Baby, Mother, Pregnancy

When Your Birth Plan Doesn’t Go To Plan

The general idea behind a birth plan is to ensure that the mother in question is comfortable with the way in which her birth pans out. It includes pain relief preferences, specific timings and nominated attendees to be present during the birth of their baby.

There is a divide amongst women when it comes to make a birth plan. Many feel passionate about the idea and would not feel comfortable without making one. There are also many people who feel happier to “hand it over” and trust the professional. It is a personal decision of course but the hospital will always ask some questions. It could be something as simple as how you plan to feed your baby when they have been born. Other questions may extend to whether or not a woman wants to have an epidural.

Many women like to research and read up on birthing principles and procedures and will come to their care-givers with specific requests such as delayed chord clamping and extended skin to skin contact after the birth. Midwives are usually very happy to hear these requests and do their best to facilitate them.

But what happens when your birth plan does not go to plan? The reality is that giving birth can be quite an uncertain experience. The timing is never predictable and there are a number of changeable factors. We spoke to five women whose birth plans did not go to plan and they still had very positive experiences. Here is what they had to say.

1. I planned to give birth at the local midwives birthing centre. I had been visiting regularly and was very excited to have a positive birthing experience at their holistic centre. In the end my baby came too quickly to make it to the centre and in fact was delivered by my husband. A scary and very much unplanned experience but it was a birthing story like no other. I wouldn’t change a thing and everything was perfect in the end.

2. I planned to bottle feed and my son was allergic to something in the formula. He reacted really badly to it and on day 2 I decided to give breastfeeding a go. I had never even considered it as no female in my family had breastfed. We have been breastfeeding for 9 months now and it is the best accident that has ever happened. We love it.

3. My son was born two weeks early. I was completely shocked because I think you always expect a first baby to be born after your due date. We ended up winning a local competition for a three night stay at a beautiful hotel. If I had my son after my due date we would not have been in a position to go between recovering and adjusting to life with a newborn. Going in to labour “early” meant that we could use the voucher and enjoy a relaxing couple of days away as a new family of three. Everything happens for a reason.

4. I had no intention of taking any pain relief but when contractions triggered pain from an old back injury I decided to take an epidural. In the end my son was having some difficulty and had to be born by emergency c-section. As the epidural had already taken place everything was a lot quicker and my son was born safety and in good health after some help from the paeds team.

5. My doola did not make it to the birth due to a family emergency. I was initially incredibly disappointed as she had been with me throughout the entire journey. In the end my second birthing partner got to be my mother. I had no idea that she would be the perfect person. Having my mother and my husband present was an incredible experience and I am really happy that it happened this way.