Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Dozen Days of Doula Scoop: Day 8

When the birth plan falls apart...

Ask four questions:
  • Am I okay? Is the baby okay?
  • What happens if we do the intervention?
  • What happens if we don't do the intervention?
  • Can we have a couple of minutes to talk about it?
I'm a big fan of birth plans. I think it gives you an opportunity to think through the kind of birth you want, lets dad and doula know what your wishes are, and gives you a list of things to discuss with your doctor before the birth. But births don't always follow the birth plan, and sometimes you have to adapt.

The informational support of a doula is invaluable when problems arise during labor and birth. In the throes of labor, no one has the time or energy to research the pros and cons of various birth interventions. Doctors don't always take the time to discuss the risks and benefits before expecting a decision from parents. Sometimes, with the right information, you feel empowered to choose to do nothing for a little while longer, and sometimes, problems will resolve themselves.

There are times when intervention is necessary and unavoidable. During these times, a doula can help you enjoy the experience of birthing your child, even if it isn't happening the way you wanted. An unwanted but necessary induction can still be a good birth. An unwanted but necessary c-section can still be a good birth. Even when your plan falls apart, it can still be a joyous, special, memorable time as you welcome your new baby into the world.


  1. I thought you would get a laugh out of knowing that on the post about when it all falls apart, I wrote a HUGE five paragraph post and somehow managed to delete it as I was writing the last couple of sentences. Needless to say, the second edition was a condensed version...