Rip Up Your Birth Plan!

I hear quite often that people are told not to make a birth plan because there’s absolutely no point as nothing ever goes to plan anyway.  This is a really dangerous recommendation – if you don’t write down what you would like to happen in an ideal scenario, then nobody is going to know what you want.  So why am I telling you to tear up your plan?

The reason has more to do with the mindset we tend to make plans in.

Whilst part of that message that really gets our goat, for once in our lives, The Calm Birth School, actually agrees with the naysayers. We’re saying rip up your birth plans too, hit the play button to find out why!

Imagine that you have got a flight to the holiday destination of your dreams and it’s at 6:30 in the morning.  You make a plan to ensure that you get to the airport at least two hours beforehand by setting the alarm for 3am.  Get up, have breakfast and then a cab will arrive.  If all goes well, you’ll get there for around 4.30am.  If something goes awry, say the taxi driver’s late or the alarm clock doesn’t go off and you end up getting to the airport late and miss the flight, then all of a sudden the plans have failed and you feel really disappointed, whether it’s something that you could have done or somebody else should have done.  Ultimately, the plan has not worked. 

That is my issue with making birth plans.  They tend to feel quite rigid and you know X, Y, and Z has to happen otherwise it hasn’t worked.  Unfortunately, birth just isn’t like that.  You need to be able to be flexible and adaptable, go with the twists and turns because ultimately we never know exactly what’s going to happen.  Feeling confident that you’re going to be able to meet whatever is presented to you on the day is a much healthier mindset to be thinking about than solely focusing on what you would like to happen.  Although I don’t think you should be making a rigid plan, I do think it’s a really good idea for you to think about your birth preferences. 

Even the word preferences is better, it’s just much softer and as with birth it allows you to be more flexible and adaptable, depending on what you’re presented with on the day.  Preferences is about saying, ‘This is what I would ideally like to happen if X, Y, and Z go smoothly, but if Y happens I’m happy to go this way.’  

You just move and grow with the natural twists and turns of labour.  

I think that that is a much healthier mindset to approach planning or preparing for your birth. 

Please let me know have you made any birth preferences.  Ideally, what would you like to happen? Have you already had a baby, and did you make birth preferences and how did your medical care providers interact with you?  I’d really love to know. 

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