– By midwife Justine (mamasplekje.be)
Drawing up a birth plan may sound easy. The internet is full of templates of what a birth plan could look like. Many of these templates even have the same lay-out, so you will more or less find the same questions: who will be with you during labor and birth, if you are open to pain relief, if the father wants to cut the umbilical cord, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, this is perfectly fine. However, it also makes you focus on these questions only and you often won’t think further than what is mentioned in the template.
1. Start without a template
I would recommend to first start brainstorming with your partner or friend about your view on labor and birth and how you would like to be guided during this moment. The best way to do this is without looking up templates or other information.
2. Make a plan for the ideal birth, but also think about your choices in case something goes wrong
What I have learned by experience, is that parents have a birth plan for an ideal birth, when everything goes right. They often lack a plan for when things don’t go as hoped. Which is a shame, because many parents start panicking (very understandably of course). Surely you can draw up a plan for the perfect birth by yourself or possibly with some help from your midwife or someone with experience.
3. Get support from a midwife
It is not so easy to draw up a plan for when things do not go as you had planned. Your midwife can help with this. An expert can ask critical questions and help you make alternative choices that also suit you and your family.
For this blog, we let Justine share her thoughts. She is a midwife and has a webshop specialized in breastfeeding and second-hand baby products. On the occasion of the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights, she was happy to share her tips on drawing up a birth plan.