WHY YOU NEED A BIRTH PLAN & FREE DOWNLOAD
Why is a birth plan important?
Birth is unpredictable, so making a birth plan sounds like a complete waste of time, right? Not necessarily.
So, why the heck am I suggesting that you make one? Hear me out...
Knowledge is power.
“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.” - Diane Korte
As you go through the process of customizing the Empowered Moms' Birth Plan, you may discover options in birth that you were previously unaware of. Naturally, you’ll research those birth options that you want more information on. The knowledge of options becomes a source of your empowerment.
2. Birth plans are a communication tool.
Have you ever tried to explain something when you’ve had a few too many glasses of wine? It’s tough! No, I’m not suggesting that you throw a few back when your labor begins. Rather, keep in mind that you might feel a little out of it during birth.
The natural hormone cocktail that your body releases during labor and birth can feel like an altered state of consciousness. Your body is providing natural pain management via hormones. Amazing, right?!
Your birth plan will communicate your desires for you to all of those in the room (think OB, midwife, students, nurses changing shifts), so that you can focus on birthing your baby.
3. You are the client.
Would you walk into Starbucks without your preferences (your order) ready? Probably not. How would they serve you as a client if they don’t know what you want?
As an expectant mother visiting your provider, you are a client. You have the right to have desires for your baby’s birth and a good provider will support you.
Often, doctors are viewed as being in an authoritative position, given their extensive education and experience. That doesn’t mean that you should be in an inferior position when it comes to your prenatal care. Regardless of how your provider is compensated for your treatment (private insurance, medicaid, self pay, etc.), you are the client. You have effectively hired them as your service provider.
As a client (and as a pregnant goddess), you have a right to use your voice. Or sometimes what I like to call being a “nice bitch.”
Tips for using the Empowered Moms’ Birth Plan template
1. Print it out in entirety. Use the full template as a working version to mark up, cross off, make notes, highlight questions, etc.
2. Bring your working version with you to:
Prenatal appointments with your provider - to have valuable conversations about your preferences.
Doula meetings - to ask questions and to be sure you’re both on the same page.
Birth location tours (hospital / birth center) - this way you can remove birth location protocols from your final version.
3. Download the editable version below and begin customizing. Delete options that don’t resonate with you. Delete options that are standard, or protocol, at your birth location.
4. Add a sentence or bullet points describing your birth at the beginning if you like - kind of like a birth mission statement. (Example: Natural, hypnobabies, VBAC).
5. Complete the NICU and Cesarean plan addendum.
If unexpected events occur, leading to an unplanned cesarean birth and/or a stay in the NICU for baby, it’s good to have your choices in place. If you’re having a scheduled Cesarean birth, of course this would be the gist of your plan. C-section mamas have options too!
6. Keep your final version to 1-2 pages.