I remember going into my first prenatal doctors appointment. I was 12 weeks and I asked my GP, ‘when should I start working on my birth plan’. You could tell she was holding back a smirk and responded, not anytime soon.
As my appointments went on the birth plan was always in the back of my mind. We started to get into weekly visits and she still hadn’t told me to start working on my plan and so I decided to be proactive and google how to create a birth plan.
I went through the steps and check marks and filled out the papers. I then sat my husband down and asked if I could discuss it with him so that he could manage it if I was in too much pain. As we went through the list I soon realized that every answer was the same, ‘I would prefer not to have a c-section but if the doctor says it’s the best option then we will do that’. ‘I don’t want an episiotomy but if the doctor says its the best option then I am ok with that.’ Every answer was if the doctor says that is best for baby and me then that is what we will do.
So at the end of the day we left the birth plan at home and just went to the hospital with an open mind. Having said that, I did find there were some positive takeaways from going through the steps of creating a birth plan that I want to share with you.
Ways having a birth plan helped prepare me for labour
1. It made me do the research
Before creating a birth plan I had no idea what an episiotomy was. As I went through the checklist I did some research so that I had as much information as possible and knew what could happen during labour. The birth plan gave me the gift of knowledge, which actually gave me confidence going into labour.
2. It taught me some new things
While doing research into a birth plan I learned the acronym B.R.A.I.N. This stands for Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, Nothing. While I knew if given a choice I wanted to do whatever the medical professional thought was best for baby and me – It was good to know that I had choices and gave me the information I needed to ask the right questions if I needed to.
3. Creating the plan helped me find ways to stay calm during labour
While filling out my birth plan they asked questions like do I want music playing or any candles burning – this helped me think of things I could do in the labour room that could help keep me calm during delivery.
4. It helped me ask my doctor the right questions
Filling out my birth plan online asked some questions I never even thought of or highlighted concerns that I had never heard of and so it gave me the right tools to be able to ask my doctor questions ahead of labour so thatI had all the answers and tools.
Like I have said in some of my other posts everyone’s pregnancy journey and birth are different and so having a birth plan ready to go might be right for you – for me the actual birth plan wasn’t necessary but it did help in other ways prepare me for birth.
But at the end of the day just remember you got this mommas