A few days ago I asked two simple questions on my Facebook page. The first was: Did you have a birth plan? The second was: Did it work? The answers I got were anything but simple. (You can read them here)
Women told me they had created a plan that was either ignored or ‘thrown out’ when circumstances changed. Now, I learned something after the birth of my first child. If your plan doesn’t make room for complications, changes, and – well – life then what you have is a wish list, not a plan.
In my work and my life I’ve met a LOT of doctors. What I hear from them is that they want a happy and healthy mother and baby. Mothers want to be happy and healthy. Yet each year I meet more and more mothers who describe their births as traumatic. There is a major disconnect somewhere. That breaks my heart and makes my spirit rage because it is so unnecessary!
There are many things that we cannot change. There are birth complications that cannot be avoided. Life and death decisions sometimes need to be made in less than a minute. We all know and understand this. And yet the vast majority of births in the US do not have these life-altering complications, so why are more and more women reporting that the birth experience was traumatic? And what can we do about it?
What women are telling me is that the education they are getting from birth classes at hospitals and birth centers is not translating to the Labor and Delivery rooms. The rose-colored versions of birth being presented are setting them up for a major fall.
- They tell me that they had a birth plan that but it was written in stone and they couldn’t let go of it when circumstances changed.
- They tell me that they didn’t feel heard or respected by their birth professionals.
- They tell me that their partners didn’t know how to advocate for them.
So, how do we fix this?
I can’t travel the country rewriting birth class curriculums, but what I can do is help expectant parents create a flexible plan that will support them through labor and delivery.
I can help them open a dialogue with their doctor or midwife about how complications will be handled.
I can educate them on the most common complications in the US and what usually happens when they arise.
I can empower their partners to advocate for them.
My goal for 2017 is to do just that. I have a plan and I am so excited to share it with you. The Ultimate Birth Plan is more than a series of wishes for your labor and delivery. It is an educational and communication tool for you, your family, and your birth professional. It is a clear way to organize your preferences, keep track of your questions, and have a plan that is flexible enough to support you through labor, delivery, and recovery.
But I’m not going to simply send you a pdf. Ihave also created a webinar that will walk you through how to fill out your plan and how to talk to your family and doctor about what you want.
The plan and webinar are only $27. My goal is to educate and empower expecting parents. I’m going to give you the tools that I used and the results of all of the research I did after my traumatic birth. I promised myself I would never, ever go through something like that again. I will do all that I can to ensure that you don’t either.
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