Many people avoid 'writing a birth plan' because you can't plan birth...this word 'plan' is a problem
It evokes the idea that you are fixed to an order of business, or a set outcome It implies inflexibility and rigidity, and many feel it just sets you up for disappointment. The no-plan approach seems to suggest no preparing at all.
Many prefer to "go with the flow"...but whose flow?
What does this mean?
I will do as I am told? I trust my care providers to give me the info and support I need?
I will listen to my body, birth instinctually?
If you are in a hospital, your instincts may invoke a flight or fight response. Adrenaline can inhibit birth. Not all hospitals are the same, nor are all care providers. 'Going with the Flow' means trusting to the lottery of life...
Do you feel lucky? Well do ya?
Is the hospital low intervention, or can you expect high intervention?
Do you have continuity care?
Is your birth partner aware of your needs and prepared to advocate for you?
There are many variables, sure, and you can't guarantee a particular outcome. But the 'going with the flow' approach doesn't have to mean no preparing at all. The Birth Map allows you to go with the flow in an informed, relaxing way. It is about understanding all your options, all the possibilities.
Given the luck component to going with the flow,
What if your 'go with the flow' approach results in a shitty experience?
You may feel preparation-free 'going with the flow' will make it easier to accept a shitty birth experience, but it won't. Sure, you may get to the other side with a healthy baby, but a part of you will lament the experience, especially if it leaves you with physical difficulties, an unsettled baby, breastfeeding difficulties, and no sympathy or support (because a healthy baby means you can not complain). Your birth experience may be no more than a niggle that you can push away, to the back of your thoughts. It may fester and grow, eating away at you as you wonder why going with flow was not the serene and chilled out experience you expected, but a tumultuous ride over rapids, being crushed and battered, afraid and confused.
Your birth experience shapes your mothering.
It is critical to be supported.
The Birth Map, and more importantly the process of creating one, benefits you, your partner and your care provider.
The process of creating the Birth Map, Informed Birth Preparation, means you will be able identify the rapids approaching, and you will navigate them from your kayak, you will have a supportive team on board, all focused and aware. The ride might still be rough, you will get wet, but you have a paddle and a safety vest, maybe even a helmet, to protect you. This is your Birth Map.
At the end you will speak of the awesome, wild ride, the exhilaration the excitement...the support.
You will all be bonded by this experience, not torn apart.
So, if you want to 'go with flow', consider creating a Birth Map and be prepared for anything.
Selected Articles by Catherine
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