So many new families believe that a birth plan is something that is vital to a “successful” birth. But that word successful does not belong in a birth setting. So many times those birth plans are not followed by no fault of anyones, thus they could be deemed unsuccessful. We at Carolina Birth and Wellness, believe in helping you understand you options around your birth, but also that the plan we help you develop does not mean any deviation is a failure. If you don’t follow the plan for baking and you can result in some inedible, but if you don't follow your birth plan, you are completely normal. By outlining your preferences, there is no expectations and thus less likely for a “failure”.
Some people spend so many hours diligently researching everything they do and do not want to happen in during their birth and then transcribe those into a detailed novel for their medical team to read. Others do not believe they are necessary because their doctors are the experts, and they do what should be medically done. And guess what? Both are completely fine! We do what our clients want and help write birth preferences specific to them.
Your doula’s role in your birth plan and preferences
During our first prenatal appointment, we will sit down with each client (and any other support people you would like to be present) and outline how a birth, any birth, could go at your chosen birthing location: starting when you preregister and ending with you and your partner are happily driving home with your newborn in tow. But the key phrase: any birth . You may be dreaming of unmedicated vaginal birth, but it is just as important for you to understand how a cesarean birth may progress because, guess what, birth is unpredictable! There is literally no way to tell how a birth will go, so understanding everything is very important. The best feeling is one of confidence and preparation, as your doula, that is our goal for you.
With understanding everything about birth at your particular hospital or birth center, we hope to help our clients find their confidence when it comes to birth. That confidence its built through understanding the process, and whether you do that on your own, or we help, we believe in the process you need. Having birth preferences, even ones that are not followed, can produce that same sense of understanding, empowerment and confidence. You will be just as prepared for what you want as what you would rather not happen, thus prepared for what will happen.
A few important aspects to remember while preparing your birth preferences:
- Keep it to a page. Your medical team will read it and remember it if its short and simple
- Prioritize what is important and what is less important. No need to say something that you want to happen when you are discharged.
- This is designed to assist your medical team, not override them. Demands convey control, whereas request show you are willing to be part of team.
- Put any personal information that may not be in your medical chart. Do you go by a different name than your legal name? Do you hate a particular smell?
We wish you the best luck when learning about what your birth preferences! Please contact us with any questions.