What is a birth plan?
Do I need one is it essential if you want to avoid routine procedures? The answer is yes.
Unfortunately due to the use of the active management of labour model in most major hospital in Europe and the US.
Writing a birth plan is in some ways like planning a holiday or any other big event, it's all about planning and knowing what to expect. You first need to know where it is that you want to go, followed by how you were going to get there and the things that you will need whilst you were there and what you plan to do whilst on holiday.
Unfortunately while making a birth plan does not mean that this is necessarily going to go exactly according to how you would like it to go since this is out of our control we can at the very least prepare for every eventuality. If your best friend told you not to make a wedding plan and told you to just go with the flow how would you respond? You wouldn't just make no plans at all because you can't control the weather but you would make it contingency plan. Rather a plan for every eventuality. You can't control the weather but if you've chosen at hotel without the option of moving the reception inside then you have a very different experience and most likely a very disappointing one. While this might not be the best example we must understand that while we can't control everything in birth you can explore all your options so you are the one in the driver's seat. To remind you that there is a lot that you can control. You're asking questions and hopefully getting the answers you want there that are in line with your dream wedding/birth.
As a part of HypnoBirthing some circumstances require the same commitment and attention. So what is a birth plan? That depends on you and your partner. Exactly how involved do you want to be regarding decisions being made about your care in hospital and how motivated are you to have a natural birth. Some women prefer to go completely with the flow and that hopefully everything will turn out fine and others want to be involved and included in any decisions that may affect them or their baby. Of course there are where circumstances but referring to the medical expert is necessary but considering that almost 90% of women have straightforward pregnancies and births it is unlikely that this will be the case for you. The key word here is involved and in the context of Labour you could define that as having a curious attitude about routines offerings at your hospital.
In some hospitals it means policies have been implemented involving routine procedures to help speed things up and move you through the system as quickly as possible, think of a factory conveyor belt the quicker we can get a woman in and out the quicker the next one can come in.
Think of your birth plan as your birth preferences, First priorities or an expression of your expectations. Even if you never write it down it's a good discussion starter with your midwife or doctor on how you would like to be supported during your baby's birth although I would always recommend them having written down since you might not remember them in the moment.
Chances are you will never have met your midwife before so it helps her to understand what's important to you. Keep your preferences flexible depending on what's going on during your baby's birth. Sometimes it can just help you to get your thoughts organised about what you would like and not like ahead of time and understand what you are likely to be offered at your hospital.
You also have a chance ahead of time to consider what your options are if things don't go as planned. This often give couples a sense of relief that they know they can handle whatever comes their way during the birth of their baby. Some mum's shy away from writing their birth preferences especially if they have the mistaken belief that it's going to guarantee that specific things will or won't happen during labour we know that babies don't read birth plans. It's not the birth plan itself that can cause disappointment in labour but your expectations and motivations for creating it. I sometimes hear mum say" as soon as I got to the hospital with the birth plan went out the window" in this instance my first thought is well you've done your homework and now you understand the offerings at your hospital in managing your labour then this is highly unlikely to happen as you when your partner and making all of the decisions for the input from the doctor or midwife and not the other way round.
Check out my downloadable Birth preferences for both vaginal and gentle cesarean births in this link just here: https://www.birth-baby-beyond.ie/courses