My Birth Plan Is None of Your Business

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birth planAs a mama who is expecting her third baby, I know my way around a birthing room. I have had two vaginal, drug-free deliveries with midwives. With both, I had a birth plan, an extensive series of things I believed about birth, and a clear sense of how the birth was going to go. In both cases, my births went exactly according to my plan. So why are so many people adamantly against the idea of a "plan"?

Every time I bring up my plan (or a friend brings up hers), we always hear the same refrain: "You can't plan for birth. Whatever happens, happens." To this I say two things: Bull and Shit. Would you go into any other major life event without some semblance of a plan?

The thing is, the grand majority of births aren't medical events. They could just as easily happen in the comfort of your living room with the assistance of a trained professional as they could in the hospital hooked up to monitors and an IV. Are some births emergencies? Sure. But we can't PLAN for the worst case scenario.

Only in a culture as messed up as ours around birth would we possibly judge a woman who is choosing to have a positive mental attitude and researching her options.

Now, obviously, a woman can't be TOO wedded to her plan. Yes, emergencies may arise (though that isn't the norm) and, especially for a first-time mom, you really can't anticipate what you will feel going into a birth. You may not want the epidural and then change your mind halfway through. That's OK.

Having a plan isn't about "I will do this at all costs." It's about really thinking through your options, letting go of fear, and doing all your homework. It's hard to understand why people are so judgmental about that.

In part, it really is a cultural issue. We have turned ALL births into scary, painful, medical events. They needn't be so awful. Half the birth battle is letting go of fear. A "plan" helps you do that. Even if you deviate, the exercise and taking the time to create one actually helps you understand better what your body is going through.

The next time someone mocks me for my birth plan (a home birth, for the record), I will simply laugh and say nothing, inwardly disregarding their judgment. They really have no idea what they are talking about.

Do you get judgment for having a "birth plan"?


Image via D. Sharon Pruitt/Flickr

emotions, baby prep, the pregnant life


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Elaine Cox

if its no ones bizness..then dont tell any one...see how that works

Marcela Blunck Bowidowicz

i have to agree, if other people's comments about your plans bothers you than maybe you shouldn't be discussing them? Also, almost all of our family friends had complications with their births, and none of them went the way that they had planned. Because i've seen this happen many times, my reaction is to just go with the flow.  Sure, there are are some things I would prefer not to happen, but I can't actually control how my baby decides to arrive. I mean that's the thing about life, in general what will happen will happen and you can't always plan for everything. 

caleb... calebsmama12312

I agree elaine. If it's no ones business, why write a whole post about it?

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

She talks about it simply so she has the opportunity to get all holier-than-thou and say "but you don't knooooo meeee! Mined your biz-niz!"

mande... manderspanders

I had a birth plan... I didn't even share it with my doctor, but I got everything I had hoped for - the top of the list was maintaining my autonomy and making my own decisions.  I allowed the doctor to break my water when I was 8cm because I so badly wanted to push...that was the only intervention.

I don't judge others' birth plans... except for those who obviously have their heads in the clouds.  Birth plans need to be about informed decision making, understanding common interventions and why they are done, and knowing your personal boundaries - NOT about music and pictures and comfort items. 

Taisie Taisie

I  do agree that having some kind of "birth plan" is a good idea, and maybe even an important one, people who make "plans" are usually well educated and well informed of the possible/potential circumstances surrounding the event the plans were made for, including childbirth. I had a "birth plan".

However, that being said, your statement "...births aren't medical events. They could just as easily happen in the comfort of your living room..." is, at best, overly optimistic, and at worst, irresponsible. Yes, I realize you did advise properly trained assistance, but if ,on the off chance, a medical emergency does arise during the birth, the fact that you are at home, versus a hospital where the immediate availability of instant emergency medical intervention could very well save the life of your beautiful new baby that you have waited so long to hold in your arms!

So no, I don't judge a woman for her choice, whether it be at home, or in a medical facility, but for me, taking even that very small risk (because yes, as you pointed out, most births are complication free) is just unconscionable to me.

All this being said, I wish you a safe birth, and a blessed and healthy baby :)

nonmember avatar TF

@mamato2b2g...EXACTLY and then she will whine incessantly about how she is picked on for her choices. She is the most insufferable blogger on this site and that is quite the achievement. Ms. Worsham truly believes that she is the cosmo girl about town. I enjoy laughing at her ignorance and her self aggrandization in every contribution to this site. Keeps me chuckling that she takes herself so seriously.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I did and it did not go 100% cause that is HOW IT IS! I had more questions after my 3rd but got over it. My 4th was so fast that plans went out the window and went better that way! Women can have a plan but have a more successful happy birth if you educate yourself and understand that things can change. If you don't want it to be someone's business or hear criticism don't flaunt it. Keep it to yourself. It's not hard. I find women who do it med free are the ones who ask if you had meds. I shock them when I say 1 epi, 2 was c/a, 3 & 4 was VBAC med free. So I have lots of experience when it comes to L&D. I am just happy to see how happy the family is with their newborn.

nonmember avatar Christina DiPau

I am a bit confused. You write articles based on your personal experiences and opinions. You get paid the measly 50-100$ to do so. However no one else has a right to call you out on your hypocrisy? Are you not the same "author" who defended the vitriolic articles attacking Trig , Sarah Palin's mentally challenged son? The same woman who attacks those opposed to abortion for their opinions? Do you not see how ANYTHING you say should be met with an eye roll due to your record of inconsistency and biased positions?!

nonmember avatar Guest

This may seem radical to this author, but if you do not want others to weigh in on your decision, stop blogging about them. It's not exactly rocket science and a rather obvious solution to your obvious distress.

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