Doula shares THE WORST advice you could receive whilst pregnant.

Pregnant woman holding her baby bump on the beach.

“Ditch the Birth Plan, because it won’t go to plan” *cringe*

Please don’t ditch your Birth Plan, it’s far from the holy grail, but it’s a damn good start.
As a Doula, I understand the complexities of birth, especially if you’re choosing to birth in a hospital setting!

Why is this advice being sprinkled around like confetti at the Mardi Gras?

A Traditional Birth Plan consists of specific set of “wishes” or “preferences”, but it can set unrealistic expectations for birth. The issue arises from the unpredictability of birth; we can never predict how or when it will happen. If unforeseen circumstances occur, deviating from our plan can lead to disappointment, misunderstanding, and potentially birth trauma. I express this gently, without placing blame on birthing women. As a Doula, I’ve noticed that advising women to “Ditch the Birth Plan” often stems from others’ personal experiences or past trauma.

Other issues regarding Traditional Birth Plans: Birth Plan Templates

I’ve personally viewed a lot of Birth Plan templates that have pre-filled answers relating to certain medical interventions, including medical and non-medical pain management options, fetal monitoring, perineum management, third stage of labour, prevention of postpartum hemorrhage, and routine post-birth procedures for both the mother and baby. The issue is that this style of plans doesn’t actively encourage women to do their own research, which is vital to understanding firstly the benefits Vs risks associated with certain medical interventions, but secondly also understanding whether or not these medical interventions align with your values. Working with my Doula client’s, I always stress the importance of doing their own research, therefore if needed, they’re in a better position to advocate for their informed decisions, being fully aware of the benefits/risks and how that aligns with them individually.

What can we do differently?

First of all, if you have written a birth plan, don’t scrap it! This can serve as a solid foundation for more comprehensive birth preparation. Regularly working in hospitals as a Birth Doula has motivated me to create a document that provides the framework for specific and individualized Birth Preparation. Introducing “Your pocket-sized guide to bith: Hospital Edition”, a 17 page document inclusive of a glossary of medical terms, questions to prompt your care provider for essential information, and hot tips to help you navigate the hospital territory. I have truly poured my HEART & SOUL into this document to help mothers delve into the research necessary to make proper informed decisions that feel good to them. This document is NOT a Birth Plan, but rather forms the backbones of a Birth Map.

What the heck is a Birth Map?

The Birth Map, crafted by Midwife, Doula, and Author Catherine Bell, stands out for its remarkable approach. It’s exceptional because it considers various pathways to birth, leaving you informed, calm, confident, and empowered to assert your decisions. Moreover, it better equips you to navigate changes in circumstances. When you face a crossroads, you can switch “pathways” with a full understanding of the associated risks and benefits for you, your baby, and the trajectory of your birth journey.
Within a Birth Map, you have an Expected Pathway, Fast Birth Pathway & Contingency Plans, and each pathways stipulates an individual set of informed decisions.

A step by step process

Consider this, if you already have a Birth Plan; that is step 1, step 2 is downloading a copy of Your pocket-sized guide to birth: Hospital Edition and diving deep into the research to gain a deeper understanding.
Step 3 is forming a Birth Map, an easy-to-read flow chart document that details your unique pathways.

Closing thoughts

It’s time to TAKE CHARGE and put YOU back in the driver’s seat of your pregnancy & birth journey!
As your Doula, in addition to providing emotional, spiritual and physical support, I’ll also help you with your education, research, and navigating the terrain.

Say GOODBYE to stress and become the CONFIDENT & INFORMED QUEEN you’re destined to be.

Whether you are facing unexpected twists or seeking alternatives, I’ve got your back. Click here, if you are ready to write a positive birth story (on your terms).