One of the things that many people think they have to do as their baby's birth day is approaching is write a birth plan. We have some good news if that is stressing you out. YOU DON'T NEED TO WRITE A BIRTH PLAN!
Well, of course you don't. You knew that already! Thousands of people have babies every day without a written plan. Most people have some idea about how they want to feel while they are giving birth and how they'd like things to go. But a written plan certainly isn't a requirement.
In fact, a lot of the things many people think they need to include in a birth plan are now standard protocol at most birthing locations.
Things like FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT, the ability to HYDRATE BY MOUTH (as opposed to IV), the ability to try different LABORING AND PUSHING POSITIONS, immediate SKIN-TO-SKIN contact with baby, an UNDISTURBED FIRST HOUR (delaying standard newborn care until baby has had skin-to-skin and initiated breastfeeding, if breastfeeding is the desired feeding choice) are ALL the norm at each of the local birthing facilities in the Asheville area.
Great! One less thing on the pre-baby to-do list, right?!
Well, not so fast. There are a lot of options available to you as you prepare to give birth. And each doctor or group practice, as well as each birthing facility, will have their own standard protocols. Going through the process of thinking through your preferences and goals as you near the end of your pregnancy, and then talking this through with your partner and your medical care provider can be a valuable exercise. It can really help you figure out what YOUR priorities are, what YOU feel strongly about, and make sure that YOU AND YOUR PROVIDER are on the same page regarding your wishes and plans for your birth.
Where to Begin?
We've put together a tool we call a "Birth Plan Discussion Guide" with our clients. Whether you are planning to create a written birth plan or not, this discussion guide will help you think through several of the choices you may have to make as you near the end of your pregnancy and during your birth.
And if you take a look at that guide and your eyes glaze over from so many unfamiliar terms... you may want to give us a call and book us for CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION. We offer private birth classes in the privacy and comfort of your own home! Doulas of Asheville birth classes are taught by co-owner, Elizabeth Pauley. She's an experienced birth and postpartum doula who is also a Labor & Delivery RN at Mission Hospital. Our modern, evidence-based curriculum can be customized to cover everything you want to know to help you feel prepared and confident heading into your birth. It's amazing how much we can cover in one or two 2-hour classes - plus, you get all your questions answered on-on-one (even the ones you may be a little hesitant to ask in a group setting <wink wink>)
Free Printable Birth Plan Tool
Go ahead and take a look at this free printable birth planning guide as you work to envision YOUR ideal birth. We use this tool with our DOULAS OF ASHEVILLE birth doula clients, but don't worry. We know that the only predictable thing about any birth is that every birth is unique and unpredictable. Our doulas know how to guide you towards your goals with compassion and grace. And we can also help you navigate changes to your plan and help you feel grounded and unconditionally supported if your birth charts an unplanned course.