One of the first things families discuss with me when we first meet is their birth plan. For most, the birth plan is a best laid plan of how they'd like their birth to go, with some mention of 'in case.' They spend months preparing in every way for this new life to enter the outside world, and contemplating many important decisions about how their life will change. All these changes, adaptations, and plans are something many expecting mamas obsess over, spending hours reading, taking classes, and discussing with their friends, family, and care providers. It takes a lot of time and attention during these precious 40+ weeks(give or take).
But what happens when things don't go as planned? Every baby comes in to the world differently, no matter if it's Mama's first or fifteenth. There are drastic differences in every pregnancy, every birth, every single way that are unique to every moment that will impact the progress, decisions, and outcomes. What happens when Mama's waters ruptured and there's heavy meconium present, showing Baby could be in distress? What happens when Mama's working hard to bring her baby into the world and she suddenly spikes a high fever? What happens when the intensity of natural labor is just too overwhelming, too painful, too whatever for the plan? What then? Then we look at options. As your doula, I pull out every appropriate tool in my bag, whether it be accupressure, rebozo, different positions, a peanut ball, or my big ol' brain full of training and experience to help you make the best possible decisions for you. I have no preferences or plans, and my only agenda is to make sure that you feel supported, and that you have the information you need to make the best decisions for your family. This birth, these decisions, this entire year of your life when you will experience pregnancy, birth, and begin the postpartum period is about you and your family, and it's my job to make sure that you are fully equipped and supported to make the best possible decisions for your best possible birth, whatever that looks like.
A birth plan is a wonderful tool. It means you have put time and energy into researching your options. But in the end, it is just that: a tool. It is something for you to think about and formulate your preferences to share with your care providers and anyone who will be playing a role in your birth so that all your wishes can be respected. Sometimes a tool ends up not being the one you needed for the task at hand. A birth plan is not a hard and fast contract and any departure equals failure. On the contrary, I want to support you and make sure you know all your choices completely. You have options, I make sure your voice is heard and you are respected, no matter what your choices are. Your body knows how to birth, your baby knows how to be born, and that will happen no matter what a birth plan says. So go ahead and write your birth plan, but don't feel guilt if you change your plans. Birth happens, and it's never exactly as we expect so it cannot truly be planned. Be informed, and give birth. I support you however that happens. You are a strong, powerful, incredible woman no matter how your child arrives Earthside.