There was a time not too long ago when women were wheeled into an operating room to deliver their babies under anesthesia. The doctor was in charge and there really wasn’t much communication regarding the mother’s wishes about the birthing process.
Fortunately, you don’t live in those times. Today, YOU the birthing mother is very much involved! Most midwives and OB’s want a written birth plan because it’s a tool in creating a safe and meaningful birth experience for a family.
Now, there are so many resources to assist a first-time expecting mom on how to write one. From a perusal of www.birthplan.com, these are issues that should be considered:
- LABOR PREFERENCES
- MONITORING PREFERENCES
- LABOR AUGMENTATION/INDUCTION
- ANESTHESIA/PAIN MEDICATION
- CESAREAN PREFERENCES
- EPISIOTOMY PREFERENCES
- DELIVERY PREFERENCES
- IMMEDIATELY AFTER DELIVERY
- CIRCUMCISION PREFERENCES
- PHOTO/VIDEO PREFERENCES
- OTHER MISCELLANEOUS REQUESTS
A quick online search on “birth plans” will yield over 880,000 results on Google! Wow! For me (yes, Practical Mommy), that’s might just be a little too much information.
I was lucky enough to avoid all of that legwork by working with Nancy Bardot, a DONA certified Doula. After the birth of my daughter my husband said, “I’ll never have a baby without Nancy!” So far, that’s true!
Her advice to me about developing a birth plan was what she tells all her clients, “Do your research and then think of the 3-4 things that you want to see happen on the first day of your child’s life.” Nancy was one of three full-time doulas at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri for ten years. She explains that more than a few items on a birth plan is overwhelming for everyone involved.
The modern birthing process includes not just the family but doctors and hospital staff. Their agendas are different than the families although not necessarily in conflict (safety and health of their patients are their priority). A woman that walks in with a four page birth plan runs the risk of being labeled as a”high maintenance” case, which can potentially sour the hospital staff.
Nancy says, “The bottom line is, you can’t control birth.”