As the baby's arrival becomes more real, not knowing what might happen during childbirth can cause anxiety. You may have done some soul searching, researching, or attended a birthing class in preparation for the big day. This information can help you create a birth plan.
Creating a birth plan is a good idea, but it is best to avoid being too rigid because every pregnancy and every baby is different. It is difficult to say how labor and delivery will go until you get there. Understanding the various options and potential interventions ahead of time can help you make crucial last-minute decisions without losing the precious time it might take to explain certain choices your doctor will want you to make.
What might work for one pregnancy might not work for another, and complications that arise during childbirth might take you off course, so it is essential that you plan, but be ready for anything and flexible in your ability to adapt to the changes that can happen during childbirth. It may be a good idea to make a loose outline of what you'd like, but remember to be open to change. Creating a birth plan can also help you determine if there are aspects of childbirth you aren't sure about or help you come up with questions for your doctor about the big day and what might or could happen.
Not sure what kind of birth plan you'd like? You can read up on some potential options and interventions in Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, Epidural Without Guilt, and Dream Birth to increase your knowledge or determine what you'd like to know more about before the big day.
Be sure to discuss your plan with your partner and caregiver, so they understand your feelings, goals, and plans for the big day should you need their help or assistance and are unable to articulate your feelings or needs for whatever reason. Having their buy into your plan helps ensure they understand your goals and will make decisions with your plan in mind whenever possible.
- American Pregnancy Association - Creating Your Birth Plan
- WebMD - How to Create a Birth Plan