"The power of a birth plan, isn't the actual plan, it's the process of becoming educated about all of your options."
When pregnant and preparing to birth your baby, there are a huge amount of decisions that you need to make. These decisions can feel overwhelming and daunting but preparing a birth plan can help you.
The beauty of a birth plan is that it leads you to research your choices and options, giving you greater control over your baby's birth. People who have experienced birth trauma or a negative birth experience, often talk about this loss of control over their baby's birth. Decisions being made for you, instead of with you. This is why birth planning is an essential part of having a positive, empowering birth experience. And an important part of any hypnobirthing course.
So how do you go about planning your baby's birth?
It is a good idea to plan with your birth partner. They will be your advocate during labour, so it is important that they understand your wishes and are on the same page as you. I would also recommend making birth plans for all eventualities. For example, your ideal birth plan of your dream birth. But also planning for unexpected events such as an induction of labour, transfer into hospital (if having a home birth) or a c-section birth. All of which can still be positive, empowering experiences (google gentle c-sections). Planning for unexpected events in your labour will help you to stay calm and in control what ever the circumstances.
A good tip for helping you to make decisions about your birth, is to use your brain (see below image).
Once you have made your birth plan, go over it with your midwife and make them aware of your choices. Remember it is your legal right to have the type of birth you wish for and you can say no to any medical intervention or procedure that you don't feel is right for you and your baby!
Decisions to consider and research when making your birth plan:
Where to have your baby?
Who to have as your birth partner?
Will you hire a doula or private midwife?
Will you use a birth pool?
Stretch and sweeps
Induction of labour
Pain relief options
Will you consent to vaginal examinations?
Optimal cord clamping
How to birth your placenta, with or without the synthetic oxytocin injection?
Giving your baby the vitamin k injection
Two great resources for helping you to research these decisions are AIMS For a better birth | AIMS which has factual articles on so many birth topics. And also Birth Rights Protecting human rights in childbirth - Birthrights
Written by Naomi Ponting.
Certified Pre and Postnatal Yoga Instructor
KG Hypnobirthing Accredited Teacher.
Tranquil Breaths - Hypnobirthing and Yoga Milton Keynes