Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Mamalingual Dictionary: Birth Plot

Birth plot (noun) 1. a conspiracy between healthcare professionals, your baby and divine intervention to sabotage your birth plan (origin: BNM 2007)

Sometime in the weeks leading up to B-day, you’ll be advised to write a birth plan. It’s a useful tool to figure out what your expectations are and to discuss with your birth partner and medical team. A typical birth plan should include details of whether you want to use pain relief, if you want to be able to move around during labour, what props you might like to use (e.g. birthing pool), if you have objections to assisted delivery (e.g. forceps or episiotomy) and who you would like to be present at the birth.

Writing my birth plan gave me a sense of control and made me feel more prepared. But of course only about 60 percent of the delivery went according to what I’d written. It was only afterwards that I could laugh about having three medical students involved in my labour and birth when I’d specifically noted that none should be present. At some point, you have to toss preconceptions to the wind and just be in the moment. Here’s our five-point guide for writing a birth plan:

1. Do your research – the more you read, the more prepared you’ll be
2. Be flexible – each birth is different so expect the unexpected
3. Listen to your body – if she's crying out for pain relief, allow it!
4. Trust the professionals – they've done this hundreds of times before
5. Focus on what matters – getting baby out by any safe means necessary

Check out this birth plan calculator at Babycenter.

Pic source: American Pregnancy Association

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