First, I wanted to share this post about birth plans from Stephanie Soderblom's blog Vita Mutari. Stephanie is a CPM in Arizona. I met her once at a birth conference in Mesa, and a good friend of mine attends births with her. Stephanie's post actually inspired me to write up my own birth plan, especially the wording in the first part of the hospital version. Here are some excerpts:
I have heard some argue that a birth plan is trying to control the uncontrollable (the birth)…that it is almost guaranteeing that you will have problems because you are trying to dictate the way the birth will go.I also added birth plans to the "topics of interest" on the left sidebar. If you click on it, you'll open this window, which has links to all of my posts on that subject.
First off…I can not disagree strongly enough...To me, a birth plan has nothing to do with controlling the birth or how the birth will unfold…it is ONLY about how you are treated throughout this journey. I haven’t read a birth plan yet that addressed the BIRTH (“I want to be in labor less than 10 hours” “I will feel it only in my hips and cervix, not in my thighs or back.” “My contractions shall not become closer than 5 minutes apart”)…..NO! The birth plan is addressing the choices and actions of those around you!
Most birth plans can be summarized thusly: “You will treat me with respect at all times and I will maintain the autonomy that I had before entering your hospital. Before you touch me or intervene in the normal course of my labor/delivery, you will discuss it with me and obtain informed consent.”
**stands back and looks at the birth plan**
Yep…that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. This in no way states anything about how the birth will unfold or trying to control events – it’s about how you are treated and the respect you are given in the process as an adult autonomous human with rights and freedoms....
My favorite birth plan I have ever been given was hand-written on an index card and said simply, “Don’t F*** with me!” I happily signed this birth plan, hole-punched it and put it front and center in her chart.