Whether you’ve spent hours meticulously mapping out your birth plan, or yours simply consists of the word “EPIDURAL”, there are three truths and reminders that should be italicised and included in each birth plan.


  1. Labor is unpredictable

This truth cannot be emphasized enough. Not only is every labor experience different from the next, but your experience may differ from the one you’ve come to expect through your nine months of anticipation. As much as we all want our labor to go according to our expectations, with minimal surprises, very rarely will our experience perfectly reflect that which we’ve been imagining. Often our preconceived expectations can inhibit our experience and mindset if we allow ourselves to be consumed by disappointment when reality doesn’t perfectly align with said expectations. This is why the unpredictability of labor should be expected and accounted for in each birth plan. Even if your plan relies simply on an epidural; sometimes epidurals fail, only work on one side, or you arrive at the hospital and are too far along to even receive an epidural. Such unpredictability can be expected in each and every labor experience.

  1. As long as mom and baby are safe and healthy…

Having a birth plan that expresses your many wishes and hopes for your labor and birth experience is strongly encouraged; however, it’s important to keep this truth at the forefront of your birth plan. It may be helpful to include this as a forerunner to each item on your plan. For example, “As long as mom and baby are safe and healthy, mom would like a vaginal birth and to avoid interventions”. This will ensure that you, your partner, and birthing team are constantly reminded that the health and well-being of mom and baby is the most important priority. The goal of including and emphazising this truth is in hope that in the event of necessary intervention the mindset will be focused on the wellbeing of mama and baby, instead of the potential disappointment that could be found in the experience looking different than you previously hoped.

  1. Remember your why

Your birth plan should include reminders of your “why” even if it’s spelled out plainly. You should be constantly reminded of the end goal… holding your sweet baby earth side. This reminder can serve as a grounding feature when the pain seems unbearable and unending, reassuring you that it will not last forever and it will all be worth it in the end.


Overall, your birth plan should reflect what’s most important to you and include everything you desire or wish to avoid. However, remember to be flexible in the midst of unexpected change, prioritize the health and wellbeing of you and your baby, and remember that the end goal and reason for all the discomfort is to bring a sweet new life into your arms.