Which includes first timers.
There’s been a lot of anti birth plan judgement going around in my life. It’s always irritated me. It seems to mostly come from people who haven’t had issues they felt could have been avoided.
Now, this time I hardly have a birth plan at all, because there’s no point.
There’s a lot more anti-birth plan talk than there are people being sad that every little thing didn’t go how they imagined it, though I have seen a little of that.
Some people seem to think a birth plan is a detailed document outlining how the expectant mother wants every thing to go. Pretty much everyone has a birth plan, even if they aren’t writing up some manifesto. It might be exactly in line with what your medical team will do, so you hardly need to tell or ask them anything, or it might be very different from their normal operating procedure, so you need to ask for things outside the norm. It’s a good excuse to do some research into what is the norm at where you will be birthing, what will be accommodated, and make educated decisions into what you think is best for you.
My original birth plan was very much in line with normal operating procedure for my area (though I gather fairly different from in much of the US). I didn’t have to worry about making my wishes explicitly known, or going against standard procedure on a variety of things, though I had discussed them with my care providers. There was very little that I got off of it despite that.
With my second birth plan, because of the nature of my first birth, I had to argue quite a lot my entire pregnancy to be able to not be strapped to a bed. Since my first birth involved about 10 people in my room holding me still because the bed was broken and rocked if I moved at all, and that upset the belly monitor, including 2 sets of people trying to fit IV’s that kept falling out (I ended up with I think 4 different IV insertion points?), and ending up with one in my neck I was rather keen to not be attached to a bed. So mobility was a big part of my birth plan. In the end when it came down to being strapped to a bed and told it would probably end in a section anyhow, or having a repeat emergency section I opted for the section. My second time birth plan was about avoiding things I saw as traumatizing. Which I mostly did, but I still don’t feel right or happy with how things turned out.
With my 3rd I have very low expectations. It’s disappointing for me because there are birthing related things I can never have because of how my birth has to go. Not because it’s necessarily dangerous, but because rules are more flexible in the delivery room than they are in the operating room. But I still have a birth plan. And so does pretty much everyone else. Everyone whose birth plan is get the baby out, is fine with the way their medical team and hospital does things. Those who want things done differently are not wrong and certainly have reasons.