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Birth Plans

February 22, 2012

Ever been told by a friend/family member/”helpful” stranger not to bother writing up a birth plan because, “things never go according to plan during birth anyway” ?  Or have you ever heard, “this is our birth plan as long as things go smoothly”?  These are some common sentiments on birth plans.  The truth is, it is because birth does not always go “as planned” or “smoothly” that birth plans are important. I like the way that explains it, “If every labor followed a normal pattern there would be very little need for a birth plan. Because every labor is different and you can not know what labor has in store for you before it begins, your birth plan is an additional tool to help you communicate how you have decided to handle both the normal variations of labor and the unexpected situations that may arise. It gives hospital staff who do not know you the opportunity to understand what assistance you will need and how they can best support you through a difficult labor.”

The birth plan is a useful tool in communicating with your care provider, the hospital staff and others attending your birth on what your preference are but that is not its only function.  As you write your birth plan you start exploring your options; educating yourself on the risks/benefits of common interventions and procedures; asking questions of your care provider and place of birth on protocol and standard procedures. Not only do you start making choices but you know why you have chosen the things you have. The journey of creating the plan may be more influential on your birth than the actual piece of paper which you hand to the nurse.

Want to learn more about writing birth plans? The makeup of an effective birth plan? Using your birth plan to facilitate healthy communication with your care provider, hospital staff, and birth partner?  A rundown on options available (including explanation of many hospital procedures, interventions, standards of practice)? Then our birth plan workshop may be right up your alley!

When: 10am-Noon, Saturday, April 28th

Where: I will be hosting this workshop in my home, which is located directly across from BroMenn Hospital in Normal, IL.  After you’ve registered the address will be sent to you via e-mail.

Cost: $45 per couple (workshop fee is waived for students of Jessica’s Christian Childbirth Class and doula clients of Jessica or Malory).  Attendees will receive a “birth planning checklist” and will be given the opportunity to have their birth plans reviewed after the workshop is completed. To Register call Jessica at 309-319-6035 or e-mail her at

Unable to make it to the workshop but still interested in the information and assistance?  Both Jessica and Malory also offer a 90 minute private, in-home birth plan consultation for $60.  Contact them for more information and to schedule your consultation.

*** This workshop is intended to supplement, not take the place of, a comprehensive childbirth education class.***

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2012 8:57 pm

    Yay! This sounds great! I write a LOT about birth plans in my book about natural hospital birth and I’d be thrilled to send you copies of the birth plan chapter to use as a handout, if you’d like. Good work! It’s always good to see the “birth plan” word being spread.

    • jessicabirthdoula permalink*
      February 23, 2012 9:09 pm

      Thanks! I would love to see your chapter on birth plans!

      • February 23, 2012 11:29 pm

        hey there — what’s your e-mail and I will try to send as attachment tomorrow. My kids and I are sick and looking forward to a snow day, but I think I can get to the computer tomorrow. Cheers, Cynthia (my e-mail is cynthia [at sign] togrow [dot] org

      • jessicabirthdoula permalink*
        February 24, 2012 7:51 pm


  2. February 24, 2012 2:23 am

    I totally agree. Our birthplan went right out the window from the start, but it was still immensely useful- it made us think in advance about the what if’s, about what is and isn’t important to us.

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