Birth plans: what’s the point?
Birth plans. Total bullshit right? No point in planning for something you have no control over. Your midwife wont bother reading it anyway. Julie next door made one but she said her birth didn’t go to plan anyway.
When you are pregnant, I promise you, you will hear this from all angles. How utterly pointless it is to plan for birth.
I’m going to let you into a secret.
It ISN’T about writing a 4 page essay listing in descriptive detail exactly what you want your birth to be like, although that can be valuable.
It ISN’T a waste of time.
It ISN’T about defying medical advice and insisting on a “perfect” birth.
Birth plans: its all about the process
In order to write a birth plan, you’ve got to know what options are available to you. You’ve got to have conversations with the people that are part of your birthing team. You’ve got to get educated.
Enter BirthCalm stage left. The driving force behind us beginning to create BirthCalm was to lay out those options. Start those conversations. Provide you with the evidence, the science and as much education as I can cram into a 5 hour session together. With all this understanding you’ll be in the best place to make a plan, and to make decisions based on understanding in response to the unpredictable twists and turns of birth.
Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with burying your head in the sand. Nobody will force you to write a birth plan if you don’t want to read up about birth, and prefer to let health care providers take over your choices. However, I’d hazard a guess that this comes from a place of fear.
Quell the fear of the unknown
Long before I knew anything about affirmations, my mum had a sign up in our family home saying “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. It used to make teenage Holly cringe internally. Oh how far I’ve come!
Fear is real. It is all consuming, and crippling. Fear is a protective emotion the makes you want to hide and run away. It gets your blood pumping, and floods your body with adrenaline making you tense all your muscles ready to flee from danger. Fear and birth make for a pretty miserable, unempowered experience.
There is another way. Find out about birth, about your choices, consider what you’d want in different scenarios. Use you birth plan to explore what’s important to you, and what you really don’t care about at all.
Positive birth, not perfect birth
The main things that are conducive to a positive birth experience; and please note that I mean POSITIVE, not perfect; are consent, confidence and choice. Feeling confident that your body knows what it’s doing. That you know what it will be doing. If your mucus plug takes you by surprise then you’re in for a fair few more along the way. Feeling confident that you know the choices available to you, like where you can choose to give birth. The pain relief options; what are they, would you like everything, nothing, or somewhere in between? Pop it in your birth plan, along with your reasoning, so when the time comes you remember your plan but can adapt in line with your reasoning.
Find out what an induction actually entails, and when you might be offered one. Who you can have with you? Who do you want with you? What positions you can get yourself into to feel most comfortable? Note in your birth plan if you’d like to be reminded of positions to try in case you forget…you might be distracted by, you know, giving birth. There’s lots you can’t control, sure; but so, so much that you can.
We’ve called the workshop “choices” because that is exactly what we want to lay out for you, in black and white. Just how much choice you have available to you; no matter what kind of birth you are hoping for.
Consent. Confidence. Choice.
Now you tell me that planning for birth is a pointless task?!
Whilst you wait for BirthCalm to be released find out more about birth in our Knowledge hub
About Holly Heather
Holly Heather is a self proclaimed oversharer, proud single mother of two daughters and teacher of all things pregnancy, birth, baby and beyond. She lives and teaches in West Sussex and you can find more of her adventures in parenting on Facebook as Holly Heather- Growing Humans.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in