Where to begin?
A birth plan is a written summary of your preferences for labour and birth. It outlines your goals, wants and how you would like to be supported by your care provider. It is something that we discuss in great detail in our Hypnobirthing Positive Birth programs, so that women and birthing people and their birth partners come away feeling empowered and excited for their birthing journey.
Whilst many believe birth plans are a one-way ticket to disappointment due to the unpredictability of labour and birth, we believe they are just the opposite.
This is your opportunity to take back your birth and write your own birthing story. If created with knowledge and understanding, flexibility and clear communication with your care provider, birth plans allow parents to remain in their power, and encourage doctors and midwives to maintain open communication lines with you so that you can all work together as a team!
A birth plan should detail what is important to YOU.
Each preference will be carefully researched, understood and decided upon. It is not a list of preferences you found on the internet because they sounded like a good idea!
Be specific when you need to be and create a plan that allows you to be prepared for whatever pathway your birthing journey takes. Studies show that feeling informed and maintaining a sense of power and control over the events of labour is what leads to maternal satisfaction no matter the pathway your birthing journey takes.
So, think about the words you use and the openness and flexibility of your plan.
If you write:
“I want to have a normal vaginal delivery with no intervention,” it has an underlying tone of inflexibility, and an unwillingness to cooperate and communicate with your care provider. It is also unclear of what you truly want and of the care they can provide to you. How do you want to be supported so they can help to facilitate this outcome? Can they still listen to baby’s heart rate?
What would happen if we reworded it like this:
“If possible, my goal is to have a vaginal birth with minimal intervention. To help facilitate this, I’d like you to help keep my birthing environment calm & dimly lit. I’d like your support to mobilise and help me to utilise water whether it be in the shower or the bath where possible”
This not only opens up communication lines between you and your care provider but shows that you are well informed.
Having a plan that discusses the openness to the varying pathways your birthing journey might take also shows to your care providers that you are open to discussions and listening to their concerns and any changes they might like to make to the provision of your care due to evolving situations. This does NOT mean you are ready and willing to consent to anything and everything straight up and they should not expect this of you either but to know that you have an open and flexible line of communication is the key to success and a positive and empowering birth experience.
Still not sure where to start?
Read on for a few of Little Bird Flies tips and tricks to creating a birth plan that’s right for you!
“To our midwives/obstetrician,
Thankyou for being apart of our journey, we look forward to working with you and trust that you will help us to attain a positive, healthy and empowering birth experience.”
“We have outlined our preferences below, and want you to know that should special circumstances arise we are open to your guidance and working together to facilitate the safe arrival of our baby.”
SO, WHAT MIGHT YOU COVER ON YOUR BIRTH PLAN?
The Birth Environment:
Pain Relief options:
WHAT IF INTERVENTIONS ARE BEING PROPOSED?
If special circumstances arise:
Caesarean Section Preferences to think about:
DO YOUR RESEARCH:
If you still have some questions, feel free to give us a call at Little Bird Flies, and we can discuss our range of courses that cater to any schedule and any learning pace. We offer hypnobirthing classes in Melbourne.And you can take online classes from anywhere in Australia – Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville,Darwin, Perth, Adelaide,Hobart, Central Coast, Geelong, Newcastle and Canberra