Do OB’s and Nurse’s Even Care About Your Birth Plan?

Birth plans…they are an interesting topic, and one I have morphed my position on over the years.

With my first birth, I had a 5 page birth plan with a lot of "no's" and "do not's" dotting the pages.

Paranoid?  I will admit….yes.

What I am grateful for is the great nurses who didn't bat an eye at it, say one negative thing, and CNM's who were completely on board with me.

I had a great birth experience.

I quickly came to learn, though, that my experience was the exception

This blog post put it pretty accurately:

I have a sneaking suspicion that the current acceptance (in some places) of birth plans is either lip service only or a clever marketing tool to get women to feel more comfortable when they should be running for the hills.

I wish I could disagree, but I've seen it more than once.  Lots of "yes, sure we can do that" in a prenatal visit, but when push came to shove (good pun, eh?), there was a lot of "no way, we never do that" or "you're the exception" in the birth room.
MamaBirth said it right on when she stated:

A birth plan IS:

-A way for you to figure out what you really want, what is most important to you and to organize your thoughts.

-It can help you visualize your "ideal" birth and then find out if your care provider/birth place is on board with your desires.

-It can help you communicate in an organized way your desires and needs without forgetting something during your visit.

-A birth plan can help you and your partner talk about things, realize where you agree and differ and really discover the many many choices that pop up once you have conceived a child.

A birth plan is NOT:

– A guarantee that your provider will do anything that you have in it. (Yes, this is true even if they nod and smile, even if they give it lip service and even if they sign it.)

-It is not a non-combative, "I'm afraid of you and your white coat and I don't really want to question your authority" way to communicate with your care provider and magically get all your deepest desires fulfilled.

-It is not a force field surrounding you from typical, routine, and stupid hospital interventions.

-It it is also not a way to somehow control the birth experience.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make and execute a birth plan.

So, should you have a birth plan?  Yes, I completely advocate for them ONLY IF you understand its limitations and purpose. 

To learn more about birth planning, please visit


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