woman writing a birth plan
3rd Trimester Labor + Delivery Being Pregnant

Thoughts on Creating a Birth Plan

By Amy Morrison

I got an email from a gal, Lesley, that said: “Wondering what your thoughts and feelings on the birthing plans are, and if you wrote them for your children.  If so, what did you include in your plans, and did the hospital or birthing center follow your requests?”

That’s a damn good question, Lesley. So I asked her I could post the question so other ladies could comment.

Here’s the thing. I had no birth plan.

My birth plan was to get a healthy, happy baby the hell out of me with as little disfigurement as possible. It wasn’t very sophisticated.

woman writing a birth plan

A friend of mine, had a fully written plan including the music she was bringing, when she wanted an epidural and whether or not her husband was going to cut the cord. I was all “I have to do one of those too” but, in reality, I didn’t have a crib when I was 38 weeks pregnant so clearly I didn’t have many of my ducks in a row.

Anyway, when the time came, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted it to go. Some of those things happened and some of those things didn’t but I don’t know how much of that would have changed if it had been written down on a piece of paper.

On an interesting side note, during my second pregnancy, my doctor, in passing said how cute first time parents were. How they both go to all the prenatal appointments and they have their little birth plans all written out. I laughed and said “Oh, ho, ho. Yes isn’t it crazy?” then thought “Shit, the only reason I didn’t drag my husband to all the appointments is because he was really busy at work and I didn’t want him to get fired so we’d be living in a van down by the river with an infant and the only reason I didn’t have a birth plan was because it was on my to-do list that ended up being a to-didn’t.”

I’m not sure if all medical practitioners tee-hee outside the door if you hand them a birth plan but clearly, mine does.

I live in a van down by the river.

If you want my counts-for-nothing-asshat opinion, I would say have an idea of what you want to do.

Do you want to have a vaginal/no-drugs child birth or do you want to be gassed in the parking lot of the hospital? Do you want your husband in the room or just the awesome young man at the sandwich stand who told you that you that you looked “rockin’ for a pregnant lady”?

Write it all down if you want to. Once you have that all figured out, be prepared to throw it all out the window if needed. I wanted my husband to cut the cord when my son was born but I ended up having a c-section and it didn’t happen. At the end of the day, I just wanted a healthy baby and for me to be around to see him – I didn’t really care how he got here.

I think the more go with the flow you are, the better you’ll feel about it the whole experience. Just don’t plan to give birth painlessly while standing in line at the bank – sadly, that almost never happens. That’s of course based on my whopping two births with an amazing doctor.

What are your plans? What have you experienced? Any horror stories or advice? Help a sista out.

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5 Ways to Feel Better Prepared for Baby’s Arrival

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Tips from a Doula: How to Survive Postpartum

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