Whether it’s your first baby, or you’ve gone through pregnancy and birth before, it’s natural to feel anxious about childbirth. While you can’t always control what happens in the delivery room, a birth plan gives your medical team an idea of what to do in different situations and a definitive guide to your wishes.
Here are five reasons to make your own birth plan in advance.
- It gives you a chance to think over your options
From pain relief to your opinion on c-sections, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to childbirth. Many women don’t mull over their options until they’re already in labor, which means they’re in pain and may be distressed, which is not a good time to make decisions. Look at a few templates for birth plans and discuss things with your partner, so they also know your stance on everything.
- It can keep you calmer in an emergency
While the odds of something going wrong in childbirth are low, unfortunately, emergency situations can arise. This can lead to all sorts of outcomes, from needing a c-section to causing cerebral palsy due to medical negligence. However, if you’ve written a birth plan, you know what options the doctors will follow if something happens. For example, some people would rather avoid a forceps birth and would prefer a c-section in an emergency, or they may not want pain medication except in certain extreme situations.
- It’s easier to communicate with your birthing partner
When you write your birth plan, you should ensure your birthing partner is involved in the process, so they can deal with your medical team. Trying to yell out instructions in-between contractions doesn’t work, so you need someone who is well-informed about your wishes and is a good advocate for you and the baby.
- It can ease your anxiety
You’re no doubt feeling anxious about going into labor and getting through the birth, and while it’s natural to feel this way to a certain extent, you should learn ways to ease your anxiety around childbirth. One way you can feel less nervous is researching and reading up on the subject, whether it’s specialist books or going to antenatal classes. Your birth plan is a good way to think things through and learn more.
- You can read up on the side effects of pain relief
When you take a new type of medication, you no doubt ask your doctor a lot of questions and look up the side effects. However, if you’re in labor, then there’s no time to do these things. Pain relief is an important part of your birth plan, so this gives you ample time to decide which options would work best for you, or whether you’d like a natural birth.
Your birth plan can include many different details, from the location of your birth to your birthing partner, pain relief, and whether you want a water birth. This is an excellent way to get your wishes put down in writing, and for you to decide what type of labor would work best for you.