Five Reasons to Skip the Birth Plan and Go With the Flow

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. Yet some experts – as well as moms who have been through the process – believe that it can be healthier to skip the birth plan and “go with the flow” when it’s time to deliver. So after all you’ve heard about the benefits of having a birth plan, what could be the advantages of skipping it altogether?

1. You open yourself up to the experience: If you’re not bound by a plan, your mind is more open to taking things moment by moment, as they come. Many women find that this approach makes them more appreciative of the labor and delivery as the journey that it really is, rather than as a single destination (childbirth). Of course, even if you have a plan, you need to be flexible about many things, especially if you face an emergency situation. But if you aren’t adhering strictly to a birth “plan,” any bump that comes along in the road will be merely something that happens, as opposed to something that gets in the way of the plan.

2. You may be more relaxed. When you are tense and distraught, your labor and contractions may turn out to be more difficult. But if you are willing to live in the moment, and you’re not worried about following along with a plan, your body will probably be more relaxed as well. That means more “good” hormones will be flowing, and possibly an easier labor.

3. You may have a better relationship with your caregiver: Some doctors or midwives appreciate having a birth plan as a statement of what kind of birth you would like to have. But if your birth plan is too long or too prescriptive, it may alienate your caregiver. Additionally, some moms simply download pre-written birth plans that contain irrelevant or outdated information (such as asking not to be shaved or not to receive an enema, both of which are very rarely done anymore) that can result in the caregiver taking the document less seriously. If you have a relationship with your caregiver that is based on open discussion and trust, that relationship is probably more valuable than any piece of paper.

4. You may not have to worry about as many “what if’s”: What if I forget to bring the birth plan to the hospital? What if my regular doctor or midwife isn’t available? What if things move so quickly that the caregivers don’t have time to read the plan? What if I forgot some things to cover on my birth plan? If you’re prepared to go with the flow from the beginning, you won’t have to worry about having everything line up according to plan.

5. You’ll learn to be flexible: Probably one of the most important skills that new parents need to learn is the ability to be flexible – and what better time to learn it than during labor and delivery? Your baby is an individual, just as your labor and delivery will be like no one else’s. You have no way of knowing whether it will be quick, or whether labor will stall after two days. If you teach yourself to go with the flow and take whatever comes, you’ll be preparing yourself for something that all parents of young children need to learn.

Of course, if you want to work on a birth plan with your partner and/or your doctor or midwife, it’s never a bad thing to have open communication and lots of conversations about how you see it all coming together. But if you decide to go to the hospital without a piece of paper in your hand, you might just open your mind and body to an easier, worry-free delivery.

0
No votes yet
 

8 comments

By esparando para bebé on 02/25/10 at 9:33 am

I have yet to get to that point in a pregnancy, but like the others have said, while the article has some good points, I still think a plan is a very go  ...

By mylene169 on 02/19/10 at 8:32 pm

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 hav  ...

By bre4thewin on 02/17/10 at 11:02 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 pl  ...

Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

Top 10 Recipe Apps for the Working Mom

After rushing from office to home, it’s tough to whip up easy yet delicious dishes most nights. But with the help of some highly rated recipe apps at your fingertips, you can do it—in a snap!

How to Deal with Super Tantrums

You are out and about with your child running errands, when all of a sudden he goes from happy and calm to full on hell-raiser.

Gender Identity: Raising a Transgender Youth

According to a report by the BBC, "the number of children aged 10 and under who have been referred [for] support services to help deal with transgender feelings has more than quadrupled in the last six years."

When Parents Aren't on the Same Page

Think back to the time before you became a parent: Maybe you talked with your partner about having children. Yet, your “parenting styles” may not have entered the conversation.

From The Message Boards

Pregnancy and Motherhood After Loss

Desperately need words of encouragement

My husband and I, 42 and 44 years old, respectively, had our stillborn daughter, Ella Kobani Kurmanj...

Labor and Childbirth

Epidural

Hello, I am due in August and I believe will get epidural. However, just read here that one woman c...

High Risk and TTC

Am I "high-risk"?

Hello! I'm new to the forum and all things pregnancy. I'm not pregnant but my husband and I decid...

Unplanned Pregnancy

Undecided, leaning towards parenting

I am 23 years old, and 6 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend is 24, we are both living at home in order to...

Unplanned Pregnancy

Very Lost

I found out a couple weeks a go that I am pregnant. I haven't gone to the doctor yet, but took mult...