How to "go with the flow" during your birth the right way!

“I’m just going to go with the flow.” 

“We’ll see what happens when I get there.” 

“You can’t control what happens so….”

“I don’t need a birth plan… what is that anyway?”

Have you heard this said or maybe have even said these things yourself when talking about your upcoming birth? No judgement! I have totally been there before with my first baby. 

When talking about about birth, “go with the flow” usually means, “I’ll go with whatever my doctor says.” Currently we have a 32% c-section rate in America. indicates current statistics state that “700 women die per year from childbirth complications. Infant mortality rate is 71 percent higher here in the US than the comparable country average.” Now, if you don’t really care about what happens and you don’t mind handing away your power to someone else that’s totally fine but I’m guessing, since you’re reading this that you would like to keep your power and decision making to yourself.  Or at the very least you are simply curious about what the difference could be when choosing to “empower” your birth plan choices rather than “going with the flow. Whatever the reason may be, I am glad you are here!

How do you “go with the flow” while still maintaining the decision making power?

Can you have a laid back and relaxed birth without feeling like you have to control every moment? TOTALLY! In fact, this is exactly what I want you to experience. Birth doesn’t always go the way we want but that doesn’t mean we cannot be fully aware and participate in making every decision along the way.  You see, that is just something I never thought about before my first childbirth. My mom only shared with me my birth story (and it was a bit scary - doctor didn’t make it in time even though mom was induced!) I always had the impression you “checked in and checked out,” and the doctor decided everything in between. 

Remember the old adage, “Knowledge is power”?  So equip yourself with knowledge and a birth plan prior to the big day.  Preparing for all situations may seem like a lot of work, but it will teach you that you are strong, capable and confident enough to trust yourself to choose what’s best for you and your baby. It will empower you to enjoy your birth no matter how it plays out. You will no longer be a puppet following what someone else wants you to do, you will be strong and empowered to break free from those strings and birth on your own!   That’s not at all saying you will argue with your doctor or challenge their every suggestion during birth! What I want for you is to have the knowledge ahead of time so you can pick your provider and it will be one that best matches your birth plan and is willing to communicate effectively throughout your experience!

Choosing your Provider to Match Your Expectations For Birth

Doctors are the experts! They went to medical school to learn the pathology of birth. They are trained to identify when something is going wrong. They are experts in disease. I am so thankful we have knowledgeable physicians who know what to do when emergencies arise. It is rare these days, however, to find a doctor who sees birth as a normal event without allowing the training of searching for problems to take over. If you are looking to trust your body and respect the birth process for how it was designed to function, then be sure to find a provider who will step aside and be ok with you making informed decisions. states:

“Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. Their figure, published May 3 in The BMJ, surpasses the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) third leading cause of death — respiratory disease, which kills close to 150,000 people per year.” 

Having a trusting relationship with your doctor is of utmost importance!  It is foundational and may take those 9 months of pregnancy to establish. However, handing complete decision making over to them because they are the “experts” is a shortsighted approach to a monumental life event. When I hear someone say, “I’m just going to follow my doctors advice,” most of the time that means, “I am going to go with my doctors birth plan, not mine.”