Personal Birthing Plans

There should be only two things on a mother’s birthing plan…  anything else is self-indulgent and frivolous.  This is not a social event.  Childbirth is deadly serious and must remain professional.


  • My baby will be born quickly.
  • The doctor must be in the hospital.  If not, the baby will be delivered anyway.

BIRTHING PLAN  (single item)

  • The doctor will be in the hospital from the time I arrive  until I deliver.

Here are the reasons:

  • Problem with a long birthing plan.  Nurses and doctors have done the things you need to have happen, hundreds of times.  They are experts and most importantly, with this level of skill much os the success is in their automatic responses.  They may look calm and friendly but each of them is a machine with hair trigger alertness to the smallest clue that something is out of the ordinary.  And they jump on it.
  • Anything distracting attention from this alertness, making sure you have fresh water next to you at all times for example, or the lights dimmed, removes focus from THE BABY.
  • A personal birthing plan, written down and presented to the hospital or it’s agents (the staff) becomes a legal document and completely changes the focus of every minute, away  from the baby and task at hand to ‘how do we keep from being sued?’  Instead of a staff of experts at your side, your birthing plan has changed them to a group of people wary and self-protective.  And that is against your best interests.  Instead of a partnership that flows perfectly, the event becomes one of possible adversaries and clumsy.    We had a mother one night who came in with a 27 item birthing plan and the R nurse said:  “You know nothing good’s going to come of this.”

Who benefits?  No one.

Who is at increased risk?  The baby.

Why  does the ideal birthing plan have only these two particular things?

  • If a doctor is on the golf course, the mother can labor on and on until he is ready.  Each contraction is the force of 2Gs on the baby’s head.  I’ve seen mothers allowed to remain in active labor for 24 hours…  720 compressions of the baby’s head with the force of 2 Gs.
  • In the 1950s and 60s, nurses were instructed by the doctor to prevent delivery by holding the mother’s legs together until he got there.  In those days if the doctor wasn’t there, you did not have to pay him.