What is Birth Planning?

Kristen Ethier, Kaleidoscope Doula

The birth of a child ranks at the top of transformative milestones in life such as a graduation, your wedding day and for many Pulling Down the Moon clients, becoming pregnant. Creating a plan for birth is as helpful and important as planning for your wedding. Sure, not everything will go as you expect but being educated and prepared certainly helps to reduce some of the built in stress that comes with these big life events.

To that end, there are lots of misconceptions about birth planning, including that a birth plan is a list of defiant demands that women choosing natural childbirth put together for their doctor or care provider. This assumption calls to mind a quote,

"Birth is like the sea: One can swim in it, be swept away by it, float, but Heaven help the fool who thinks she can control it." – Tia, an Israeli Midwife

With this quote in mind, we know that a list of demands would not be very helpful. Also, a birth plan is helpful for any woman or family who wants one and for all types of birth, all the way from a natural homebirth to a planned cesarean birth and everything in between! A birth plan simply includes your ideas, expectations and preferences for welcoming your baby into the world.  Creating your birth plan helps you to get to know your doctor or midwife on a deeper level and allows you to ask questions about hospital procedures, interventions and emergency care. On a spiritual level, a birth plan encourages you to think about coping techniques, comfort measures, laboring positions and the all sweet parts about welcoming your baby.

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