Woody Allen is credited with saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” While there is some truth to this statement, planning ahead does have some incredible benefits, especially when it comes to your birth plan.
If you’ve never developed a birth plan before, Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley want to provide you with a few tips to get you started.
Why a birth plan?
Getting back to Mr. Allen’s argument about the futility of making plans, many women wonder why they should have a birth plan when so many things can go in a different direction during childbirth.
While that’s true, there are many more instances that we’re able to follow the birth plan, which benefits everyone involved.
Whether you’re a master planner or not, putting a birth plan in place can provide you with peace of mind, because you’ve laid forth your desires for your child’s birth. In communicating (and transcribing) your wishes, you can be sure that those around you will make every effort to follow the plan, which is designed for the comfort and health of both you and your baby.
As you approach your due date, you should carry this plan with you at all times and make sure that your partner, our group here, and anyone else who may be involved, has a copy.
What to include in a birth plan
A birth plan can be a simple paragraph or a long laundry list of wishes, and how you approach your birth plan is entirely up to you.
However detailed your birth plan is, everyone should start with some basic personal information that includes:
- Your name
- Name and contact of your support person
- Name and contact of your doctor and/or midwife
- Your due date
- What hospital you’ve chosen (if applicable)
With that basic information down, you can then decide how detailed you’d like to get regarding your labor and delivery.
Birth plan details
As we mentioned, birth plans differ from one woman to the next, and it’s up to you as to how detailed you want to be in this document.
To give you an idea of some areas you may want to cover, these are common components of birth plans:
- The labor process — Do you want music? Do you want to move around. Do you want someone to video?
- Pain management — Do you want an epidural? Or would you prefer other methods, such as acupuncture?
- Medical interventions — If you have the choice, will you want fetal monitoring? What about an episiotomy or membrane management?
- Delivery wishes — Do you want a mirror? Who cuts the umbilical cord?
Each of these areas can be fleshed out quite a bit, and we’re only presenting basics here. For more details, we urge you to do a quick internet search to find one of the many templates for birth plans. Of course, we’re also happy to sit down with you to come up with a plan that’s tailored to your needs and desires.
Returning once again to Mr. Allen’s argument about plans, it’s true that your birth plan represents a list of your wishes, but circumstances may arise that change everything.
It’s important that you remain flexible when it comes to your birth plan and understand that Mother Nature may have different ideas for your delivery. This holds true whether you qualify as a high-risk pregnancy or not.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a birth plan, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to set up a consultation.