Post-delivery Core and Pelvic floor exercises, Meditations, Recipes and Educational Content
I love meeting couples who are expecting for the first time. The joy they often exude about parenthood is contagious. Being a childbirth educator, I like to ask them about their upcoming birth. One of my favorite things to ask these couples is, “So, have you written a birth plan yet?” The most common reaction I get is “Why write one when you know the birth is going to go different than we expect?”
My answer to their objection is simple. Writing a birth plan allows you to ask yourselves about your priorities for the birth, and while, there can be surprises that arise during birth, it is better to have a vision for your birth than leave these choices solely to your provider’s discretion.
Take a Childbirth Education Class
In general, appointments with your provider do not include childbirth education. Your doctor or midwife needs to monitor you, baby, and any health conditions that can arise during pregnancy. While they may discuss certain aspects of your upcoming birth, their focus is not on education and preferences, and that is okay.
Childbirth education can be done in a group or private setting, in-person or online. And it can be held at a hospital, a birth center, or an independent setting. Taking a comprehensive childbirth class will allow you to learn about the various options it comes to pain management (medical and non-medical), induction, interventions, immediate newborn care, and more. Find a class that works well with your schedule and birth philosophy and aim to take it by the second trimester.
Look at Plans of Close Friends and Online Birth Plans
There is no need to recreate the wheel! By reading through birth plans (of friends and strangers alike) you will find what you want to include and what you want to leave off. You can also view the different styles of birth plans including visual plans, bullet point plans, checklist plans and choose the one that works best for you. Whichever style you choose, I would recommend keeping it to one page.
Show to Participants of Your Birth And Be Open to Changes
Your partner, provider, doula, and anyone who will be present for your birth should read it. When your provider reads it, this will likely lead to a discussion with you. Ideally he or she will sign off on the final version, and add it into your patient file. If you get valuable feedback that results in a change, make the revision and move forward. Tuck at least 3 copies of the final version in your hospital bag in your last month of pregnancy.
Congratulations on your upcoming pregnancy! I hope that taking the time and energy to create a birth plan helps you decide what is most important to you and serves as a useful tool for your birth.
Liz Escoffery is a Certified Fertility Care Practitioner and Birth Boot Camp Instructor with her business Indy FertilityCare. She shares her love and passion for all things fertility and birth with her clients in Zionsville, IN and virtually using teleconferencing. She has worked with 190+ clients to-date over the past 5 years. She is married to her husband Bill and they have three children, Teddy, Jennifer, and Ricky. Find her on Facebook and Instagram!
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.