Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't Tell ME When to Push: Why Creating a Birth Plan is Important {with 10 birth plan resources}

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As women, our birthing experiences are deeply personal to us.  As we go through the course of our pregnancy, many of us envision how our labor and delivery will go and what those first precious moments with our newborn will be like.  Having a birth plan in place was what made me feel confident going into my son's birth.  I didn't take any birthing classes or read a whole bunch of books.  My pregnancy reading list was really all I had... that and what I'd seen on tv.  But after reading the book Birthing from Within and creating my birth plan, I honestly felt fully prepared for the whole experience. 

Things went as close to my plan as they could until it came time to push.  That's when the nurse tried the "1, 2, 3, push!" thing with me.  Um...nuh-uh.... nope.  Not happening.  Even though I didn't want to, I tried, and I couldn't do it....couldn't get myself to push.  She tried to persuade me to try again.  I just wanted to scream, "Don't tell ME when to push!"  That's when I told my doctor I had to do it like I had planned... I'd push when I felt like pushing.... 

Having shared my birth plan with my doctor made it easier for me to communicate during my labor.  We got off track and with just a sentence from me, we easily got back onto the path I wanted to take because I had shared my wishes with him beforehand.  As I get ready for Little Miss Sunshine's birth in about 9 weeks, creating a birth plan for her is on my list. 

Here are a few reasons why having a birth plan is important to me as well as several resources you can use to create your own birth plan. 
A birth plan helps you set the stage for what you'd like to happen.
Plans are good, but they aren't fail proof.  There's no way of being assured that every point on your birth plan will be met.  But there is something to be said about having a game plan in place to sort of guide your labor and delivery experience. 
A birth plan helps you become familiar with things you might not have considered.
Going through a birth plan list may bring up topics or decisions you've not considered or addressed with your partner, such as whether or not you want to see the baby crown or what positions you wan to be free to labor/deliver in.  I learned so much about my options when I created my first birthing plan.  Some of these things were like seeing the baby when he crowned or about being able to hold him immediately after he was born. 
A birth plan can act as your voice when you're in labor.
Labor and delivery can be a hectic time.  When you're in the midst of hard-hitting contractions is not the time for you to have to express or explain your laboring/birthing choices.  It can remind your doctor of what the two of you spoke about in appointments prior to birth.  And it gives new nurses an instant update as to what
A birth plan opens the lines of communication.
A birth plan, helps everyone get on the same page.  By putting your wishes, beliefs, ideals, or whatever you'd like to call them on paper in black and white for your doctor, nurses, midwife, etc  know what' important to you in regards to your labor and delivery experience. 

I wish I could find a copy of my birth plan that I made up before I had Bear.  Think it was on the old computer that we've gotten rid of, which means I have to make up a new one.  If you're wanting to make one up for yourself, here are several great birth plan printables and examples you can use to do it.   
Did you have a birth plan for any of your births?  How do you feel it helped your situation? 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.
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