I recently partnered with Motherboard to offer their visual birth plan app to pregnant couples. Motherboard has made an app for parents that they can use to create their own birth plans and it is awesome. I really love it and I think you will too. Let’s take a look…
When you’re building a Birth Plan or Birth Vision or Birth Preferences (many names for the same thing) it can be hard to know where to even start. If you’re going to list your preferences for your birth, you need to know what your options are. To find out more about Birth Preferences in general, what should be considered and why you should write them down, check out this blog. For this particular article we’re just going to look at using Motherboard to make your Birth Plan.
Motherboard has lots of options listed for you, sorted by when during labor or postpartum it might come up. There are obvious ones as well as things you probably didn’t realize were options. Topics like cervical exams, time limits on labor, and water births as well as the wording used during your birth, the type of drapes during a cesarean and choosing a birth place.
I really like that their information is research-based, trauma-informed and nonjudgmental. That really allows you to get an unbiased view of the possibilities. You can inform yourself, use it as a conversation starter with your care provider, and share your hopes and wishes with your partner, doula, and midwife. The better your team understands your vision for your birth, the better they can support you in making that happen.
So how does it work?
First you create a board and give it an inspiring name of your choice. Then you can look at the different sections (labor, birth, postpartum…) and click on the various topics under that section. With each topic it will describe what it is, the pros and cons, when it might come up, and the research behind it. There’s a quick description “In a Nutshell” so you get an idea of what that topic is about. If it’s clearly not important to you, you can move on to the next thing. If it’s something that interests you and you want to know more about, you can read on to the “Dig Deeper” section where they have facts, studies, and benefits and risks listed. There’s even a section at the end with questions that can help prompt some reflection on the topic or make for a good conversation starter between you and your partner as you go through these options.
As you go through you can decide which things are important to you and which ones don’t really matter.
Once you’ve done that, you choose your top 15 most important things. Those are then laid out in an easy-to-view grid which you can share with your provider, doula, midwife, partner, friend, etc by printing it out or adding their email address. This helps everyone on your support team know what’s important to you and they can try to help you achieve that during labor. You (or more realistically your partner) can even go back to your board during labor to remind yourself what the facts were associated with a given option. This is especially useful if it’s something you didn’t know would come up and now you’re having to make a decision.
If you’d like to try it out, you can buy the app here. If you enter the code EMPOWERED you’ll get 10% off (that’s $45 instead of $50)