The Importance of Having a Birth Plan  

You might not want to give too much thought early on in your pregnancy about the impending giving birth part of the process, but it’s important to at least identify the things you want and don’t want during the birth of your new baby. One way to think about this, help you figure out your definite dos and do nots, whilst also letting your health care professionals know your desires too, is by putting it in writing in the form of a birth plan.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to have a birth plan, and in the event of an untoward circumstance, which obviously we hope doesn’t happen, then your birth plan could actually end up going out of the window, but most of the time, having a birth plan is a very advantageous thing to do, and very important in many different ways. Here’s a few reasons why.

A birth plan helps things run more smoothly

Knowing what you do and don’t want helps your healthcare professionals understand your desires better, and they can accommodate them accordingly, within reason. If you identify what you would like and not like then it’s easier than having to decide on the day, when all manner of things are going on.

It helps you think about what you want and don’t want

If you have time beforehand to think about the birth process, it also helps you get your head around what is going to happen, and you can calmly think about the things you would like to happen and vice versa. Making decisions in the heat of the moment is harder than having time to think about it beforehand, and maybe research things in advance, such as your pain relief options.

It’s a formal way to help your healthcare professionals understand your desires

A birth plan is down in writing, so you don’t have to explain too much, as it’s already there. Clarity means a smoother experience for you, your baby, and everyone involved. This is also particularly important if you have any religious or cultural requirements.

A birth plan also outlines what you would like to happen after the birth

For example, do you want your partner to cut the cord? If you don’t mention this beforehand then it will be very easy to forget in the heat of the moment, possibly leading to regret later on. You can also state in your birth plan whether you want your baby placed on you immediately after birth, and how you intend to feed.

Thinking about the unexpected

Whilst nobody wants to think about what to do in the event of a problem, a birth plan can cut down on distress and confusion at the time, in the event of a minor problem. For instance, how do you feel about caesareans? You can note this down so your doctors and midwives are aware.

Putting a little thought into how you want your birth experience to go beforehand will save time and stress when things are a little fraught and frantic.

Photo Credit: Shellgreenier

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