So you want to have a positive birth. How do you even start planning for that? For me, one of the key factors that makes a birth a positive experience is a feeling of control.
Every pregnant woman is different. Every baby is different. Every birth is different and, even though every Mum-to-be would desperately love to know exactly what will happen and what course her birth will take, there is no way of predicting how your birth will go.
What you can do though is be informed and know your options so that you can make the right choices to give you the best birth experience possible.
It's never too soon to start looking at the options available to you and start thinking about what choices are right for you and your partner to help you have the birth that you want. There are several key questions that you need to start asking yourself to help you make informed choices about your preferences:
What do you want?
What would you like your birth to be like?
Where would you like the birth to take place?
Who would you like to be there with you to support you?
What options are available to you?
Completing a birth plan is a really good way to help you organise your thoughts and start making the decisions that you are in control of. A birth plan can take on any format you like. Just make sure that you and your partner are both clear about what you would like and that you can clearly communicate this to your midwife/medical staff supporting you.
As you write your birth plan, try not to be too fixed on exactly what you want. Leave room for different circumstances and consider what you would choose for different situations and outcomes. Think of this as your birth preferences rather than a detailed plan of exactly what you want happen. Be prepared for different eventualities and discuss your options with your partner so that, if for any reason events take you away from your birth plan, you still remain in control and know what your choices and preferences are for that situation.
Click here for a FREE printable birth plan template.