Birth Plan: A doula’s perspective

You’re pregnant, and you may have heard about writing a birth plan; maybe you already have one drafted. Let’s talk about your typical birth plan and it’s benefits. I’m going to share with you 3 tips to consider when creating your birth plan below, but more importantly what else to consider because true preparation for the unknown of birth requires something more.

“The power of a typical birth plan is not the plan, but in becoming educated on your choices.”

Hilery Lyen

Side note before we get started on the top 3 birth plan tips. Birth plans are not bad, I think they serve a purpose which you’ll see in the tips below. But, a traditional birth plan does not reflect your core values and the actual experience you would like to have. What I have found is that most women’s true intentions for birth are much deeper than “outcomes.” Most of those intentions are rooted in the minute to minute experience she’s having. How she wants to be, respond, and feel during labor. Have coping techniques for the sensations she’s feeling and how she wants to be treated by the people supporting her. If you’re saying “YES, that’s exactly what I want!” then I invite you to join me for a FREE Birth Wisdom Masterplan (Wombshop) where I will show you exactly how to impact your preparation for birth in a mindful, holistic way.

Tip #1. Gain knowledge about what options you have, because if you don’t know all of your options, you don’t have any. 

Your typical birth plan is a powerful tool that helps to explore your options and choices for birth. For example: Home or Hospital birth. The many options for spontaneous labor, using low interventions, high interventions, induction, cesarean, also including options for natural labor or pain medications. Gain knowledge & awareness of your options for birth, including who you want to attend your birth, how, and where you want to birth. After you have written your birth plan, use it during your prenatal visits. Have an open conversation with your care provider about these options, their common procedures in labor, along with your preferences for the birth experience you would like to have.

Birth plans help you stimulate conversations with your care provider about your preferences in labor & allow you to feel heard and respected. They help us shift away from the mentality of “doctor knows best,” and, indeed, from the notion that birth is a medical process. The increasingly popular practice of creating a birth plan may signal that women are taking back birth and owning the experience they wish to have.

Tip #2 Birth rarely goes according to plan, be flexible.

A Birth Plan is attached to a specific “outcome.” Many of the typical birth plans you see in books or on the internet are simply checklists of medical procedures you do or don’t want. Pro doula tip: Create a one-pager birth plan that is clear and positively points out what you would like vs. what you don’t want. For example: I would like freedom of movement instead of saying I don’t want to stay in bed.

What if things don’t go according to plan? 

While outcomes help us keep our eye on the prize, we need more than just a birth plan, because birth hardly ever follows a predictable, controlled plan.

Mother Nature has a way of finding any rigid ideas one may have about birth and giving a lesson in “letting go.” For this reason, flexibility is an important aspect in navigating your way to a positive experience.

As much as we want to plan, predict, control, and obsess over all the details of what could happen, flexibility is an important aspect in navigating your way to a positive experience.

There is this place in between the plan and how you actually give birth minute to minute, hour by hour. That’s the place I focus on as a doula & childbirth educator. If you’d like to know more, I’d love for you to join me on August 4th @ 6pm MST for a FREE Birth Wisdom Masterplan (Wombshop).

Tip #3 Besides a birth plan, what else should I consider?

Birth plans are not bad, in fact, I use them as a tool with a lot of my pregnant families, but a traditional birth plan does not reflect your core values, the strategy you’ll use for painful contractions and most of all, the true experience you desire.

While feeling informed is important, true preparation for the unknown of birth requires something more. 

A living, breathing Birth Masterplan. By developing strategies for making it happen you can utilize and hold this framework central so that you enter into labor & birth with the CONFIDENCE in your OWN resilience, knowing that you have the ability to Birth like a Warrior! 

You can sign up here for my FREE Birth Wisdom Masterplan happening August 4, 2021 @ 6pm MST

I have found it to be most beneficial to pregnant parents-to-be because the Birth Wisdom Masterplan illuminates your values, gives you the skills to face your fears in labor, and empowers you to make informed choices for your family’s medical care even in the most intense moments. It’s so much more than just checklists of medical procedures you do or don’t want. It’s a living, breathing Birth Masterplan!

I hope to see you on August 4th!

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