I’m a planner. I always have been, and always will be. A lot of it plays into my desire to be in control.
Giving birth was no different. I was confident I could convince my body to not give birth until after spring break so that I could coordinate Aiden’s arrival around the school calendar. I was even more confident that I would not give birth to Lillian until after my Babes returned from a work trip, haha. Thankfully Lillian came before Daddy left for his trip.
I discovered very quickly that I couldn’t control the details of when I would give birth (or anything about the labor process.) Buuuuut I found it beneficial to have a birth plan drafted up so I and my midwife would be on the same page.
Here’s a list of questions to help you think through when drafting up a birth plan:
Who? Who do you want present during the labor process, and when you deliver your baby? Do you want a doula? Family members? I personally wanted my amazing birth coach-my husband- and my midwife. That’s it. I knew I needed to be in the zone and didn’t want a lot of bodies in the room.
What? What do you want or not want to use while in labor? Yes or no to pitocin, epidural, fetal monitor, IV? What do you want immediately after giving birth? Delayed cord clamping, skin to skin with baby, etc.
When? When do you need to contact your midwife/doctor? When do you need to head to the hospital/birth center? These are important questions to ask your health care provider as your due date gets closer.
Where? Where do you want to give birth? In a tub, on the bed, on a birth stool? I was determined to labor and give birth to my first in the birthing pool, and I did. With my second, I couldn’t have gotten off the bed to transition to the pool if I wanted to.
Why? Why should you draft up a birth plan? In the heat of labor it be easy to make decisions based on your emotions. This tool is a way to communicate with the people on your birth team how you desire your birth process to play out.
How? How active do you want to be in labor? Communicate that you want to move around, or have freedom to try different positions. How dark or light do you want the room? How loud or quiet?
I would suggest having your easy-to-read birth plan drafted up by 36 weeks in your pregnancy and share it with your birth team.
I found this resource to be helpful as it uses pictures to communicate your birth preferences.
The key word in “Birth Plan” is plan. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, as I went into labor at 38 weeks with my son, and 36.5 weeks with my daughter. Once you make your draft, take some time to surrender your expectations and desires. Trust that the One Who created your baby has got great plans for you and your baby!
What was in your birth plan, Mama?