When Your Birth Plan Goes Out the Window
We all have a vision of how we see our birth going, but it does not always go according to plan, and can leave the birthing individual feeling frustrated, scared, and very uncertain. As pregnancy progresses, many issues can arise that may leave you with the need for an induction or C-Section (just to name a few - gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, a breech position, low amniotic fluid). Or maybe you're already in the hospital and your idea of a medicated-free birth is more than you can handle, or an emergency C-Section is needed. So many variables can arise and whatever the reason may be, you can still be prepared for the unexpected.
So, what can you do when the rug gets yanked out from under you?
- Prepare ahead for the unexpected. Make a birth plan not only for a vaginal delivery, but also for possibly an induction or C-Section (I do this with all my clients).
- Ask questions, collect evidence-based information, and educate yourself on your options and rights as a patient.
- Try and stay calm. I know this sounds a bit cliché, but the calmer you are, the clearer you are to make informative decisions in a stressful situation.
- Allow yourself time and space to process the information given to you. Talk through what lies ahead or what you have just been through. Whether it is a counselor, family member or friend, having a strong support system is crucial.
- Understand that there is no wrong way to birth, and the ultimate goal is the safety of you and your baby.
- Hire a Doula who can inform you on your options and who will also be there to advocate for you.
Remember, your birth story does not define you and your baby. It's a journey that you make your own even when your vision does not go according to plan. In the end, you will still give birth, and that alone makes you an incredibly strong human and a rock star in my eyes.