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Nearly every expectant mom considers drawing up a birth plan at some point, and there are certainly many benefits if you take the time to do so. If nothing else, it will give you an opportunity to think through and talk about all of the various choices you have.
I decided not to use a birth plan with my girls because I knew things would be unpredictable.
The one thing I WILL put in my birth plan next time is to instruct the midwife to NOT tell me to push 'like you're having a bm' because they've said that both times and I personally found it very off-putting and found it distracted me from actually pushing!
As a nurse--I LOVED and VALUED GREATLY the birthing plan....it helped me be closer with the patient and get more of a feel of what they wanted--which helped me better provide that for them. Your doctor may know exactly what you want and you may have a great bond with them--but they are not the ones your with for 90% of your labor....its the nurses. And they know nothing about you...these plans help us to know.
Although not everything happened as planned, I loved having a birth plan! It helped me research and prepare for the procedures I could expect, rather than making uninformed choices during labor, when I was not in the frame of mind to do so. As far as the necessity of having a good relationship with your provider... that's all well and good unless you're a patient of a group practice, not a solo provider; you don't know who's going to be attending the birth, and may not even have the luxury of meeting your provider ahead of time, let alone have the chance to discuss your expectations and which procedures you do or don't want. Having a birth plan, in my opinion, helps the birth experience to be more personalized and respectful of mother and baby as people, which makes birth feel like less of an "assembly line" operation.
Also, I found writing my birth plan to be a healing experience. My first birth experience was very traumatic, and I believe if I had been more prepared and had a birth plan, it could have gone very differently; taking more of an initiative the next time around really helped me come to terms with my son's birth and feeling like delivery was something that was done to me, not something I was a welcome participant in. I realize that some providers don't really like birth plans... and that is exactly the type of provider I will avoid at all costs because I can't trust my body with someone who doesn't want me to be actively involved in decisions regarding my health and the health of my baby.
Last edited by Tofu Bacon; February 15th, 2010 at 01:07 PM.
I understand this article, but i still think a birth plan is very important...especially in a hospital birth. I think that not having your wishes in place, opens you up for having unnecessary interventions. Also when writing a birth plan helps woman learn about what there options are...because there are options! As a Doula I encourage women to empower themselves with knowledge and take back your birth! Dont just let them do what they want!
There's definitely a good point to this article. But I think it is a good idea to have some kind of plan. You should at least know what you want and have that be known to those who will be with you while in labor. You certainly need to be flexible though. My birth with my DD didn't go as I planned, but it wasn't horrible and I'd definitely say I went with it as it was happening. I have no regrets there!