A wish without a plan is just a dream

What a birth plan is?

‘‘ Women are increasingly involved in their own birthing processes. The birth plan is a tool that contributes to this fact, since it is a written document that the woman presents before delivery to the professionals who will assist her and reflect her preferences, expectations and fears about her own birthing process.’’  

Every mother has the right to express her opinion.The birth plan is not a specific document. It is a personal record of the couple’s wishes, which should be scientifically based on guidelines from recognized organizations for the promotion of normal childbirth and breastfeeding (WHO, ENGEO, NICE, etc.).  The World Health Organization has given to mothers, couples and newborns rights which if they do not ask for it, it will be difficult to give it. Also, the filling of a birth plan by the mother or the couple encourages a more natural process of childbirth and avoids routine intervention procedures.

Each birth plan covers different aspects of the birth, but it serves the purpose of assisting expectant parents to make educated, truly informed decisions prior to, as well as during, the emotional drama of labor and birth, and have the birth they want.

At the time of childbirth, only one child and one mother are born. Our goal must not only be to create a healthy child at all costs but to have the best possible conditions and respect for both the mother and the newborn.

Stall Lesta

Why preparing a birth plan?

The birth plan facilitates communication with professionals, improves women’s satisfaction, and promotes their participation and decision-making in their own birthing process. Care providers will then know, and discuss with you, your own wishes and concerns about childbirth.

An important role is played by the choices that each couple will make, from who will choose to have next to them during childbirth, where is the best place for the mother to give birth, how to care for their child, what methods of analgesia can choose,what kind of delivery (normal or c-section) she wants, choices they record and discuss in during pregnancy with their care provider.

‘The Birth Plan provides parents with an opportunity to really think about what they believe about birth and to decide what is truly important to them. It is also a chance to determine whether their beliefs, values, and viewpoints (personal philosophy) match their care provider’s approach, at least well enough to continue to employ him/her.’’

Specifically, the birth plan includes many questions about every aspect of a baby’s birth progression, from mom’s introduction to the clinic or her home delivery, to her outing and the first days back home:

  • The way she wants to give birth (with normal delivery, cesarean, normal after cesarean section).
  • If she wants to have a particular companion with her in the birthplace.
  • What would be the ideal conditions of childbirth (hot water showers, tranquility, quietness, discretion and respect, photos, videos).
  • If she desires an episiotomy or not.
  • How she would like to manage pain (if he wants an epidural, or natural relaxation methods).
  • If the father wants to cut the umbilical cord.
  • if the couple wants to collect stem cells.
  • If she wants to keep the placenta.
  • If she wants a certain kind of music during childbirth.
  • If she wants to breastfeed immediately after childbirth.
  • If she wants to have  rooming in.
  • If she wants to not bath directly the newborn after birth.

All the above questions are tailored to the needs of each couple, and with respect to the woman and each child she is given birth.

If you have received some in-depth information or have been properly prepared during pregnancy, then filling the birth plan will be very easy. Prenatal/ Childbirth lessons help in this. Then you can also want to express yourself and communicate your needs through a birth plan. However, you should know that you are likely to deviate from your initial birth plan either because you have changed preferences or because the circumstances and circumstances have changed. For all these reasons, it’s a good idea to understand as much as possible all possible birth scenarios to make the best choice for you, your baby, your family when the time comes.

Our choices are those that will determine the experience of our childbirth. The most tiring journey is deep within us, recalling our instincts. Faith is to believe what you do not see but the reward comes by seeing what you believe.

Evolution of the Birth Plan- Tamara Kaufman,Journal of Perinatal Education, 16(3), 47–52
Birth plan compliance and its relation to maternal and neonatal outcomes- Pedro Hidalgo-Lopezosa etc. , Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem, 2017;25:e2953

I can help you create your own, personalized birth plan, and assist you in make your wishes become a reality.

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