Let’s talk about…BIRTH PLANS
The magical and mythical birth plan. Why and when did we start needing birth plans for the delivery of our little ones? They can become very elaborate being 20 pages long including things like listening to whatever music you want to play while laboring with the lights down low, to I don’t want a c/section under any circumstance, ever. Really, you can do whatever you want with the lighting and music. It is really up to you. When you Google birth plan, a multitude of plan’s and pdf’s appear. However, the most important thing to remember is your birth plan should be FLEXIBLE.
Why Flexible? It is important for women and their partners to realize labor and delivery, as all medicine, does not follow a text book. For instance as there are many ways to make a birth plan there are things that can and do go wrong during your labor and delivery. As physicians, we want two things in labor and delivery…a healthy mom and healthy baby. If you want to dance to Salt N’ Peppa’s PUSH IT while you labor, it doesn’t matter to me or any of my colleagues as long as I can monitor some important vitals now and again. We, as physicians have unfortunately seen the many bad things that can happen during labor and delivery which keep us up at night fretting. Should I have been more adamant about the evidence based medicine we practice and continue with the statistics, but defying the patient wishes who says she does not want a c/section? Remember, labor is a means to an end. Yes the birth experience should be an awesome experience, but with all things called life, sometimes things go wrong. As I tell patients all the time, just because things did not go according to plan, you get no better child that is smarter, more agile or a gold star on your tombstone because your baby did not come out of your vagina or you delivered without an epidural. My goal is for you and your baby to go home happy, healthy and most importantly, alive.
Here are some things to ponder when thinking about creating your birth plan. Remember, these few things when developing your plan, because you came to our office for our expertise. We have been involved with more than one delivery and have went through more years of education than you want to count to be able to help you through this process with as much ease and calm as possible. We should be a TEAM, we are not enemies. We do not go home to be with our children or spouse because it is 5pm, we stay with you. We signed up for this job because we love it and love being a part of this experience with you. We are there with you to help you through the good and the bad. With this being said, delivery and labor never follow cut and dry rules, things go wrong in a split second and you want a team you trust to be there with you.
So in preparing your birth plan, think of these things…
- Make your #1 goal your health and your baby’s health
- Consider what you DO want versus what you DON’T want
- Realize that each labor/delivery is a unique experience. NO two are the same.
- Be open minded and versatile to changes. Create your “A” plan, but also have Plan B and C.
- Customize a plan utilizing trusted resources. (Remember not everything you read on Google is correct and true. As I tell patients all the time Dr. Google nor Google University is accredited by any medical governing organization. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, (ACOG), however is one. (www.acog.org)
- Your birth plan should be simple and to the point.
- Share your birth plan with your significant other and your provider. Be open to suggestions.
- Trust yourself and your labor and delivery Team. You and your baby are our #1 priority.
Again, these are only suggestions on how to make a birth plan, if you want to make one. You do not have to make one at all. Making a birth plan is up to you, but just in case you find yourself feeling you need a plan, feel free to use this as a guide on how to make the best plan for you and your delivery.