A birth plan is usually written and has information about the type of labour you are aiming for and how you hope to achieve this.
It usually includes your wishes on things such as what sort of pain relief you’d prefer or what birthing position you want to try. It can also cover issues like whether you want your baby handed to you straight after he’s born or only after he’s had all his checks.
The most important thing in labour is good communication between you and your midwife. So make sure both you and your birth partner discuss your birth plan with her beforehand. Very often she will be able to judge what she feels you will be able to manage and tolerate in labour.
Remember, the most crucial aspect of your birth plan will be its flexibility. Everything up until labour is theory and no one knows exactly how it will unfold. I believe that if you have a rigid way of thinking, very often you don’t end up with the labour you want.
So keep an open mind. Investigating all the different types of pain relief, for example, will allow you to make an informed judgment if the option you’ve chosen is not working for you.
If things do take a different turn from what you envisaged try to focus on your baby waiting to meet you. Ultimately, all that matters is his safe arrival.
With good antenatal preparation classes, knowledge of relaxation techniques and plenty of safe exercise, you can prepare your mind and body for labour and can get through anything.
Now tell us what worked for you….
Did you write a birth plan and how did it help during your labour?