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What If Something Goes Wrong?

Birth is unpredictable and birth plans can help provide security. What if it gets complicated? What if something goes wrong?

Birth Plans (aka “Plan A”)

If you take a childbirth education class, you will learn about birth plans. You will learn the various options available and you get to decide what choices work best for you. If you have a doula, she can help you develop your birth plan into a document for your provider and your birth team.

A birth plan can help you feel in control even when emotions and hormones take over. It can give you a sense of security in knowing that everyone on your birth team is, quite literally, on the same page.

However, birth plans go out the window in emergency situations. Then what?

Something Goes Wrong (aka “Plan B”)

Not all birth emergencies end in a cesarean, but without a plan, they can cause you to feel out of control, insecure, and lost. Doctors and nurses are focused on doing whatever is needed to get things back on track. They don’t have time to be emotionally supportive or to explain the details of what they are doing. A doula can be a wonderful asset to have in such a situation. She is there as an emotional support throughout the whole process and can answer any questions or concerns you have about what is happening.

Having a backup plan in place in case something goes wrong will make life easier for everyone involved. A backup plan helps you feel a sense of control in an out-of-control situation. It helps your partner feel confident in their ability to facilitate things throughout the process. It helps your birth team know how to proceed so your wishes are honored even in the midst of a crisis. It helps lessen the physiological impact of birth trauma.

Some people feel that having a backup plan is a jinx. That is utter nonsense. Just as you would have a backup plan for any other event in life, having one for birth makes you more prepared. A backup plan takes some of the worry out of birth. What if something goes wrong? No worries. You have Plan B.

About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, “Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice.”

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