Do I need a birth plan?
I usually encounter the phrase “birth plan” in one of two scenarios……
The first being a patient at a routine prenatal visit asking if she should have a birth plan.
The second on labor and delivery as the nurse comes out of the room, typically with some typed out, multi-page document in hand; rolling her eyes, and letting out a HUGE sigh, stating in angst: “SHE HAS A BIRTH PLAN”!!!!!
The running superstition on labor and delivery is: THE LONGER THE BIRTH PLAN, the more likely we are to end up with everything OTHER than what is on said birth plan!
Whenever I see them, or even hear mention of them, I smile……..I, along with most labor and delivery units, are more than happy and willing to honor them as long as they don’t compromise your care or the health of baby.
Remember, THIS IS ALL ABOUT YOU!!!! If you feel you need a birth plan, have a birth plan……
So just what exactly is a birth plan?!?!?
A birth plan is WHATEVER you want it to be. There are no rules……it pretty much sums up what your expectations are during your labor and delivery process….
REMEMBER, this is a process.
ALSO, please keep in mind that what you EXPECT doesn’t always translate into WHAT WILL ACTUALLY TRANSPIRE……Labor is, after all, unpredictable.
Folks oft times will include things such as how many people they want in the room, what they expect for pain management (epidural vs no epidural…iv pain meds vs going au natural), whether or not they want continuous vs intermittent monitoring, delayed cord cutting vs immediate cord clamping and cutting, immediately putting baby to breast vs getting baby cleaned up prior to being given to mom………
Some will request certain music be played, laboring in certain positions….some will want to limit the number of vaginal exams……..
As you can see, YOU CAN INCLUDE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING in your birth plan.
Most of my patients don’t have birth plans as they have already been an integral part of their prenatal care and an active part of the decision making process thus far.
HOWEVER, if you do decide to have a birth plan, remember to grant yourself some FLEXIBILITY, as at times birth plans can go “right out the window” once you’re in “the throws” of labor.
As Wendy Williams always says, “a girl’s allowed to change her mind”(smile).
Hoping this blog post adds value to your day!
Until next time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.