Birth plan – Do I need one?

Some of my friends have said I need a birth plan. Is this necessary?

Answer

Do I need a birth plan?

No – this is not necessary.

The birth plan concept is more relevant for pregnant women going through the public system to have their baby where there is no personalised care and the staff looking after them in labour are strangers.

I focus on personalised individual pregnancy care and during the course of the pregnancy I endeavour to get to know you, your expectations, your fears and your requests. I suggest you tell me of  requests, concerns, fears, expectations, etc. at the antenatal visits and we can work through them before you are in labour.

This means when you are admitted to hospital I will have your objectives in mind. Key points will have been written onto your antenatal card that you bring in to the hospital and show to the midwife. The midwife will advise me of your admission and I can discuss your care plans with her.

The midwife assigned to you will keep me informed of your progress. We will keep you informed and so with your input we can have the best childbirth outcome with management decisions that are appropriate and hopefully in accord with your expectations. I will endeavour to be like your “advocate” – someone you can trust and can confide in and who is sensitive to you, your fears and concerns and who has your best interests and your baby’s best interests at heart.

Requests vary from from no intervention in labour to having an elective Caesarean section because you want to avoid labour. I will endeavour to accommodate your requests. But you will need to trust me.

Pregnancy and childbirth often doesn’t go according to plan. Things happen unexpectedly and sometimes there can be dramatic developments with little or no warning that are of profound risk to your wellbeing and your baby’s wellbeing. Your best response is to verbalise your preferences but be accepting of the uncertainties of childbirth and be flexible in accommodating new ideas as necessary. Otherwise you are likely to feel very disappointed if the experience didn’t happen as you planned.

And remember I will always endeavour to communicate with you openly and with words that you can understand rather than with medical jargon.

Also see blog topic ‘A patient’s birth plan – an elective Caesarean section

Posted by Dr Gary Sykes on -

Leave a comment