The birth plan is an important part of every pregnancy because it outlines your preferences for pain relief, and provides the midwives and your obstetrician with information on how you want to experience the birth of your child.
However, many expectant mothers often rely on the birth plan as a solid road map of the birth and expect it to go exactly as it is written.
As childbirth is an unpredictable process, relying on a predetermined plan can cause unwanted distress should an emergency arise or a less preferred delivery method be suggested during labour.
When developing your birth plan, it is important to use it to outline the possibilities for your birth, highlighting your hopes for the perfect labour. The tricky part is to try and be flexible about it during labour should there be a reason to deviate from your preferences.
For example, if your plan is to have a vaginal birth with an epidural, you are entitled to this and the delivery team will do their best to accommodate your requests. That said, should you progress quickly and there is not enough time to safely administer an epidural to ensure it is effective, then the doctor will discuss alternative pain relief methods with you.
An obstetrician is there to manage the safe and successful birth of your baby and will only deviate from your birth plan after discussing your options.