In preparation for my due date (six weeks away) and just in time for my sister-in-law's due date (1 week away), I put together a couple printable birth pages. I didn't do much on this for my other two, and their births went great. But there were smaller things I wished I had remembered, that got lost in the flurry of active labor (i.e., I wanted music both times and completely forgot both times).
A lot of birth plans I found online compiled several pages of information and preferences together (can we say overwhelming and impractical?!) or they had just one short condensed sheet meant for the hospital with nowhere to remind me of the important stuff like push play on my music. So, I put together the following two printable pages...
Here are a couple pretty thorough lists of what to learn more about:
The Bump -- list of birth options to consider putting on birth plan
Trimester Talk -- questions to consider for what to put on the birth plan
Why Write a "Birth Plan"In short, a birth plan is more for you than it is for "them." Writing a birth plan, especially an overly detailed plan, can lead to inflexibility and regret if things don't go how you want. But writing a birth plan of sorts (or what I'd rather call Birth Notes or Birth Preferences) is still important and so helpful in the birth process--maybe not for the reasons you'd expect.
- It can help you know what interventions could come up so you can read up on them and understand them before you're pressed to make a decision. Wait, what are forceps again?
- It can help you know what to ask your medical professional and/or birthing facility. What routine procedures can you expect? So, will I be hooked up to an IV once I check in?
- It can help you prepare for birth, or "get your head in the game" so to speak. What positions or breathing should you be doing to relax now so it's more natural in birth? What mantras should you memorize and repeat now so they come to mind when needed later?
- It can act as a checklist along the process--at what point will you go to the hospital? What ambiance do you want to create when you get there? Who do you want in the room during labor, delivery, bonding time? Who needs to be called or texted and when?
- It can help your partner or support persons know how to get involved. What words could they use to encourage you, what could they suggest to try, how could they help you through contractions?
- It can bring to mind your relaxation techniques--reminders for breathing, intentions or mantras, positions to try, jokes or videos to get you laughing and loosening your muscles.
- It can help you think about how you'll move on if things don't go as planned. Because the unexpected and unplanned is always a possibility. But your baby's birth will still be a labor of love. Be prepared to embrace it as such, no matter what comes up.
Next week, I have some of my own thoughts on birth to share with some resources I've loved reading this time around.
Download (free, of course)...Birth Notes for Relaxation
Birth Preferences and Intentions
Have you written a birth plan? Which reminders were helpful for you and which weren't?
new? start here...
preparing for birth
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