Birth Plans.... should you have one?
I'm not going to lie..... the words "Birth Plan" can instill fear in to a midwife from the get go. I have been given laminated pocket book birth plans to one's written on a paper towel at the start of labour. They can make or break an experience for a woman.
First of all I should say that I am not against them. On the contrary, I think they protect women's rights, which in this country's healthcare system, is a desperately important thing.
The part I struggle with is the "PLAN" concept. It is such a rigid word, no room for manouvre. And what I can say without any hesitation is that babies do not care for your plans!!! They don't care if you don't want fetal heart monitoring, they will still have a poo and turn those waters murky green.
I have had several women who felt that they failed because their birth plan went array. Some women felt that because they only had one plan, went things started to go down a different path, they lost all control!
So how do we avoid this? Well, my first advice is to seek antenatal education. This will help you decide what you may or may not want for your labour experience. And in the UAE.... it is a struggle to find the right doctor to facilitate certain requests (such as waterbirth).
Second; let's stop for a minute and maybe suggest a new way of looking at it. I think BIRTH IDEAS is much more user friendly. It means that just because one element changes, it doesn't have to derail the entire desired journey!!
Check out my BIRTH IDEAS template; it is packed full of traditional birth plan suggestions but also has common problems encountered that can alter a labour. I discuss what these are and how you can adapt around them with the right knowledge and support.
So get those ideas flowing
The Fit Midwife xx