Why do I need a birth plan? Everyone says you can't plan your birth. Also, I know I'm getting an epidural so what would be the point?
Everyone should have birth plan. I often hear people say that there is no point in having a birth plan because you don't know what's going to happen anyway so it would be a waste of time. While you don't know exactly what is going to happen, a birth plan is NOT a waste of time. A birth plan is a written communication of your labor, birth and postpartum preferences.
Writing your birth plan actually enables you to educate yourself on the birthing process. Websites like www.birthplan.com
prompt you to answer questions about your preferences. It prompts you to research what you don't understand. For instance, you may prefer an unmedicated birth or narcotics over an epidural. If you don't know what that means, this is your opportunity to ask a birth professional and research the terms.
In addition, it is great to inform your medical team of your preferences. This way you are not overwhelmed with decisions during labor. Your birth plan can include decisions such as whether or not to pursue breastfeeding, give your baby the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth or banking your baby's cord blood. It should also include a contingency plan if the epidural is not effective. These are decisions that are much easier to make BEFORE you are in labor.
Write your birth plan early and don't wait to the last minute. Keep it short and to the point. Print multiple copies so that you, your partner, doctor, midwife and/or doula have a copy. Bring an extra copy to the hospital or birth center just in case your doctor or midwife is unavailable and someone else assists you.
A birth plan is a list of preferences. It is simply a way for you to have answers for the many decisions that you will make during labor, delivery and postpartum time. It's better to know what you prefer than not!
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