I didn’t have a birth plan with the birth of my first child. I just assumed things would happen more or less like I wanted them to. There were two problems with this approach: 1) birth is unpredictable 2) I only realized what I could have had and wanted, after the fact.
Birth is one of the most important events in a parent’s life and yet very few of us prepare for the experience itself. Why is it that so many mothers put all their time into obtaining information for once baby is here, but very little into learning about and preparing for the actual birth? I blame ignorance and a blind trust in systems & processes many parents know very little about. The importance of the birth experience itself, is something many first time parents only realise after the fact. That is probably why birth plans are more common when it comes to second or third time parents.
I’m not particularly fond of the term ‘birth plan’ as how you become a parent is not nearly as important as becoming a parent in itself and one needs to flexible, but I am a firm believer in understanding the options and outlining your birth preferences. I have seen one too many times how an unplanned birth procedure or experience can leave emotional scars for years to come if the parents are ill informed. Taking ownership of your birth experience can be hugely rewarding and empowering – whether natural or C-Section. That does not mean that you do not seek professional advice, guidance & skill in making and implementing your choices. It also does not mean you can plan and control everything about your birth – it would be ignorant to think or suggest that. It simply means you participate in your own birth and decisions by understanding what the options are and knowing your own preferences. It is deciding what is important to you and your partner and what are the small things you’re not going to sweat. [Read more…]