Birth plan or no birth plan?
If I do write one, how much detail should I include?
What considerations should I make to make this my own?
Today, I decided that yes I am writing a birth plan. My reasoning is better safe than sorry… and that I like to have visual and/or tactile means of keeping myself focused and organized. I laugh a bit as I type that, as something tells me that labour will likely be anything but organized….unless you count baby being inside and then baby as born as “organized”.
Why was I considering writing one?
- There are some things I don’t think will be in the forefront of my mind once labour hits but I want to make sure have been expressed for my own well-being.
- After talking with my Doctor a couple of appointments ago, I learned that I could make a broad birth plan and include only what I feel is helpful for me.
So, why did I decide to actually do it today?
I had an appointment today with my Doctor (39w5d) and we discussed the potential of induction, although this is not inevitable. This followed my exam, in which we determined that the baby is quite content and that I am not yet dilating or effacing. Although I understand that this finding does not increase the likelihood I will end up having an induction; it did make me really think about the recommendation of my prenatal course instructor to consider all delivery possibilities (i.e., desired and otherwise, or in my case, vaginal (natural or induced) and planned or emergency c-section).
Personally, keeping the ongoing conversation with my Doctor open to a labour experience that I do not feel can be predicted helped me to see that I could create a birth plan that honours my thinking while creating an opportunity to plan for things that can usually be anticipated.
So the things I chose to write down pertain more to my broad intentions (e.g., re: pain management), considerations for the possibility of c-section or emergency c-section and then to post-delivery (e.g., skin-to-skin contact, etc.).
I feel happy with my birth plan. An additional benefit was that Matthew and I got to review and discuss what we both think are important considerations and talk through what a broad and flexible birth plan might look like on labour day.