Ok, so I keep hearing the words 'Birth Plan'...and I don't have one...and I don't know what one looks like. So tell me about birth plans! LOL
I have never had a written out birth plan. I had an idea of how I wanted it to go, and it pretty much did go that way. My labors have been so fast and hard that a birth plan would have really been pointless anyway! I think it is a good idea ,though, to maybe have things written out the way you would prefer for it to go.
I've never had one either! I can definitely see where they could be useful though. For some people having something "written down" just helps themselves better follow what they want. Anyway, labor is unpredictable, and sometimes you won't really know what you want until you try something and it works. That being said, some general things, such as, "I want to try at least 15 different positions to deal with the pain naturally before giving in to an epi," might be a good idea. I remember with my 4th dd (my second all natural birth), labor was just starting to get to that "hard to deal with point" and I really didn't know if I could go on. I was in the tub at that point (which has NEVER worked for me - it's actually the worst thing) and thinking "why isn't this working???" Anyway, I had to use the bathroom, so I got out of the tub and sat on the toilet. During the time I was there I of course had another contraction. I had my legs spread apart and just leaned forward and put my head down to get through it. It was the BEST thing ever. It felt amazing, and suddenly I was like, "I can totally do this!" That helped me to figure out my "ideal" position for getting through contractions - even when not on the toilet. Anyway, I think it's best to have a "general plan" but nothing too specific. If it helps to write things down, then by all means go for it.
I didn't have one with elora but I did make one this time because of her birth. I used the site suggested in our last thead about them. I think in my case it will just help me advocate for myself in the heat of the moment, This is from the original post.
earthmamaangelbaby.com has a really good birth plan maker - it asks tons of questions so you can see what types of things there are to think about.. obviously you have to have an open mind when things are happening - but it also helps to have already thought of some things.
I've never made one personally. I'm kind of a "go with the flow" person so I didn't want to set up a ton of expectations for the birth and then not have it go accordingly (which it totally wouldn't have with my first baby anyway). I think when you are really focused on a pain med free birth, they are more common to see though, which hasn't been my case either time. That being said, I do plan on talking with my L&D nurse about doing skin-to-skin afterwards which I haven't done with either of my other two, buuuut if something were to happen where that wasn't possible, I wouldn't lose sleep over it either. My birth plan is pretty much whatever it takes for healthy mom and baby and everything else we'll decide as we go
I have never had one either because I am not a terribly opinionated person LOL. That being said, you could also say I am making uneducated choices, but I have just never been one to feel PASSIONATELY about having things go a certain way. I think if you are trying for a VBAC or if you are aiming for a drug-free birth, they can definitely be helpful because those things often go against the "norm" in a hospital.
Some things are obvious, and therefore don't require a plan - if you're planning on drug free, then do that.. or if you want a safe word that you say if you really want an epi all of a sudden, then have that. But it's the smaller things that get overlooked. Do you want to have the option for a having the lights dimmed to keep you calm, do you want access to a birthing ball or a shower, or hot/cold towels. Do you want to have the oxytocin shot after birth, do you want to give your baby the eyedrops and vitamin k shot? Do you want your baby skin to skin right away. Do you want to be told to push, or let the pushing happen on your own? Do you want to have your water broken if it hasn't when you are more or less dliated. Do you want intermittent monitoring so that you are more free to walk around? Do you want to be encouraged to focus or sing or whatever, or be left alone. These are small things that you may not think about when you're in the moment, but it's good for your DH or your doula or doctor to know so that you have all these things available since you will not be thinking about them. The sight I posted previously that Kia reposted has that and a whole lot of other questions just to get you thinking. I don't have a plan this time around, but I'm pretty set on all the same things as last time - so I'm just informing my midwife of them as I go along with the appointments. I also think that being at home is going to be much more of a free safe space then a hospital, so I will feel more comfortable doing what I want.