"Do you have a birth plan?"
I usually ask this question around the second time I meet with moms and families because I want to know where their thinking is at in real time about the upcoming birth of their new baby. If you do not know what you want to have happen or if you do not plan things to happen, things happen to you instead of with you.
Again: if you do not know what you want to have happen or if you do not plan things to happen, things happen TO you instead of WITH you.
Making a birth plan does not need to be a big fancy production, it needs to be easy to interpret.
Making a birth plan does not need to be long paragraphs and detailed stories, it needs to be easy to read.
Making a birth plan does not need to be rude or demanding, it needs to get your point across so people know if they can or cannot accommodate what you want.
Start out with things that are easy like, who do you want to be there, keep in mind hospital and birth center policy about guests and visitors. Consider who would be best to do what and how they might be helpful to you or how you might feel being that vulnerable around those people. Make a contact list or a social media post template of who you want to be notified after the birth and when.
Consider the type of comfort measures you would want. Are you looking for medication? Natural birth? Document! This is great to go over with your doula or birth partner as you have questions or need some guidance.
Check out Sista Midwife Productions for a listing of Doulas of Color in your area.
Check out Doula Trainings International for a listing of inclusive and full spectrum Doulas in your area.
Check out Doulamatch.net for a listing of Birth Doulas in your area.
Have you worked on relaxation techniques? Do you have meditation or mantras you enjoy using? Add those things in your birth plan! Sounds, visuals, smells, touches and tastes are all things you can request. Just keep in mind that requests are not guaranteed and these are things to let the people you are around know what you *think* would be most helpful. These are things to let people know your preference, remember you know yourself best.
Talk about interventions in your Birth Plan. Address augmentation and interventions you are or are NOT ok with. Discuss natural measures you would rather take or if you are having a scheduled procedure, take about things that would make you more comfortable and less anxious.
List equipment you'd want to bring, or you'd like to use. Want to try a peanut ball? Think you want access to the shower? Want to use heating pads? Add it to your Birth Plan!
Talk about how and when its time to push, how you plan on doing that. Or if you are having a belly birth, talk about things that would make you feel most comfortable or more empowered.
When baby gets earth side, you should do skin to skin as soon as possible. How is baby feeding? Who is cutting the umbilical cord? Make those wishes clear so that your wishes are KNOWN. Do you have any discharge wishes? Include them in your birth plan too.
Ge Serious about your peace, your future, your goals, your wants, your needs, your faith, your mental state, your happiness, your well being.
Check out Earth Mama's Free Birth Plan by following that link or send me an email if you need some help or want a Birth Plan sample.