Updated: Oct 1, 2021
There is a lot of controversy over writing a birth plan. If you've been hanging out with me long enough you know I'm a big believer in the power of birth plans, but I promote the "Birth Road Map" concept.
What is a birth plan?
A birth plan is, of course, your wishlist for what you want and don't want to happen during labor and birth. Your birth plan will include crucial information like where you're giving birth, your provider, and the interventions you do and do not prefer during labor. A good birth plan will also include contingency plans for if you need to take a detour (hence the Birth Road Map concept).
Why you need a birth plan.
Even if you don't bring a printed birth plan in to hand out to every nurse and post on your door at the hospital, a birth plan helps you learn about your options during labor and how to advocate for yourself. It also gives you an opportunity to process the possibility of complications and how you would choose to handle them so that during labor you're not shocked and confused.
How to write a birth plan
I often recommend new mothers sit down with their birth support people and discuss their preferences at length, writing down a long list of what they want and don't want and all the exceptions and maybes. After exploring every option, write a concise list of your top do's and don'ts. It helps to know what your providers standard care is so you don't have to waste energy insisting on something that is standard anyway.
Writing a birth plan is talked about a lot, but it is very time consuming and can be very overwhelming. Most women ask me "how do I even start writing a birth plan". And that's a great question. It's hard to know where to start when you're brand new to birth and all the options. A few months really doesn't feel like enough time to prepare and process all the information you need to know about birth.
Every parent should start first with education. There are good books out there to help you learn what to expect during labor. Taking a birth class is a great option as well. You can take live in person birth classes, live online birth classes, or on demand online classes.
Why you should book a virtual birth plan consult with a virtual doula
Unfortunately the internet is full of blogs and vlogs and the 10000 different professionals and mothers all sharing their experiences and opinions on pregnancy, birth plans, labor options, etc. It can be very hard to wade through all the information and figure out what is true, what is dramatized, and what is jaded. It's also hard to avoid becoming fearful when you hear horror stories. Instead of taking someone else's birth trauma into your birth space, you can work with a doula to prepare your personal heart for your own birth. Working through your birth plan with your doula gives you the opportunity to explore information that is relevant to you and avoid everything that is irrelevant. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get those questions answered.
What happens during a virtual birth plan consult
When I help mothers write their birth plans I like to go through all the options and ask them questions to help them discover their preferences. We can do an overview during a single visit, focusing on their major questions and concerns. Sometimes we schedule multiple visits where we dive deep into the options and contingencies. We will even schedule an appointment where we "role play" different scenarios and practice self advocacy skills. You can learn more about writing your birth plan when you access the free Mama Bear Resource Library.
How to book a virtual birth plan consult with Jaimie
You can also book a virtual visit with me directly by clicking the button below. We will schedule visits in 2 hour increments and go over all of your questions and concerns.
For more tips and tricks on pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, be sure to follow me @littlebearbirthservices on Instagram!
Jaimie is a Doula, Lactation Consultant, and Birth Photographer excited to help you prepare for and navigate the journey of motherhood. From birth plan support, labor support, to breastfeeding support and more, Jaimie is your one stop shop for virtual or in person pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding support in Wichita Falls, Texas.