Anatomy of a Birth Plan

“Birth Plan?” you ask. “Why would I do that?”

Yes, I know. I thought the same thing. “I’ll just go with the flow,” I thought. “I’ll just do whatever the doctors tell me.”

hgs face

Photo courtesy of Ashley Clauss

The midwives and doctors caring for me, and familiar with my birth plan, would have a smirk reading this. My eventual *exceedingly* researched birth plan was nothing near, “Whatever you say, doc!”  It was more like, “Whatever you typically do, I’ll do it differently.”

Trust me. You will only benefit from researching and pondering the process of birth, and routine interventions associated with it. If you research each item, it is highly likely that there will be at least one item in the routine that you would like to have done differently.

Before attending dental school, I completed a graduate program in Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Public Health has its place. There is much good done by the way of public health around the world, and in your hometown. Nevertheless, intrinsic to the concept of public health is disregard for individual circumstances, and a focus on the masses. Health measures meant to benefit the majority of the population will always fail to address a certain minority.

Couple routine public health measures that disregard individual circumstances with routine of the healthcare industry, and suddenly you have opened the door to potentially harmful, rote repetition.

I’m sure you would appreciate an example.  Antibiotics is one.  Antibiotics are widely known to be overprescribed. There is increasing concern over antibiotic resistance because of this.  The American Association of Endodontics has guidelines for when antibiotics should be used for dental infections.  This is something that is taught in dental schools, and it is something that has been published.  Nevertheless, I have seen this official protocol disregarded among my colleagues as the rote repetition of habit prevails in the dental profession.  Patients expect –even request– antibiotics, and doctors are accustomed to giving them.  This is one example from dentistry.  There are many other similar habits that prevail in dentistry and in medicine in spite of evidence-based knowledge.

Habits are hard to break.  They are even harder to break when patients expect or request status quo.  Do your research.  Own your birth experience.  Only you can do this.  If you do, you will be glad you did.

The example birth plan I’ve outlined for you on Sweet Sagacity is one that is pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum from typical protocol.  This is done for you purposefully.  If you start researching from the opposite end of possibility you will have more knowledge about and ownership of the decisions you make for yourself and your baby.

anatomy of a birth plan

Best wishes for a beautiful birth!

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