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When your birth doesn’t go as planned

We birth activist love to talk about how natural and beautiful birth is, and it is. But what happens when things don’t go as planned? What about when you planned a homebirth and needed to transfer to the hospital for complications? What if you planned a natural birth in the hospital and ended up with an epidural, or a cesarean? Maybe you’re approaching 42 weeks and the Dr. wants you to come in for an induction.

I know it can be frustrating – heartbreaking even, and at times maybe you might feel that your body has failed you, or that if you had made different decisions things would have turned out differently

Some people swear by a birth plan while others say they aren’t necessary. I think it’s a great idea to have a plan on paper. Maybe we should call it birth wishes instead of plans, plans change so quickly, especially when you’re giving birth.

A lot of men and women will say it doesn’t matter how a baby comes into the world, all that matters is a healthy baby.
It does matter though. Giving birth is a huge deal, it’s not something that everyone gets or wants to do. The birth of our children stay with us forever.
When things don’t go as planned there are still request you can make to have the best experience possible.
Homebirth Transfers – I think this post from PHDoula says it better than I ever could.

If you have a cesarean, you can ask that you and baby are able to bond right away, or ask that your partner bonds with the baby right away.
I have friends who didn’t see their children for 4-5 hours, and that is completely unacceptable. You can request that your baby room in with you, and of course, breastfeed! Breastfeeding releases Oxytocin, also get as much skin to skin with baby as possible.

Try to have a good support team in place. That way you can recover from surgery and rest with your baby, and if you have other children, someone to help watch them.

This article on bonding with your baby after a cesarean has tons of great information.

I’m sure I’ve missed some things. What helped you when your birth didn’t go as planned? Share your experience in the comments.


4 thoughts on “When your birth doesn’t go as planned

  1. i had c-section with my son ryder .i was in labor for nine hours got infection because my water bag broke at home.they tried everything to fight the infection my fever was 101 and my skin broke out prickle heat.my husband got to hold my hand tell me to breath i was doing great .i got kiss ryder on his forehead then two hours latter got to breastfeed my son son.

  2. Aw, thanks for the link back my site! This is a great post, and I totally agree about bonding with your baby after a c-section. You can get your support team to help you be skin-to-skin despite feeling numb all the way up to your neck. Even if you can’t feel it, your baby can, and you can still smell/touch your baby with your face — which is just how our mammal sisters do it in the wild.

  3. You are so right. It does matter! My first two didn’t go as planned. I learned from them and prepared myself better for my last. I didn’t have a birth plan. I had a prayer that I taped to my bathroom mirror & read it daily. It didn’t all unfold as I “planned” but is was amazing and no regrets.

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