Do you need a birth plan?
This is controversial....I've heard people say that a birth never goes according to plan so why bother?
BUT a birth plan is not a instruction set of how things will unfold, but a list of your wishes and vision for your birth.
A birth plan is the opportunity to take the time to think about and talk with your support team about things that are important to you. It's the opportunity to decide beforehand about all the choices that may come up during your babies birth. This can
help you feel more confident and comfortable about what's to come and less stressed about all the decisions you may have to make during labor.
I can't tell you the number of times I've heard families say "Well, things were certainly different than we had envisioned but we didn't feel lost because we had talked about these things and we knew how each other felt about xyz."
If you don't take the time to think about these things you may later feel regret that you made a decision without knowing enough about your choices.
So the top tips to writing one are....
1. Write one!
2. Keep it short and to the point.
3. Research the standards at your birth place and focus on things that you wish to do differently than the standards.
4. Research the standards and common practices of your care provider (which may be different than your birth place).
5. Include anything out of the ordinary such as religious or cultural practices.
6. Keep your wording positive.
7. If you are planning a home birth or birth center write a seperate birth plan for the hospital in case of a transfer.
8. Discuss your birth plan with your care provider and any other support people (family, doula, friends).
9. Make copies and share with everyone who will be there at your birth (family, doula, nurses, doctors, midwives).
10. Write your own birth plan, don't use a pre-printed form or checkbox (use them as a guide) but often the pre-printed forms include EVERYTHING which is a good place to start but you don't need to include EVERYTHING-focus on #2 above.
Need help writing your birth plan? Contact us at Flagstaff Doulas http://www.flagstaffchildbirth.com for guidance, help with knowing the standards at your birth place and examples of choices to consider for birthing at Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff Birth and Women's Center or at your home.