Should You Create A Birth Plan When Expecting A Child?

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180px-Expecting_motherWhen you are expecting a child, your health care practitioner will most likely ask you to do several things: get regular health care check ups as requested by your health care practitioner, complete a child birth education class, and create a birth plan.

I can tell you from experience that regular medical check ups are very important.  Attending a child birth education class is also important, mostly because it helps you to mentally prepare yourself for child birth.  I have to say that “breathing techniques” did not help me manage my pain, although I know that some women feel that their pain was lessened because of these techniques.  I personally feel as if “birth plans” are a waste of time, but that’s just my personal opinion.

What is a birth plan? A birth plan is a written description of the things that you would like and wouldn’t like to happen during the birth of your child.  Most health care practitioners will ask you if you have one written or ask you if you will write one during your pregnancy

My health care practitioner asked me this today and I told her that I don’t believe in birth plans.  Why?  Because I have never had a birth go “according to plan”.  With my first child, I created a detailed plan with the help of a software program.  I wanted the lighting just so and the music just so when she was born.  As the labor drug on to almost the 24 hour mark, I really have to say I didn’t care about the lighting and the music so much.  In fact, I really just wanted the child to be born.  My second child had major complications during birth and frankly, getting her born was the utmost priority.  The birth plan again went out the window so to speak.  When I had my third child, my practitioner and I discussed “my plan” in great detail.  Ironically, my daughter arrived very quickly and in fact was delivered by a nurse as the doctor didn’t even have time to arrive at the birth center!  So much for the birth plan. With the child I am now carrying, I haven’t even bothered to write up a birth plan.

For some women, writing up a birth plan can be very empowering.  If you are one of these women, I heartily support your decision to create a birth plan for your child.  A word of caution, however: realize that you may not be able to follow your birth plan and don’t let it disappoint you!  Remember, the goal is to deliver a healthy baby.  Don’t let that goal be eclipsed by the  details of how the delivery happens.

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