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August 30, 2019

What is the deal with the birth plan & do I really need one

We all have this idea of how we would like to birth our baby. In the woods there are birds, the sun may be setting but it isn’t too dark. There are wild animals surrounding you as your partner gets in touch with their inner hippy and delivers the baby by hand. You barely broke a sweat and your hair is still curled so you can snap that perfect photo with your new bundle. Okay, far fetched and super random but you get what I am trying to say. We all have an “idea” of what would be perfect and what we “want” and as amazing as “perfect” sounds we have to be realistic. 


Before I became a Doula I just assumed that if we have a birth plan and if we followed said plan and it would all  be sunshine and rainbows. Now having children of my own I should have known better because with my first two births they were a whirlwind of everything that could go wrong did go wrong. -but you want to pretend somewhere the perfect “plan” exists and happens. Now, you can have “wants and hopes” and that is very important.


You should find what you want and like and be open to other options because once labor begins, you may change your mind on things. Think about who you want in the room, do you even want anyone in the room? Do you want an epidural or do you want to roll with it and see how you feel and then decide later on? Do you want to walk around, labor in the tub or labor in bed? Do you want delayed cord clamping, vaccines, skin to skin?

These are all super important things to think about before labor and to include in your “plan”. We change our minds a lot on a lot of things in the heat of the moment which is why written or typed out plans are iffy, but there are a lot of important things to consider beforehand so you aren’t caught off guard. 

I think it is great to have a general idea of what we would like to happen and not so much of a “detailed step by step form” because if you are expecting it to be like that you are in for a rude awakening. I like to tell expecting parents “expect the wild card because things can go zero - one hundred and quickly” and you need to have that mindset at all times that way you aren’t completely disappointed if and when things change. We are not in control of anything really.

We can make informed choices that work for us, we can educate ourselves and stand true to what we believe in but over all we are not in control of natural change. And that is okay. Because if you go in with the mindset of  “okay I know my rights, I know what I want overall but I understand things can change and I accept that” you will have a much better and happier outcome.


My idea of the “perfect birth” is - a healthy baby...with the mindset of: I did my best and knew my rights and felt empowered when it came to my choices. Things changed and some changes I may not have liked however, I accepted that change may happen before birth so it was okay. I did my best and that is what is important. My baby is healthy and I am healthy. Things may not have gone completely my way but overall knowing I made informed choices on my own is what made my birth perfect - aside from my healthy beautiful child.


Do your best. Go into your birth confident and empowered and carry that throughout the entire process and whatever happens along the way will happen but if you carry that strength with you, your birth plan will be perfect and something to be proud of. And if you do not have a birth plan and go with the flow just know that is ALSO something to be proud of. Whether you birth in the woods, in the hospital, at home in bed you should feel proud of yourself. Whether you have a “birth plan” or a go with the flow attitude BE PROUD. You are a badass and you should treat yourself as such.


Go birth your child. Be proud. Your child isn’t going to come out and say “Woah that was not what I expected put me back and try again". In the end they just want you at your best & then they will be their best growing up.


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