Planning and the Unexpected

Many expectant women think about how their pregnancy and birth will go. They may read books or blogs, researching the latest fads, new research or what has been historically done for years. Most will talk to friends or family who have been there before, seeking advice on what to expect. Some will dream about the environment they want to welcome their child into, and others will focus on what life will be like after baby arrives.

Most women will be faced with an overwhelming amount of decisions regarding the birth of their child. Where do they want to give birth, where is plan B located, who will be there, how will I handle labor pains, what if I don’t go into labor on my own, what happens if labor starts too early, etc.? So many decisions to be made over the course of 9 months and for some not much has been explained why they would choose one over the other. How do you decided and who’s opinion do you trust? And all of this just gets you to the point of welcoming that child into the world, not to mention becoming parents and everything that happens after delivery. It is hard for some to navigate the web of information that surrounds pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

I have learned that making a plan helps to alleviate some stress. Having time to research options and come up with a course of action when you are not pressed for an immediate decision is the best. But what happens when things veer off course? That’s where plan B comes in! It’s important to not only think about your ideal birth and create a plan in which everything goes ideally, and every option is still an option, but also to decide, if some options are taken away, what is still very important to you. Birth is not predictable and it’s important to be flexible in some areas when necessary. For example, options are limited when you are faced with a cesarean birth. Can you still have skin to skin contact once baby is out and you are still in surgery? Can you have your arms free to hold your baby instead of being strapped down?  You can talk with your provider about what options you may still have, given the situation.

There are interventions that are scary so some people don’t want to think about or plan for. It’s important though to familiarize yourself with what possibilities are out there so you can decide ahead of time what you would do given the situation. Take a childbirth class and learn all about the birthing process and what options are out there.  I encourage you to have a discussion with your provider if you have any questions about some of the possible interventions and situations surrounding birth.

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