Birth plans

Now as many of you already know, I’ve had two VBACs. One was highly (unneccessarily) medicalized and the other was not. I much preferred my second VBAC (my third child) to the prior VBAC. With the second, I made up a birth plan but found out very quickly that there was no way it was going to be honored. With my second VBAC (third child), the CNMs that I chose for my care providers were welcoming of my birth plan. They went line by line and discussed it with me. They very much agreed, which really put me at ease.

I have learned that birth plans are frequently scoffed at by medical personnel – and some mothers as well – so much so that it leads me to believe that they are ignored more often than not. I also read a blog entry from The Feminist Breeder about birth plans being more than a “wish list”.Very interesting read.

I’m curious how many of you have had birth plans and whether they were honored or not. What is your take on birth plans? Do you think they are frivalous or necessary?

As an aside, I also thought I would share with you why I believe birth plans are so important (for me). When you have had a cesarean, you are at (slight) increased risk for uterine rupture. It’s my understanding that uterine rupture is extremely painful and you will know immediately that something is wrong – unless you have had an epidural because you won’t be able to feel if anything goes wrong. If uterine rupture is caught, it can be taken care of immediately. Unless, as previously mentioned, you don’t know it happened. At this point, a birth plan comes in because I stress that I don’t want any medical intervention unless medically necessary – there is an actual risk to baby or myself – because as most of us know, once one intervention happens, say pitocin to “rev up” contractions, it is much more likely for another, say an epidural because you can’t stand the pain of the contractions caused by the pitocin. So, for me, the safety of baby and mom are at risk if I do anything to cause an epidural to occur. That’s why I like my birth plan.