Today we’re going to talk about how a birth plan can prepare you for birth — by helping you make basic decisions ahead of time, and think through birth.
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. If you’re looking into all of your options, it is the best choice you can make to take away anxiety and replace it with confidence that you’ll be able to make the right choices when the time comes! Be sure to use the coupon code mentioned in the episode.
Creating a Birth Plan
In this episode:
We discuss what a birth plan is.
Why you should discuss your birth plan with your provider.
Why you shouldn’t have a birth plan focusing on the the things you DON’T want.
Other Things That Might Interest You
Producer: Drew Erickson
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Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on Episode 64, we are talking about planning the unflappable. We’re talking about birth plans. We’re talking about what they’re good for, what they’re not good for, how you can make one. Let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast, where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family. And I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled, just like my hair.
OK, guys, before we jump into this episode, please subscribe. That is the easiest way to see every single episode is to just subscribe and then they’ll just show up in your podcast player like magic. Oh, one quick other thing. I actually have a free birth principle that you guys can check out. It has a printable so you can make your choices on a piece of paper. It also has a couple other pages about the different options that you can have, both during labor and after labor, especially with the baby.
And it also comes with a quick email series that includes a video of me talking about why I like birth plans and what they can do for you. So you can go to Pullingcurls.com/podcast podcast. This is Episode 64 Birth Plans and grab it through there. It’s also on almost any of the blog posts on my site as well. So. Oh, and I think it’s on a top banner, too. It’s everywhere because I think it’s super helpful and I want people to get prepared, which we’ll find out.
So, Berthelot, this episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast is sponsored by the online prenatal class. For couples. It simplifies understanding labor so you can have a more relaxed pregnancy and birth taught by a highly experienced labor and delivery nurse that can be done wherever you are, whenever you want. No more arranging busy schedules to fit in a prenatal class, say 15 percent. With the coupon code untangled, you can find out more at Pulling Curls Podcast and the menu under courses or in this episode, show notes.
OK, so let’s start with what a birth plan is, right? It’s probably not something you’ve thought about before you were pregnant and nobody comes in with like this is how I plan for my heart surgery to go. Right. But labor is something you have quite a lot of time to think about. You pick a provider, you pick your hospital, and it kind of starts your footing as a parent. That doesn’t mean that just because you pick one thing in your birth plan, you have to be that way forever.
But it is something that you have a lot of time to think about and prepare for versus like a heart attack, less time to prepare, thankfully. Well, or not. Thankfully not sure anyway. So what is the birth plan? And I think that a birth plan is a very basic idea of what you would like to have happen. If things go smoothly now, things most often go smoothly. Please don’t listen to all the horror stories. And I put horror stories and air quotes that your friends are telling you.
Everyone likes to add a little drama to labor, but most often labor happens very smoothly and baby comes out and things go really well. So we can follow a birth plan that you’ve made. We actually asked basic birth plan questions on our intake form. So are you planning on an epidural? Do you plan to breastfeed? Things like that? Those are the very basic questions, but I think it can be important for both of us. So what is the birth plan do for you, the pregnant couple?
I think that it gives you an opportunity to kind of go through the options that you may or may not experience during labor. So you may or may not have the option to choose whether or not you want a C-section or an elective induction. You may or may not have the opportunity to choose if you want an IV, but these are things that you can make the choice in. If things are going smoothly now, some of them are more likely to have a choice, like you’re more likely to be able to say, no, I’d prefer not to be induced versus no, I wouldn’t like an IV because if you want an epidural, you have to have an IV and things like that.
So it just it gives you an opportunity to kind of think through things ahead of time, which I absolutely love. Of course, I love when people think about their birth. So ahead of time, you have all this time to prepare for your hospital stay. So it’s it’s really awesome that you can do that in advance. I do know that a lot of hospitals, in fact, even send out a birth plan like when you register so that you can think through those things in advance as well, which is great.
OK, so what does it do for us, the hospital staff? Well, first off, it eliminates some of the questions that I have to ask you. Right. If I know that you’re planning on an epidural or not planning on an epidural, then, you know, I just know that it just kind of eases into communication. Although honestly, I do believe that the birth plan is more for you than for me, because most people have pretty much the same birth plan.
They would like to avoid an episiotomy. They’d prefer not not to have an elective induction, although some people prefer to have an elective induction. They prefer baby to go skin to skin right after delivery. They’d like to try and breastfeed. They would like to maybe go natural, but might also want an epidural. These are the things that are on almost every single birth plan. But it also kind of just tells me a little bit about you and how you’re hoping for your labor to go.
It also shows me that you’ve thought about things in advance, which just gets me excited. I’m excited by couples who really are prepared for the labor process. So that is why I would like a birth plan. Now, what a birth plan is not it’s not like a list of commands for your birth team. I’ve seen some that are like I absolutely do not want pitocin under any circumstances. And when I ask them, I’m like, well, if you bleed after delivery, do you want Pettersen?
And they’re kind of like, oh, well, I didn’t know that that could help that. You know, that is more like I read an article about how about Pitocin is and now I never want it, but I haven’t discussed it with my doctor or any of my providers. I’ve just thought that that article was wonderful. And so what I would do is write your birth plan and then I would definitely take it to your doctor so that he or she can review it with you and they can point out the pros and cons of the things that you’re thinking about.
They may say, yes, I totally try and avoid an episiotomy, if at all possible. But I do want you to know that if I find that your baby’s life is in jeopardy because the heart rate’s down or whatever, and I need to get the baby out quickly, there is a chance that I will cut it up Otomi, but I will only do it if I find that emergently necessary. And so you will have had that talk ahead of time which is awesome.
It just gets you guys both informed on what each other is kind of planning on. It also gives you the opportunity to get informed consent on some of those things in advance. So let’s say on your birth plan, you say, I would prefer not to have my water broken unless I’m 10 centimeters or something like that. That gives your doctor the opportunity to say, you know, sometimes I break your water earlier because it helps speed along later. But if you are adverse to me speeding along labor, then I wouldn’t need to do it.
But of course, that is a bridge that you can reach once you’re in labor. And a lot of the birth plan is going to maybe change when you’re in labor. Which brings me to my final point on birth plans. I think it’s so important not to just focus on what you don’t want on your birth plan. I see a lot of birth plans that are adamant about no pitocin, no episiotomy, no caesarean section. And then I almost just check those things off, you know, oh, we have to start pitocin because Labor stalled out because Mom’s intention that she’s been telling her brain is Pettersen, Pettersen, Pettersen, even though it’s no Pettersen, all she’s been doing is kind of thinking about Pettersen C-section.
And so that’s what her body and life. Is hers, because that’s what she’s focused on versus focusing on. I want to have a healthy birth with positive birth results. I want to feel happy about the outcome and just visualizing a positive birth experience with great skin to skin after and all those kind of things. So by focusing on the big picture, a lot of times you can have a more successful birth plan. But it is important to focus on the details also in the birth plan, because that helps us know kind of what you want and helps you to think about him ahead of time, because Mother Nature is going to throw curveballs at you while you’re in labor.
And although you’ve made choices ahead of time, that doesn’t mean that those choices have to stand in stone as you progress in labor. So make the birth plan, but make it flexible and be willing to shift and adjust and realize that as long as you’re making a choice with informed consent with your providers, you’re hopefully making the right choice for you and you can feel positive about the choices that you make and the outcome that you have. So that’s about birth plans.
I hope you guys enjoyed it. I hope you guys are going to consider making one feature and grab that free printable that I mentioned at the beginning, because I would love to see you inside. Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the snarls in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review until next time. We hope you have a tangle free day.