I love a birth plan because it gets parents involved in their birth. It is usually the first time many couples sit down and put what they want out in the open for each other to see. It can sometimes be the start to many very important conversations.
Ideas get organized. A view of what their birth will look like starts to take form. Couples start to have questions they can take to their doctors.
I hate birth plans because for many people it is the only discussion or the end of the discussion.
I've heard over and over, "Oh, it's in our birth plan that we want (fill in the blank) so I'm not worried."
So here is a little exercise. Let's play what if...
What if you forget to bring your birth plan to the hospital? Have you remembered what is important to you?
What if you are planning for freedom of movement and getting in water for pain management, but it becomes necessary that you stay close to monitors and out of water? Can you think of positions and locations for massage that will help you cope?
What if your partner gets sick? Do you have back up support you can call?
What if you are planning a vaginal birth, and it becomes evident that you require a cesarean birth? Have you talked about how this will impact your postpartum healing?
What if your baby need to be taken to the NICU (a neonatal intensive-care unit) after birth? Will your partner go with baby or stay with you? Do you have someone who can come to be with you until your partner returns?
Here is how I can help:
- As your doula, many of the What Ifs above can be greatly improved if you hire me. I can help remember what was important - either by recalling conversations we've had, or by using B.R.A.I.N.
- As your doula, I am present to help with positioning, with massage, counter pressure, comfort, and pain management. You don't need to know every beneficial position - I'll be your walking, talking, resource.
- As your doula, I can be your support if your partner becomes unable - be it from sickness, from exhaustion, or for bathroom breaks and meals!
- As your doula, I can help prepare you for what the cesarean delivery will be like, as well as help you make a plan for how to heal from an unexpected surgery. Doulas aren't just for vaginal deliveries. I have helped many mothers go through planned cesarean deliveries.
- As your doula, I hope it isn't needed, but if your baby goes to the NICU, I can stay with you. You don't have to be alone while you wait for news or your partner to return.
And let's not forget - as your doula, I will help you write your birth plan. Because sometimes many families don't have any idea of how to get the conversation started in the first place, or what topics to cover.
So let's get together to see how I can help, both talking about the What Ifs, but also about how you can have the best possible preparation for the birth that you want.
Authored by A Swift Doula