I’ve really gotten tired of it. Pregnant women who are planning for a specific kind of birth are told things like:
“You know what is so cute? You – when you’re pregnant and think you actually control how things go in the delivery room.” -ScaryMommy
“I encourage my clients to create “birth preferences” rather than a “birth plan.” In this case, semantics are important. By writing your preferences instead of a plan, you maintain the understanding that circumstances beyond your control may change and you’ll need to adapt your preferences accordingly.” -Fit Pregnancy
“Since you can’t plan how your labor and birth will unfold, I prefer to talk about your birth wishes or birth preferences than your birth plan.” -Motherscircle.net
“If my births and every single birth story I’ve ever heard is any indication, birth follows anything but a plan.” AnHonestMom.wordpress.com
“The word “plan” in reference to normal, unmedicated birth is pretty silly, actually.” – Facebook post
Why is it that when it comes to birth, women are shamed and told they should not expect to have any control? Birth is life. Life is unpredictable, in any given day you may have “circumstances beyond your control may change and you’ll need to adapt” – but no one says that we should not take time to plan out our day to make things run smoothly and we don’t miss anything we need to do! When I am teaching about birth plans in my classes, I ask for a show of hands who in the class had some plan for their day when they woke up this morning. Nearly everyone raises their hand. I ask how many had their day go exactly as planned – and most (if not all) of the hands go down. And yet somehow, in pretty much every class, someone talks about how the plan helped them adapt and/or prioritize when things went wrong.
Think about another significant event in the growth of a family: A Wedding.
Would it ever be OK to tell a prospective bride something like:
“The word ‘plan’ in reference to a wedding is pretty silly actually. After all, things go wrong at weddings all the time!”
“If my wedding horror story, or the ones I’ve read online are any indication, weddings follow anything but a plan!”
“Since you can’t control the weather or the behavior of your guests, I think it’s better to think of it as ‘wedding wishes’ or ‘wedding preferences’ rather than a plan for your wedding.”
“As a wedding planner, I encourage brides to create ‘wedding preferences’ rather than a ‘wedding plan.’ In this case, semantics are important. By writing your preferences instead of a plan, you maintain the understanding that circumstances beyond your control may change how your wedding day will go and you’ll need to adapt your preferences accordingly”
“You know what is so cute? You – when you’re engaged and think you actually control how things go on your wedding day.”
I sincerely doubt anyone would dare tell a bride any of that. And yet, things go wrong at weddings all the time!
Instead brides are advised things like this:
Unexpected Wedding Disasters and How to Handle Them
Wedding Planner Disaster Stories – and How to Avoid Them
Top Wedding Disasters and How to Plan for Them
Not a single story I read on weddings mentioned avoiding planning as a way to make the day run smoothly. Huh.
They all mentioned planning well, carefully evaluating the people who you hire, having backup plans, and thoroughly evaluating your options.
Sounds like a Birth Plan of Action to me….
Go ahead and plan for your birth. Yes, PLAN. Not “Wishes” or “Preferences” but actually plan for and put your plan into action. No, it’s not a script or a guarantee, but it does significantly increase the chances of having the birth you want.