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You don't need a birth plan.

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

I'm sorry but-- there is no perfect birth plan. It will never exist. It's the white whale of the pregnancy blog, and we are all out searching.

The fact is, even if you could clarify every detail of your desired birth, account for every possibility, create contingency options and carefully crafted demands, this will not bring you one step closer to your ideal birth.

I get it. This period of waiting and preparation is overwhelming because there are so many things that feel out of our control. It would feel wonderful to have a contract with out doctor, our body and our baby. Just to make sure we're all on the same page.

But beyond planning this birth you're also planning your maternity wardrobe, your work calendar, your kids' practice schedules. You've got enough on your to-do list, and your baby's birth can't be just another thing to plan.

So, I want to challenge you:

Put away the notebook. Sit comfortably with your back as straight as you can manage. Place your hands on your belly, and close your eyes. Breathe in to feel your baby.

This week, spend less time planning and more time connecting. Connect with your partner, and your sister who's coming out for the birth. Talk through your hopes for the birth together. Learn about your options for birth with curiosity, and marvel at all the ways your body can create life. Confide in your birth partner about your fears, and ask for help in finding ways to manage them. Talk with your doula and your care provider about which of these options might be best for you, and find the strength to voice your concerns if something doesn't sound right. Make choices based upon how you want to feel looking back on your birth, and what you hope to experience.

It's true that making a list of birth preferences with your care team can be a very useful exercise. It's something I do with doula clients to help learn about your options and determine what is most important to you in the birth experience. This exercise often sparks generative discussions, and the list can be brought to the hospital as a reminder for the family and medical team. It's a great tool, but it's not a magic spell.

However, if you do the work to build trust with your team and trust in yourself-- your baby's birthday is sure to be magical.