I am a Doula, a woman who unbiasedly supports women, their partners, and families, during pregnancy, by supporting them emotionally, educationally, mentally, and physically. Support looks different, depending on the mother and partner, but often, I am able to assist them when they write their birth plan. There is comfort in having a plan, knowing what they want, and feeling of control, especially in pregnancy when they feel so out of control.
This is a guide to the perfect birth plan.
Let’s start at the beginning. Early labor. Some women want to meditate during their early labor, spend time in quiet reflection. Some women are apprehensive, and want to call someone, talk to someone, they want support, and need to know that what is happening is normal. All of this is okay. Everything in the middle is okay.
Where should you give birth? At home? At the hospital? Some women feel most comfortable with the process when they are surrounded by the things, people, and place that makes them comfortable. Some women are most comfortable surrounded by their families but they also want to have extra medical care close by. Home, hospital, wherever you decide, that is the best place for you.
How should I have my baby? There are women who want to labor without any type of intervention. They want to ride out their contractions with movement, affirmations, or music. Some women want to have interventions, like an epidural because they feel more comfortable with that support, and can push through their pain with the help of modern medical technology. Either option and those in between are wonderful. It is exactly what the mother needs.
When should I have my baby? Some women want to have a spontaneous labor and birth. They want the baby to come on its own schedule. That is exactly right for those women. Some women want to have an induction or cesarean. The mother may have certain time restraints of their own, or sometimes, the baby or pregnancy may change the timeline. And, that is exactly right for those women.
It is always important to be informed of your choices during pregnancy and birth. Whether you have the support of a Doula, who are concierges of birth choices, you research those choices on your own, or go to a child birth education class, knowledge is power. There are only two things I will tell you to absolutely have for your birth plan. First, flexibility. Birth is beautiful, natural, and sometimes complicated. It is okay to have a plan and it is okay for those plans to change based on your needs and the needs of your baby. Second, kindness to oneself. In a world full of judgement, this is a time where no judgement is needed, either by the people around you or of yourself. If things do not go exactly as planned, it is okay. You are doing a wonderful job. You are strong and the decisions made are the best decisions for you, your baby, and your family.