Postpartum depression for partners

Creating a birthing plan for partners

Having a plan in mind is always an important step when taking on a new endeavor. 

Programs help create a roadmap, provide structure, give clarity, and create a vision of your goals to navigate the difficulties and challenges that may arise. 

When it comes to preparing for childbirth, a birthing plan is instrumental in being able to put all options on the table and come up with a strategic approach that both you and your partner are comfortable with.

Although not all birthing plans go according to their concept, they at least put everyone involved in the birth on the same page for the dos and donts of bringing the baby into this world.

Partners play a significant role in supporting the birthing process and contributing to the birthing plan. Just as important as a mom is throughout pregnancy and childbirth, so too is the partner with their help, leadership, and acting as a liaison for things to go as smoothly as possible.

There may come a time during the birth that the partner must step in to make decisions according to their birthing plan, hence why their involvement is critical and their awareness of the situation is heightened. 

Understanding the Birthing Plan

What is a birthing plan and is it for everybody? 

Why should I have a plan when I can just leave it to the doctors?

These are very common questions for new soon-to-be parents when considering the best approach to deciding on the important choices to make such as where to birth the child, medication, labor preferences, or emergency situations. 

A birthing plan helps lay all of these options out and more in a manner of picking what feels right and works out with your beliefs for giving birth.  It is important to note that there is no right way to go about a birthing plan and as a partner, you should be supportive and considerate of the mom’s needs and desires.

Having a birthing plan is a great tool for communication between partners, medical providers, family, friends, and pretty much anybody you want to be involved in the birth. 

It allows all those involved to understand and be respectful of the parents’ needs throughout the whole process. 

A plan is also a fantastic way of educating the soon-to-be parents on everything to expect and be prepared for all the while empowering them to make the decisions that feel the most comfortable with their vision of childbirth.

As mentioned before, taking an open-minded approach to creating a birthing plan and throughout the birthing process will create a less rigid environment towards what could happen. 

Not everything goes according to plan is a very applicable statement when it comes to the world of childbirth. Birth plans are a fantastic way to outline and get everybody on the same page, but keeping a positive “anything can happen” attitude will foster more flexibility when something does happen outside of your agenda. 

You are in good hands, trust your providers, know your partner will do anything for you, and you will get through this with a stronger mentality and a newborn baby!

Benefits and Importance of Partner’s Involvement in Birthing Plan

In my opinion, the partner plays the most important role in a birthing plan throughout the entire pregnancy and birthing process. They are there to 

  • Step up to the plate when needed
  • Provide a confident message when times get tough
  • Understand the mother’s wishes
  • Properly communicate with the medical providers and anybody else involved during delivery. 

There may come times when the mom is unable to effectively speak up or communicate properly. This is where the partner, who should know the mom the best out of anyone involved, can relay her goals and vision to facilitate the smoothest birth according to their plan.

A partner is there to provide emotional support as well throughout pregnancy and most importantly during labor and delivery. Kind, supportive words and nurturing messages will alleviate the stress level and remind the mom you are there with them in whatever way they need. 

Understanding the mom’s wishes and needs ahead of time through your birthing plan will allow things to happen quicker when needed, such as pain medication for example, or a different position to push in during delivery. 

This is why it is critical for the partner to be actively engaged throughout the birthing plan, almost as if it were him/her that was giving birth.

Another wonderful benefit of creating a birthing plan between partners is the bond that already exists will be strengthened through the process of envisioning how you want everything to happen. You may learn more about your partner than you ever did through creating a birthing plan together, which is an important bonding experience to look forward to and appreciate.

Not only will a birthing plan strengthen the relationship between two partners, but the labor and delivery will as well.  Having a plan in place and doing your best to implement it throughout labor and delivery will manifest a team relationship that is empowered to navigate through life’s challenges down the road.

Preparing for the Birthing Plan

Education through the preparation of a birthing plan will help partners learn about their available choices that fit into their vision of what labor and delivery will look like.  

Bear in mind though, that having an open-minded approach and being flexible throughout this whole process is paramount to working through unexpected challenging situations that may present themselves down the road. 

It is never too early to put your heads together and start drafting a birthing plan. Some partners start brainstorming before they have become pregnant, detailing conception to labor to delivery and beyond. 

Starting early with a birthing plan can create a strong bond between partners that may never have been explored without doing such a thing. 

Another informative and very helpful action to take when preparing for a birthing plan is attending prenatal classes as a couple. Prenatal classes are a great way of learning more hands-on with a teacher who is knowledgeable of all the things that could happen through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. 

These classes give deeper insights into the birthing process that one may not gain through online research. Partners have the opportunity to engage in different labor positions, massage techniques, post-birth feeding practices, and so on.

If the opportunity to attend a prenatal class presents itself, I highly encourage being a part of one as it helped my wife and me with a lot of things that we never would have become aware of.

Components of a Birthing Plan

Birthing plans are at the creation of the partners and don’t need to follow a strict set of guidelines, however, there are some main elements that should be considered when writing one.

Some of these elements include:

  • Location of the birth: Some partners want to deliver in a hospital surrounded by a medical team, whereas others may have a home birth with just a doula. These are things to consider when first deciding to get pregnant or at the point of conception.
  • Prenatal medical provider: Who do you want to be your OB-GYN, midwife, or general practitioner? Or maybe you have a different belief/faith system that chooses an alternative natural approach.
  • Labor positions: What type of positions do you want to try and are open to experimenting with during labor? 
  • Pain management: Have you thought of pain medications, epidurals, or other alternative means of relieving discomfort?
  • Support crew: Family, friends, partner, or just medical professionals? Who do you want to be there with you pre, during, and post-delivery?
  • Emergencies: Have you thought about what could go wrong if something goes wrong? Is there a medical history that would show signs of an issue presenting itself during labor?
  • Feeding newborn: Will you be doing breastfeeding, a bottle, or a mix? These can be things to be prepared for ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling to go and get formula if bottle feeding.

Post-Birth Considerations

It’s very important to not only plan for labor and delivery but to have goals and a vision set in place for the post-birth period.

A major factor to consider is the physical recovery and that could relate to what type of delivery you have or are planning on having. Setting up a sleep schedule with your partner to better plan for healing time is important and doesn’t just throw you both into a heap of confusion when trying to care for the mom.

Emotional well-being is another strong variable that could change daily, especially with the swings of hormones and ever changing landscape of raising a newborn. The partner for mom plays a huge role in making sure that the mom’s needs are met while also supporting any care for the newborn.

Your relationship with your partner is going to change as well, now there is another human being in the household that has needs you are trying to figure out. 

This can sometimes put a strain on both partners which is why it is important to set a principle ahead of time to be open, vulnerable, and aware of each other. 

Establishing this open line of communication will not only help both partners work through the challenging moments but strengthen their relationship in the long run.

Conclusion

Birth plans tend to get overlooked and are there as a guideline that is useful for education, empowerment, and getting everyone involved on the same page with what the partners’ goals and vision are for pregnancy, labor, and delivery. 

As with anything major in life, it is always important to have a plan and try to stick by it as much as possible to help better prepare you for the unexpected. 

This is true for birthing plans yet remember being flexible and understanding of how things can change at any moment will put both partners in a better prepared mindset. 

If you are experiencing overwhelming emotions throughout your partner’s pregnancy or post-birth and would like to take a journey with me to live your compelling future with love, gratitude, and confidence for your family, I encourage you to hop on a 30-minute connection call with me to see how I can help.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and being here is a step in the right direction and your story does not define you, so come take the next step with me!

Addison Caproni

Enjoy a life of love, gratitude and confidence with your family

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