Birthing Planning Resource Guide
Here’s an overview of birth planning information for your birth, wherever or however you choose to welcome your baby. The most important of my tasks as a doula is to provide you with extensive, evidence-based information. In my previous life as a social worker, I spent two years learning how to sift through research, determine its credibility and implement a process to correctly interpret it. These resources were not derived from a Google search, which I’m sure you are more than capable of conducting on your own. I combined my expertise in interpreting evidence-based information with my knowledge of birth to provide you with unbiased and succinct information. Some of these articles are quick reads and some of them are a little bit heavier and more difficult to digest. My hope is that you will take the time to look through this information a little at a time, take note of what is interesting or confusing to you and bring it back to me so we can talk through it.
Unsurprisingly, some people are hesitant to make a “birth plan”. I think a lot of this stems from genuine fear about birth not going the way that they expect. It also can come from fear of seeming demanding or disruptive to the hospital staff. In my experience, hospital staff are grateful for birth plans because it means that they don’t have to ask so many questions about your preferences during labor. Knowing up front that you know about things like delayed cord clamping and its importance to you tells the nurse that you are an active participant in your birth.
The most valuable part of birth planning isn’t walking into the hospital with a printed out list of how you want your birth to go, it’s about what happens to you during the process of planning. Hopefully, throughout the process of planning you are able to envision your ideal birth and take steps to give yourself the best chance of achieving it. There is a lot to learn about pregnancy, birth and life with a newborn but it’s one of those things that you don’t realize until you’re in the throws of it. That old adage, “You don’t know, until you know.” SO much of that applies to birth, but some foresight and elbow grease can go along way.
This birth planning resource guide, and the information within it can also initiate a dialogue between you and your doctor/midwife. Generally, OBGYN’s don’t initiate conversations about these topics because they aren’t sure that their patients are interested in these conversations and also for the tight time limitations they have at prenatal appointments. If you are looking for long and in depth conversations about these things I would recommend midwifery care. It is possible, but a little more challenging to have these conversations with doctor’s but with enough planning and advocating, it is definitely possible. Let your provider know that you want to be an active participant in your birth experience. They should welcome this and encourage it, and if they don’t it might be time to have a conversation about looking into a new provider.