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Are birth plans outdated?

Monday, 2 June 2014  | 

Birth Plans -are they outdated?

During my first pregnancy I thought long and hard about what kind of birth I wanted and my birth plan pretty much explained the home birth I desired and pretty much limited me to my desired outcome. As much as that was really lovely one induction and emergency c section later I was very much disillusioned that I didn't have the 'perfect' birth I had set my heart on.

This time around I pretty much had the same mindset that I would get the birth I wanted - BUT this time I have opted for a planned c-section. The traumatic first labour is not something I ever want to feel again. Call it control, call it saving my sanity but this choice is something I feel very at ease with.

Coming back though to my question - are birth plans outdated?

I will argue they are to a point.

A plan to me now sounds very similar to the task list I create every day for work. It feels like it is set in stone and wavering feels like a lack of control or that there needs to be an element of success.

Success is not something we should be relating to the traditional thoughts of a 'natural' birth. A birth via the sunroof is to be the same as any other birth. The mother is birthing her child and I suppose the ultimate success is really the birth of that baby not how the woman has got to that point.

I always felt like I had been a failure to not be able to give birth vaginally, I think many women who have had their options taken away from them feel like this - or at least a lot of women I have spoken to. It can be severely traumatising to think at the start of becoming a mother we already have put the cloud of failure over our head.

So what can we do about it? Is it really because a birth plan feels restrictive in your choices or is it that as women we put that pressure on ourselves for a birth that just isn't the most natural way for us.

I do not think there is a right answer to the by the way but I do think by talking more about what our options are means that we can all support each other no matter what the outcome.

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