As with most things in life, everything doesn’t always go according to plan, despite our best efforts. I’m an excessive planner myself - nine times out of ten you can catch me colour coding my calendar, or updating my workflows in Trello. It would cause me physical stress when I couldn’t plan; I had terrible anxiety throughout my university days because I wasn’t able to commit to a five year plan like my more 'together' peers (& thank god for that!) While being organized and on top of your shit eliminates a lots of stress, sometimes we arrive at forks in the road that weren’t totally expected.
In the parenting world, these unexpected turns happen every. damn. day. As a birth and postpartum doula, one of my biggest parts of the job is to help parents-to-be become as prepared as possible for their birth experience. No matter the client, I always aim to help the families I support prepare for the unexpected.
No matter how much positive manifestation and prenatal prep you do, life just happens. Your tiny human is its own person with their own plans on how to enter the world. That’s why I’m calling on all you mamas & papas out there to throw out your birth plans and bring in a birth vision board instead.
WHY NOT PLAN AHEAD?
Your birth vision doesn’t mean you should avoid planning altogether. Spending the time to think about your birth vision and putting your thoughts on paper will get you to educate yourself around the choices you DO have during your birth, and to let your support system & care providers know what you need in order to feel supported and taken care of.
Creating a personal birth vision board will prepare you for your birth, allowing you to become familiar with the good, bad, and the ugly of all the options available to you, and help you create the best possible birth experience for you and your little one - no matter what happens.
HOW TO USE YOUR BIRTH VISION BOARD
Your birth vision should be less than a page. That’s a tiny amount of space, but in order for your care provider to remember your priorities, keep it as to the point and space-effective as possible.
Be sure to go over your birth vision with your care provider at around 36 weeks. Any earlier and things will get forgotten, and any later, you might go into pre-term labor and that conversation would have been missed. You also have time to switch providers if they aren't on board for any of your priorities.
Have several copies made for the day of your birth. One for your partner, your care provider, your doula, and more! If you plan to give birth in a medical setting, be aware that the staff will rotate every 6-7 hours, and they might not pass on your vision sheet from shift to shift. Having extras in your hospital bag will ensure that your whole team has the resources to be on the same page.
One of the most taxing, but rewarding, lessons of parenting is learning to let things go and accept things for what they are. By planning ahead, but allowing for all possible outcomes, you can feel more positively about any birth experience, even the unexpected ones.
Wondering what should go in your individual vision board? Birth Boss Maternity Care can help you out with just that with a bespoke maternity consultation. Book your free interview today.