To plan or not to plan? Earnest mom says PLAN!
Okay – so I have to admit, a year and a half ago while chatting with my sis-in-love about her delivery she said the mysterious words “birth plan.” And my earnest brain thought, “pfft, I planned on having a birth so I had a birth plan right?!”…guess not. If you are just as mystified as I was, I will earnestly try to help!
A birth plan is something that you write out BEFORE you go into labor, you then make copies and give it to your practitioner, partner, hospital when you register and anyone else that will be supporting you while you experience the delivery of your child. The purpose of having a birth plan is so when you are in the middle of such a life changing event you will not have to be bombarded with questions like – if you want aromatherapy, or music, would you like a birthing ball or an epidural, etc. It may not seem like a big deal now but when you are in the middle of a contraction or the doctor is checking dilation – trust me when I say the last thing you want to be doing is making what will feel like, a million decisions. Your birth plan is a simple plan that is well thought out to communicate how you desire to experience the birth of your child. Flexibility is a must though, life can be unpredictable and so can child birth, so know that depending on how things go, be prepared in case your plan may need to be modified.
I can only speak to my own experience having delivered earnest boy five years ago with no birth plan and delivering earnest baby nine months ago with one. I had no idea that going into labor I had so many options, and most with no previous patient instruction, are choices that will be made for you. My hospital provided a concise template for my birth plan (was available for my first born but like I said I was CLUELESS) which can be found here at Birth Plan – Beaumont Hospital. I printed this plan out, filled in my preferences and gave copies to the hospital when I registered, when I was admitted, then to my practitioner, while keeping the original for earnest dad and I. Because of my birth plan I was able to immediately have access to lavender aroma therapy, a Jacuzzi tub birthing suite and dim lighting (all were arranged prior to my earnest arrival). I was also able to plan to have limited visitors during labor, have earnest baby placed on me immediately after delivery for skin to skin bonding (no bath until first feeding was established), wait to clamp the cord until it had finished pulsing, of course to have earnest dad be the cord-cutter, and to have earnest baby room in with all procedures (bathing, assessment and tests) while remaining roomed in for the duration of my stay. I felt so in control with my delivery, especially knowing we were going to do everything that had been planned, it was earnestly liberating and comforting, and I loved knowing that I made my own decisions.
If you are currently pregnant or trying, earnestly consider making a birth plan to keep you, your partner and ultimately that tiny little baby stress-free during what can be the most stress your body and your babes may ever experience. Below, I have included some easy, some lengthy and very informative birth plan templates to help you on your way. Happy planning earnest followers!
The Bump Magazine’s Birth Plan
The March of Dimes’ Birth Plan
Earth Mama’s Birth Plan (which I actually would have used had my hospital not provided one)