Creating a birthing plan is an important way for expecting mothers to feel empowered and in control of the birthing process. However, many people wonder if it can prevent birth injuries. While following a birthing plan will not always guarantee protection against injury, it can certainly play an important role in decreasing risk.
By having conversations with doctors and knowing what kinds of actions they may take during delivery, mothers are able to have better insight into the process ahead of time. It also gives them more ability to think through options and voice their expectations upfront. This helps ensure that all parties involved are on the same page from the start and are aware of each other’s potential steps going forward. A birthing plan is no guarantee for a safe delivery, but it is most certainly a step in the right direction.
What Is a Birthing Plan?
A birthing plan is an important tool for expecting mothers, especially during a time full of unknowns. It can help ensure that the labor and delivery experience and expectations align with one’s values and preferences. The plan is tailored to the individual, outlining things such as birthing environment, pain management options, desired support people and communication preferences.
Having a birthing plan can support informed decision-making during active labor, help reduce stress, decrease anxiety levels and minimize surprises. For all these reasons and more, having a birthing plan is something all pregnant women should consider as they approach their due date.
When Does a Doctor Divert from a Birthing Plan?
During pregnancy, many parents create a birthing plan to document their preferences for labor and delivery. While a doctor or midwife will usually work as closely as possible to the birthing plan given by the couple, sometimes medical conditions or choices made by the mother can require the doctor to divert from that plan.
For example, if complications arise during labor that threaten the health of either mother or baby, changes may need to be made in order to ensure safety. Similarly if medications are used during labor such as epidurals or Pitocin, this can also alter how birth progresses and result in a different outcome than was first expected. Ultimately doctors make decisions with the patient’s best interest in mind, balancing parental preferences with practical medical considerations.