The Birth Plan

Up until this point I have been playing catch up on the blog with everything that has happened so far. It’s given me a chance to reflect on everything we have been through together and also made me realise I’ve actually paid attention during these 38 weeks! We’re now at the stage where everything is becoming very real, at this very moment my fiance is lying behind me and inhaling sharply at the twinges going on in and around her belly, each of which is causing me to have a bit of an internal panic attack. You see on the surface I’m calm and ready to go to the hospital, but underneath, well this is me…

Now things are getting real, we’re signing off on our birth plan. In my opinion it has always been up to my fiance how she wants things to take place, after all, she’s doing the hard work on the day, so what she thinks is best for her, I will support.

I know for some partners this can be a cause of tension based on differing opinions on; pain relief, delivery methods, delivery location, you name it there’s a handful of options for each. Something that came as a surprise to me as part of the antenatal classes was that a lot of cases of post natal depression are due to the birth plans not going, well, to plan. Having spent weeks and months focusing on the way that you want the birth to go and then having to alter the plans mid way through, can understandably have an effect on mum and dad! So, what we made sure to do was educate ourselves on the options:

  1. What pain relief is there?
  2. What are the side effects of each?
  3. What birthing methods are there?
  4. What are the alternatives if things don’t ‘go to plan’?
  5. What are the recovery times based on different methods of delivery?

As a couple that didn’t really have a plan, we’ve found ourselves starting to build one, and with that we’ve built confidence. Compared to those I have seen and read about, we are towards the more ‘relaxed’ end of the scale, with the only real focus being that we try a water birth. You see, my fiance has always found baths have helped with illness of most forms and for pain relief, we’ve also been told that in some cases water births have been known to be as effective as an epidural.Worth a go!

When it comes to pain relief, we have ruled out certain options based on the side effects to both mum and baby, but we’ve also had our eyes opened to other methods that are available that, should we need it, will use. I don’t want to take this as an opportunity to bash the methods we aren’t keen on, or promote the ones we like the sound of. Every birth is different, and as a couple we have agreed that having some structure to our birth plan puts us in control, but also allows us to give the professionals who do this day in and day out the opportunity to offer their opinion should we need to look at alternatives.

At the end of the day, all we want is for our partner to be as comfortable as possible, in as safe a way as possible. We have to stand back and watch a situation very much out of our control take place on the big day, so with a birth plan in place you have the comfort that the people delivering your baby know what you want to happen! So get planning, or at least get clued up on your options, because you have more than you think, trust me!

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