The Birth Plan: Clarifying your Intention.

When we consider the choices for “general condition” in birth, we are looking at your personal preferences for natural birth or planned with pain relief and/or medical intervention. We are looking at intention. What is your intention for how this birth will unfold?

This can be a complex matter, as each initial choice has an inherent degree of variability. For example, a woman choosing natural, unmedicated childbirth may be confronted with complications that lead towards medical intervention. And a woman planning a hospital birth may plan for birth unfolding one way, but a slow labor and the potential “cascade of interventions” may lead to a very different development.

The point is, you may wish to consider your choices for all possible scenarios. No matter how birth unfolds, what are your choices for handling any given situation? Yes, you do have a choice!

Start by knowing what to expect, what are the options, what to plan for, what your caregiver supports and encourages (check out percentage rates), and deeply tune into your deepest desires for birth. Though one situation or caregiver may not be supportive of your choices, another may be. We’ll look at this more in our next post when we consider “Attendants.”

Educate yourself for the possibilities – and clarify your preferences for all possible situations. The more you are prepared and understand what could unfold, the less frightened you may feel, the less “out of control,” and the more naturally your birth may progress. Though considering the possibilities may at times seem frightening, entering into birth without understanding possibilities (and clarifying your preferences ahead of time in each situation) can be dangerous.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it many times again. There is no one right way. There is only your way – what is right for you, your birth, your baby, your personal situation. And no matter how we plan, birth may unfold with a plan of its own.

Birth is a sacred event. There is no room for comparing or competing. Simply make space for your unique birth. Honor your self, your body, your baby, your personal situation.

Though it is often portrayed that birth is a matter of simply passing all authority over to our caregiver, more and more women traditionally – and now once again – are realizing and claiming authority over their birth and their body. What is your choice?

Of course no matter what we choose, birth may unfold in a path for which we were not planning. This is why many women take a broad look over the birthing process and consider all possibilities. How would you prefer to handle these situations if you had to? Believe me, it’s easier to research, consider and choose now… not in the intensity of the situation.

All of these scenarios and choices may be considered in the formation of your Birth Plan. With such, you, your family, and your caregiver can plan and prepare accordingly to honor your birthing preferences.

Please know the possibilities, and your preferences for addressing each one.

  • Natural comfort measures (We will look at these in much greater depth in a future post.)
  • Pain medication (These too are more complicated than simply taking a pill or getting a shot and birth is suddenly pain free and easy, so you can do your research now, but we will address these options in greater detail in the future.)
  • Medically assisted delivery.
  • Transportation if needed in homebirth.
  • Surgical delivery.
  • Episiotomy (FGM).

Regardless of your choices, just remember it is choice. You can choose to have someone make all the decisions for you, and completely trust them. Or you can choose to manage your own birth and body. Or… find a suitable combination or balance between those two. There is no one right way. It’s personal preference. Please be comfortable with your choices, and whatever way you choose. Already you are taking charge and being responsible by actively working to understand the process and your options.

Are you handing your birth over the authorities, and are you okay with this? For some women this is a relief.  For others, it’s a crazy nightmare resulting in deep wounds…

Consider your choices carefully. Honor them, and plan accordingly.

Planning for any form of childbirth is a commitment. Birth will test your deepest, most primal power. And you know what?  You do have that. Primal power. It’s all within you, naturally hardwired, and then some.

Preparing for the normal, natural path is a commitment in understanding the birth process for the more you know, the less likely you will be afraid, and the more prepared you will be to handle whatever challenges may arise. When we feel comfortable knowing where we’re going and what to expect, we are more able to let go, completely release, surrender and flow with the birthing process.

Remember, no matter what happens, no matter how this birth unfolds and progresses, the choice is yours, the birth is yours. If the need arises, you are prepared to smoothly adjust and can flow into the changes without too much disturbance, and with control.

So remember – please take the time to plan. Consider and choose how you want this birth to unfold. And remember that when it does unfold, your plans are only part of the bigger picture. Honor and accept this now. This is part of the eternal beauty and great mystery that birth will always be.

Next, let’s take a look at another choice to be carefully considered in planning for birth: Attendants.