Empowering expectant parents for a positive birth experience
As a doula, I am often asked by expectant parents about the importance of creating a birth plan.
The answer is simple: having a birth preference list is a wonderful way to communicate your wants and needs during labour and delivery to your healthcare provider. You will feel more prepared and confident as you approach your due date.
But let’s clarify one thing first: a preference list is not a birth plan in the traditional sense. A birth plan implies a certain level of control and predictability, while birth is inherently unpredictable. A preference list, on the other hand, is a guide that can help ensure your wishes are respected, while still being open to the possibility that unexpected events may occur during labour and delivery.
The benefits of creating a preference list:
Your preference list allows you to communicate your desires for your birth experience with your healthcare provider. It ensures that your voice is heard and your preferences are taken into consideration.
Writing down your preferences can help you feel more organised and in control, giving you a chance to research and think about what is important to you and what you want to avoid during your birth experience.
By having a preference list, your healthcare provider will have a clear understanding of what you want, and will be able to do their best to honour your wishes.
When creating a preference list, here are some things to keep in mind:
Discuss with your healthcare provider
It’s important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider while working on your preference list. Sometimes you need to keep the logistics of your location in mind. If you want to have the option to give birth in a bath, find out in which hospitals you will have access to a bath. If you want to do a home birth, find out if it is allowed in the country where you live.
Your preference list is a guide, not a guarantee. Keep in mind that birth can be unpredictable, and that you may need to make different decisions along the way.
Think about what is most important to you, and prioritise those items on your preference list. Be willing to let go of less important items if necessary.
As your pregnancy progresses, it’s a good idea to review your preference list regularly and make any necessary updates. It should be a working document, and you are encouraged to update it as often as feel necessary.
Creating a birth preference list is an empowering experience for expectant parents. It helps you feel more prepared and confident as you approach your due date, and it helps ensure that your voice is heard during the birth process. As a doula, I help you create your preference list. During our initial session, which lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours, we will discuss your wishes for your birth experience and put together a comprehensive preference list. I am here to support you every step of the way and to make sure your voice is heard during the birth process. You can also check out my article about doula support to see what else I can help you with during this journey.