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Birth Plans... Do You Need One?

The short answer is 'no, not really'. But the long answer is that if you want to prepare your birth team in the best way possible to support you, your partner and your birth wishes, making a plan for everyone to see is key. Here are my five top reasons for doing just that!

  1. It gives you and your partner/support person a chance to connect on things that matter to both of you. Your partner may want to catch the baby, and you had no idea! Get these preferences out in the open and ON that paper, it's a great ice breaker for some important conversations.

  2. Allowing yourself time and research to figure out what you do actually want in your birth. You may not even know all of the options you have during your birth. Things like, no IV, intermittently monitoring, skin-to-skin time, delayed cord cutting, etc. etc. This is a great time to discuss with your doula what you may or may not want during your labor and birth, we can help you go through those pros and cons.

  3. It helps your doula connect with your birth plan in the moment & to help advocate for you. I can't speak to the medical staff on your behalf, but I CAN say, “Hey Olivia, your birth plan says you will not be pushing on your back - would you like to change positions now to prepare your body for optimal pushing?” This gives me an opportunity to recenter your birth team and bring them back to the idea that this is YOUR birth, no one else's.

  4. Sometimes in the moment, you are so overwhelmed both physically and emotionally with your labor that all of the ideas you had for your birth have been forgotten. A birth plan allows your nurses, providers, doula and your partner to remember your wishes.

  5. This is a great time to also have the conversation on what you and your partner/support person will do if your birth plan gets “derailed”. This doesn't have to be as drastic as having a cesarean when you planned for a vaginal, but it could be a change in monitoring, a constant IV, a delayed skin-to-skin, etc. Sometimes we don't even want to think about what could happen IF our plan doesn't come to fruition, but in birth, it happens and it's necessary to try and process what you may be feeling if it does. Recognizing that ahead of time is a good way to prepare yourself and help your team (partner/spouse/doula) how they can best support you if something is off.

One last reason I really love one... is if I have to call my backup in for any reason, I love to just be able to hand them off a birth plan and they are INSTANTLY clued in to your wishes; it really is your blueprint to your ideal birth.

Need some guidance crafting one? Let's chat! Fill out the contact form on my website and we'll move forward from there!

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