I had mixed feelings about a birth ‘plan’ when it was first suggested by my doula. I knew that birth was an experience which would be, for the most part, out of my control and I didn’t want to set any expectations.
I of course had an idea of the type of birth I wanted. I had chosen to be cared for by a Midwife instead of an OB. I wanted to try for a drug free labour and delivery. And I wanted skin to skin as soon as the baby was born. But that was all I had committed to in my mind, knowing that even that could change.
My doula suggested I look at it more as a list of birth ‘preferences’ instead, which somehow made it more appealing.
My husband and I were almost immediately stumped by some of the questions that began to crop up during our ‘planning’. Things we hadn’t thought of or asked our midwife became apparent.
•Who should he go with if I had to go into surgery me or the baby?
•What did we want the room setting to be like?
•What kind of options where there for pain relief in the birthing centre, that were drug free?
•Did I want perineal massage? Was my husband or care provider going to do it?
•Could cord clamping be delayed?
•Could he and the baby room in?
In the end barely anything on the birth plan came to be because of my unique birth experience but it turns out it was an extremely helpful exercise to research our options with the hospital and care provider. It helped align our thoughts and actions if something unpredictable were to happen and made us feel stronger as a team stepping into these uncharted waters.
Here is a copy of what it ended up looking like. It was helpful for me to see an example when I started our preferences, so I share this with you in hope it might be helpful as well.