Elaborate birth plans are often the subject of mockery. How can you *plan* for something that’s inherently unpredictable? But there’s a difference between a rigid, perhaps overly idealistic plan for how your birth will go and open-minded, thoughtful preparation.
In our current healthcare system it’s vital that we be proactive in our care; studies indicate that when women are knowledgeable about what’s going on and have strong, respectful support from doctors or midwives, they are pretty happy with the way their birth went down, no matter how it went down.
Some women know they want an epidural as soon as possible, others would like to avoid medications. Some want to be alone with their partner, others know they’ll like lots of help. Some love high-tech hospitals, others seek a different kind of environment. All of us want a healthy outcome. All of us want “a healthy baby.” All of us would like to not tear, or at least not tear a lot. All of us want to feel safe and loved as we take on something so intimate and so challenging.
So on that note, here’s a list of tips to help you get the care you deserve, whether you look forward to birth or dread it.
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