higher satisfaction with their birth than those who didn’t. This is definitely something I’ve seen again and again – and that’s partly because everything has been thought through. Very little is left to chance. And being able to consider all options and making DECISIONS before the day means you are a very active participant in your birth even if on the day you’re fully focussed on your birth.
2. Part of your antenatal education
Spending time researching your birth choices mean that you start your birth feeling informed and educated – it’s part of your antenatal education. Spend time finding out:
- why environment is important to you,
- how the hormones of labour work,
- the pain relief options
- about all the various interventions and why you might or might not need them,
- what is the third stage,
- skin to skin
- and so much more….
These (and more) are covered in the Birth Bundle.
What I so often here is “I wasn’t prepared that I might need to have a caesarean”. Almost 1 in 3 women end up having a caesarean birth currently in the UK – this has been steadily increasing with the number of women who are induced/augmented in labour. It really is up to you to research what the effect is of all interventions in labour (which is covered in 101 Questions About Birth – available as part of the Resources Bundle). These are not covered in your standard NHS (or most other) antenatal classes.
3. All scenarios are covered
By considering all scenarios that might present themselves on the day, it will mean that you have made your decisions before the day.
I recently had a client I worked with post birth. She found it very challenging when she went in during labour to be asked what her choices were. She was asked if she wanted to go to the birth centre or labour ward… she hadn’t even thought about it… and then when she was asked what she wanted to do for pain relief – she had presumed that the midwives would have TOLD her what to do. Quite rightly, the midwives asked her what she wanted. She had never researched her place of birth or considered any pain relief options at all.
The effect of this kind of decision making in labour can really startle and ruin a perfectly good birth as it can bring in anxiety and stress. Both of which disrupt the natural and helpful hormones in labour which help you to manage pain in childbirth (have you watched the Pain and Childbirth mini-series?).
4. Communication tool
They are really helpful document for your birth partner(s) and midwives and other health care professionals as it really helps to specify what your choices are in black and white. There’s no ambiguity especially when you’re in the midst of labour. It’s worth speaking to your birth partners and health care professionals beforehand and explaining to them your choices.
5. Confidence overload
When you’ve educated yourself, planned for everything, your birth partners know what you want – you are going to go into that birth absolutely confident and self-assured. And the result of the confidence… an amazing birth experience regardless of how your birth pans out as you’ve made the decisions all the way through.
If you’d like support with your birth plans – then head over to the Academy and register for our FREE online course for Birth Plans.
It’s time for you to have an amazing birth.
Much love, Tricia xxx