Step off the standard pathway
All medical institutions have what are known as standard pathways of care. They are planned out by the heads of the obstetrics and midwifery departments and they follow the principles of defensive medicine. Defensive medicine is exactly what you imagine it to be – assuming the worst case scenario and planning to mitigate that. While there is merit in this approach when something is actually going wrong, if you’re a mum who isn’t likely to need any medical interventions or assistance, the care you are offered can contradict your own plans.
If you don’t express your wishes, you’ll receive standard care and a much more negative approach. In fact, put the bits that matter most to you at the top of your plan, especially if they deviate from the norm.
Refusing to consider you might need a back up plan
Having said all I have, as much as I believe in positivity and an open-minded approach to care, I also believe in being informed.
Despite the fact that I was hoping for a home birth in a pool using hypnobirthing, my little girl was running late. She was also in a fairly unusual position for a baby who was looking like they wanted to make a break for it in the near future. By the time I was 9 days over, we were talking about c-sections – probably my very worst nightmare (although as Amy Poehler says “Good for her! Not for me!”) – and I was updating my birth plan to include my preference for a gentle c-section.
As much as I hoped for and visualised my ideal scenario, I found it easier to put aside my fear knowing that I’d covered all eventualities. It calmed me.
Our bodies are amazing and the power of our minds over them can have a profound effect. If you can take the time to plan, be true to your heart and set your worrying 4am mind at ease, you can write the kind of birth plan that any caregiver will be delighted to receive. After all, they’re in their job to support parents at this most incredible time. Make the most of your chance to have things your way – it literally is your moment of magic.
Hannah is a KG hypnobirthing teacher, mama, writer and nutrition geek. She’s passionate about women’s and children’s health, and runs hmhypnobirthing.co.uk, helping parents to be in south London plan for empowering, confident births.