Posted: Mar 07, 2014 8:00 AM
Even the most detailed birth plan doesn't mean labor will go, well, as planned. Flexibility and keeping an open mind may be the ideal way to approach labor and birth.

There's so much information about planning for labor and delivery that it can be overwhelming. So, how about forgetting about planning and focus on keeping an open mind?

Plan on not sticking to the plan

Whatever your plan may be, at the very least remember that labor and birth is unpredictable — from when the first contraction will start until the time you'll be holding your baby in your arms. I mentioned labor can be overwhelming and being a brand new mom certainly can be, too. The last thing you need is to be filled with regret or disappointment if the labor experience isn't everything you thought it would be. As a doula, childbirth educator and mom, I know the importance of taking things as they come.

So does mom Jen G. She says, "Everyone talks about birth plans, but my plan was to have a baby. However she got here was OK."

Everyone talks about birth plans, but my plan was to have a baby. However she got here was OK.

Make your wishes known

It's important to share what you want — or don't — for the labor experience with your partner, your healthcare provider and whomever else may be part of your support team. Share birth wishes before labor begins. Yes, things can change, but if your team knows what you want, they can provide the labor support you need. Sometimes, labor does go as moms imagine it will, but they change their minds — and that's OK!

So, should you bother with a birth plan?

There's no easy answer to the question — like with all aspects of pregnancy, birth and motherhood, you have to figure out what feels right for you (and your baby.) If you do write a birth plan, my suggestion is keep it short and positive. Focus on what you do want instead of what you don't. A birth plan should never replace verbal communication with your team and it's not set in stone.

Bottom Line^ Keep an open mind and be flexible during labor. It's great practice for parenting. Good luck!

Read more of Ami's tips for labor and delivery

How to write a birth plan
Labor bag bargains
Avoid the big baby trap

Photo credit: Design Pics/LJM Photo/Getty Images