Birth Plans: Focus on the Process
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Sweet Peas, Pods & Papas: All About Birth, B@@bs & Babies

Birth Plans: Focus on the Process

Oh, how times have changed since we wrote our first birth plan almost nine years ago!  As we were preparing for Puma’s birth, I was meticulous about writing everything that I wanted down that we wanted…I managed to get it on one piece of paper was thanks to formatting and small font.

The detail worked out: because our wishes were for a natural birth, and they lined up all the birth plans at the nurse’s station, the right nurse picked us.  We were matched with the best nurse for natural birth that first shift we were there…she had doula training, reiki training, she was a massage therapist and an aromatherapist.  We also had a wonderful doula that stayed with us through the whole labor, including our second shift with a nurse who had little experience with natural birth couples.

When things took a detour, I was devastated.  This is not what I had written!  This is not what we planned or prepared for!  I really had to work hard to let go, get over the “speed bump”, and surrender to the process so that things would continue to progress without more interventions.  Coach Bruss was amazing at identifying my needs, and finding the right words to reassure and encourage me through the decision points.

When we teach the birth plan class now, we really encourage students to focus on the process than the actual plan they write down.  At the end of the exercise we do want them to have a “wish list” written down that they can take with them to their birth setting. More important than the list is the path to that list.  It is vital for them to communicate, and between them decide what is important to them as they strive for a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.

Here are some things to consider about your care provider:
  • What does your care provider consider term?  
  • What happens if your baby is a preemie?  
  • What happens if you go past 41 weeks?  
  • When do they start to talk about an induction, and what is their preferred way to go about induction?  
  • Are you able to negotiate more time by doing non-stress tests and getting a Bishop’s score

In addition, consider what the standard procedures are at your birth place, and then decide what you want to do.  For example, did you know you could wear your own clothes in labor, even if you are not having a homebirth?  You do not have to change into the “gown” if that doesn’t serve you.

Your may decide your baby also warrants a newborn care plan.  Educate yourself on the standard newborn procedures at your birthplace, and again, decide what is a yes, what is a no, and what is negotiable. 

You have the right to accept or decline any procedure or intervention that is not beneficial to you or the baby.  By the same token, there may come a point when mom and/or baby is going to need a professional, split second decision about care.  In those instances (that are very rare), you want to “know that you know” that you trust your care provider implicitly, and that you can live with the choice they make for your family, because it is like the one you would have made yourself.

How to get started:
  • Find a good checklist of options.  HERE is one from the bump, and another from a women’s health website HERE.
  • Once you choose/ create a good list online, print two copies – one for mom, one for partner.
  • Anything on there an unknown?  You can research terminology HERE
  • Go through and fill out the checklist, and prioritize the choices on your list.
  • Meet with your partner and see how their options line up with yours.
  • Come to an agreement on the big decision points.
  • Take this rough draft to your care provider and get their feedback.
  • Keep working on your Wish List until you both know it by heart and it’s something you both feel at peace about.
  • Be ready to be flexible.

You can check out our other posts on Birth Plans to read more about the details.  The most important thing we strive to convey is the process…write your Wish List for the sake of the process, not the end result.


Blueprint For Your Birth Plan
 
Preparing Your Birth Plan

Writing Your Birth Plan

What is your experience with a "Birth Plan"?
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.



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