If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you’ve likely done at least a little research and know how important a birth plan can be. Devising a comprehensive birth plan is a great way for you and your partner to communicate your wishes to any doctors, nurses or midwives who will care for you during labor and delivery.
It might seem overwhelming at first, but informing your health care provider of your plan from the very beginning is one of the best ways to ensure a positive birthing experience for everyone involved. Researching the various options you will have in the delivery room will help you gain a better understanding of the entire process and ease any anxiety you might have.
When Things Don’t Go According to Plan
When developing a birth plan, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some things you will not be able to control during labor and delivery. For example, some options may not be available to you if you are considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. Maternal-fetal specialists like Dr. Gilbert Webb would advise you on what kind of birthing options are available on a case-by-case basis. That doesn’t mean you have nothing to gain by devising one, though. Any woman can benefit from developing a preferred birth plan.
The best birth plans allow some flexibility for everyone involved because emergencies can and do happen; however, entering the delivery room with a plan in writing can ease your mind during labor.,. It’s hard to gauge exactly how you’re going to feel during labor until you’re actually going through it, and you may change your mind about certain aspects, but you will not regret coming up with the plan in the first place.
No Decision Too Small
A birth plan can be as simple or as detailed as you like. There’s no decision too small when it comes to determining how you want your baby to enter this world. Some couples stress about formulating a plan and don’t even know where to begin. Though the actual birthing process is hard to control because neither you nor your doctor can predict exactly how your delivery will go, there are lots of elements leading up to delivery that you can control.
A good starting point is deciding when in the labor process you want to go to the hospital. Your doctor or midwife will have some valuable insight on the matter, but it ultimately comes down to whatever makes you most comfortable. Once you get to the hospital, you may want to personalize the atmosphere, which can also be part of your birth plan. Do you want to bring your own soothing music? How about soft lighting or comforting objects? If there is something you know you’re going to want once you get to the hospital, be sure to pack it in your bag long before you go into labor.
Managing labor pain is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make when it comes to the birth plan. This is where flexibility matters because women often change their minds one way or another once they’re in the delivery room.
Let Your Partner Play a Role
It can be hard to put your foot down, especially when it comes to pushy in-laws or close friends, but if you don’t want any visitors in the delivery room, it’s okay to say so. Even if you have the final say over everything in your birth plan, though, you should consider your partner’s feelings whenever you can. Does he or she want to cut the cord? Or maybe hold the baby while doctors clean you up? These are questions you should address with your partner before going into labor.
Devising a birth plan might seem overwhelming, but it can also be exciting. You and your partner are about to welcome new life into the world, and discussing all the details beforehand is a great way to ensure you do so in a stress-free environment.