Birth Plans

Family Therapy in Bethesda for birth plansMy husband and I are expecting our first child in a few months. My OB asked me to start thinking about my birth plan. I’m an anxious person and I’m worried about the birth plan being carried out the way I want it to be. How can I approach my birth plan so I can be more relaxed? 

A blog we often recommend to new mom clients is called Coffee + Crumbs. It’s a compilation of online essays written by new moms, seasoned moms, and moms-to-be. I recommend it to clients because it was created help moms feel less alone–to connect mothers all over the world through the power of shared motherhood experiences. It offers honest truths and beautiful storytelling. Your question about how to approach your birth plan reminded me of a recent post–here is an excerpt:

“But if your plans go awry….if all the water tubs are full, if your baby is breech, if your baby is early, if your baby is late, if you need the drugs after you swore you wouldn’t, I want you to know this: motherhood is so much more than the day your baby is born. Your birth experience does not define you; giving birth is not the endgame.

So make your plans, pack your bag, and get that playlist ready. It’s okay to dream and strategize, to prepare and make lists. We can celebrate a birth gone according to plan, just like we can grieve a birth plan gone wrong. 

After all, the only way our birth plan can truly fail is if we let the pressure of one day overshadow the miracle of an entire lifetime.

As I’m sure your OB has started to explain, it’s important to remember that no one can control every detail of a labor and delivery. You’ll need to stay flexible and follow the recommendations of your birth team in case something comes up that requires a change from your birth plan. This birth plan worksheet may be helpful as you and your husband create your birth plan, and you can bring copies to your doctor.

Family therapy with your husband can also be helpful as you think carefully about your preferences around labor, delivery, and after the birth. Many expectant parents find it helpful to strengthen their marriage through learning communication skills and practicing empathic listening. Family therapy is also a safe place to discuss childhood experiences and expectations of parenthood from family-of-origin.

If you know a couple who is expecting a new baby, we hope you forward this post. Family therapy in Bethesda MD helps new parents learn how to approach their birth plans with flexibility and careful thinking, while strengthening their connection as partners.