Do I need a birthplan?
A birthplan can’t be any good surely? A plan is too rigid and structured and you can’t plan a birth, it’s too unique, right? Yep, Right! Even the most straightforward of births don’t go to plan in our heads – it is too unique and our expectations and our emotions have a huge impact on our experience.
I am a big fan of writing down your birth preferences, what you feel is important for you to work with your contractions and meet your baby. Chances are, you won’t know your midwife and she won’t know you, so your preferences are a quick way to communicate how you would like to try to work with your contractions.
Popular examples to include in a birthplan are:
- wanting to stay active and mobile in order to listen to your body, to stay comfortable and in control
- allowing labour to flow, giving your body and your baby time
- your wish to make decisions as they are needed
- your wish for clear communication, especially if you need extra support and intervention
- a reminder of any medical needs
- delivery of the placenta
- having skin-to-skin with your baby
- how you want to feed your baby
Writing down your preferences for birth can provide you with the opportunity to think about how you are going to positively manage and work with your contractions.
Tips for your birthplan preferences:
Keep your list simple, short and friendly
Use them as a tool to encourage communication, which is valuable if you need to make decisions
Ask your midwife to help you with positions and with your breathing to stay calm. If you focus on your desire to use your breathing to stay calm, your midwife can support you with this throughout every labour scenario
They are not a guarantee of what will happen, your preferences are not set and you are free to change your mind if you want or need to but, by encouraging communication, positions and breathing to help you feel calm, in control, supported and reassured, you can use these throughout your labour, whether it is straightforward or you require extra support.
Discuss your birth preferences with your birth partner and with your midwife when you are in labour. Have spare copies handy for when you are in labour as you may want to focus on your contractions rather than talk.