Saturday, July 30, 2011
Deep Philosophical Differences--UPDATED
Today I read in a Baby Center newsletter, supposedly tailored to my 28th week of pregnancy, "expert opinions" in response to this question:
How Do You Feel About Birth Plans?
Obstetrician in Oakland, California, and mother of one
I'm not a big fan of birth plans because I think they're often too detailed and specific about things that are unpredictable. However, I do think it's a good idea for women to discuss their wishes with their providers before delivery. A birth plan might facilitate this discussion. It's certainly reasonable to bring a brief written description of your general birth philosophy and wishes to the hospital so that on-call doctors and nurses who haven't met you get a sense of your desires.
Certified Nurse-Midwife in Atlanta, Georgia, and mother of two
I love birth plans. They help me understand what you want from your birth and what your perfect delivery would be like. Every person is different and has different needs, wants, and expectations for their birth experience. A birth plan allows me to start assisting you with your birth without having to quiz you about your desires while you're in pain. Also, if things happen during labor that result in changes from your plan, I can provide options that keep us as close to your ideal birth as possible.
Family Physician in Issaquah, Washington, and mother of three
I like birth plans very much. They're wonderful communication tools. I usually suggest that my patients attend a labor education and support class for first-time parents and develop a birth plan around the beginning of the third trimester. This gives us enough time to discuss the plan and for patients to modify their expectations if need be. I try to tailor my supervision of pregnancy and labor and delivery to the style of the new parents. I usually send a copy of the birth plan to the hospital for inclusion in a patient's chart so the nurses can read it, but patients shouldn't assume it has been read. My only tip is to prepare for the unexpected and be flexible to any necessary change at delivery.
Notice that the family practitioner and the midwife like birth plans because birth plans help them better serve their clients. Notice that the obstetrician doesn't like birth plans because they are too specific about what the client wants.
Who here still thinks a surgeon is the best person to help you achieve the kind of natural and empowering birth experience you want? Anyone????