First off, if you landed on this page chances are you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, a partner, or who knows maybe you are just curious. If you are currently growing a tiny human or expecting I would like to start with congratulations!
You have a lot of things going on in your head right now, you might be thinking about things like what you should name your baby. What car seat is going to be the safest. Whether you’re going to stay home or go back to work after having the baby.
Have you given any thought to how you want your labor and delivery experience to go? I am a strong believer in creating a birth plan, did I create one with my child? I did not, have I learned from that? Yes! Would all of my birth plan wish’s’ come true if I had one, in my case that is probably a hard no. However, had I planned for the dreaded unplanned cesarean section maybe I would have been able to see my baby afterwards, maybe I would have seen him within his first 4 days of his life, maybe I wouldn’t have the birth trauma I still carry with me to this day! If only I had educated myself, created a birth plan, I could have advocated for ME, and my baby! The truth is, I just didn’t know any better.
Not knowing any better is what has driven me to be a Doula, I don’t want any other Mamas to have to carry the heaviness of a bad birth experience with them throughout life. If this is your first child please don’t let this intro scare you, you’re already doing a better job than me just by being here!
A birth plan portrays your wishes and goals for before, during, and after labor and delivery. It is a way for you to describe what your ideal birth looks like. It is a great idea to get this out of the way early on, some things that are part of your ideal birth plan may not be possible where you are planning to deliver, it is better to know now rather than wait 4 weeks prior to your due date.
Just remember, you have options. You are in control. If your birthing place does not allow for certain things to happen you don’t have to deliver at that location! I recommend presenting this birth plan to your Dr. as soon as possible to make sure you both share the same ideas. If you’re delivering your baby in a hospital, I also highly recommend doing a tour of the Maternity Ward prior to going into labor. ASK QUESTIONS!!
A birth plan is not a must do or you’ve failed. Chances are good that your birth will be everything you planned for and more but there is also a chance that it won’t. It’s always best to plan for the things you aren’t planning to do. For example, you want a natural birth. But things don’t go as planned and you end up needing an emergency cesarean section. While being prepped for the OR is not the time for you to be prepping a new plan. So, prepare for it.
I have included instruction within this birth plan that states “in the event that I have to have a cesarean section I would still like as many of my birth plan wishes to be honored”. Don’t let them throw your plan completely out the window.
Make sure your Partner & Doula are aware and on board with your birth plan, they are your biggest advocates! A good birth plan should be flexible, childbirth is unpredictable and sometimes things don’t go as planned.
Reach out to me!
I encourage you to do your own research on some of the ideas listed on the what should I consider page. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me and ask. I may not know the answer right away, but I have the resources and will help in any way that I can. Best of luck to you and your family!
XOXO Heather Stanford CD(DONA),
Birth & Postpartum Doula
Heather Stanford is a Certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, photographer and videographer specializing in showcasing the unrefined moments of family life + unfiltered process of birth serving the Southern Tier, Fingerlakes, and Western New York regions.