Monday, 15 May 2017

My Birth Planning Journal

I'd like to share today a book that was quite useful to me when I was waiting for baby 3's arrival.

This is a relatively new venture from the Happy Birthing Company: a guide to planning and engaging with your birth.

I agree so strongly with this statement on the back cover. You can't predict what kind of birth you will experience, you can't really choose to have no complications, but you can stack the odds of getting your desired outcomes in your favour. I prefer the language of birth preferences rather than plans, because I feel this better reflects the reality of birth. We might prefer not to have a medicalised delivery, but if we have informed ourselves about the circumstances under which one might be necessary, and explore how we might like it to go in such eventuality, we will surely be in a better position for a positive birth than if we only plan for the outcomes we want but face the situation we don't.                                                                              

This lovely little book functions as a set of prompts for exploring your own birth preferences. Whether you are starting with a clear idea of what sort of birth might be the right one for you, or if you are starting right at the beginning of the journey with no ideas at all, these prompts can really help you to make your own informed decisions about birth. Small, light, and spiral bound so that it stays open and flat, the book is ideal for tucking in with maternity notes or into your birth bag (you can also download a PDF). It has plenty of space for you to write your thoughts and preferences, as well as prompts to encourage you to do your own research about important decisions.

This little book was a great tool for Husband and me in preparing for the birth of Baby 3. It provided the starting point for important conversations and decisions that we had to have, and I highly recommend expectant families use it in this way: as a guide and starting point for communication with each other and with care givers, or perhaps a doula. I think that the range of subjects mentioned will give every expectant parent something to think about, something they need to research further and inform themselves about. I hope this really takes off, because it has the potential to make a big difference to outcomes for mothers.

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