I was on the fence about having my birth preferences written out, but I've decided after my experience with Dr. Jerk that I definitely want to have my birth preferences with me.
Although I realize that every birth is different and that I cannot dictate how it goes, writing out my birth preferences really helped me to better understand the labor and delivery process and the decisions I may have to make during it.I feel like I can now make more informed choices about my labor and delivery. Although your nurse and/or doctor are trained to get informed consent, I'm not sure how 'with it' I will be during labor and delivery and preferred to do my research ahead of time.
While I was researching options for my birth preferences online, I came across these amazing how to posts written by a labor & delivery nurse. I highly recommend reading both of her posts:
Writing Your Birth Plan: Tips from an L&D Nurse, Part I
Top Ten Do's for Writing Your Birth Plan: Tips from an L&D Nurse, Part II
Some of the main things she talks about are:
- wording choice (using assertive language)
- keeping it short, but still including important information
- remaining flexible
- personalizing and understanding your plan/preferences
I also really like a few points made on this site:
A birth plan will NOT:
1. Change your health care provider's style of practice, personality or protocols
2. Script the nature of your labor.
3. Insure you have a satisfying labor.
Although NursingBirth advocates choosing the right birth attendant as the most important factor, I feel that it is too late for me to change practices at this point. I must face the reality that I may have Dr. Jerk or Dr. Fluttery Eyes for the birth of my child. And you never know what kind of nurse you may get.
While I wish I could turn back time and do more research before choosing my obstetrician, hindsight is 20/20 and I can only move forward and hope for the best! Who knows, when the chips are down, maybe Dr. Jerk will be the best attending physician ever...or maybe I'll get one of the many great doctors or midwives at my practice. Only time will tell!