Birth Plans Are Dangerous!


Birth Plans Are Dangerous!
Are you pregnant or planning a child? Avoid this common practice the way it's typically prescribed.

We’re told it’s empowering to create a plan for how we want to experience labor and delivery. After all, shouldn’t it be the way we want? We’re instructed to relay this plan with all its details to the appropriate practitioners – our OB or midwife, for starters. What we’re not told is that our birth plan can easily cause serious problems. When we write this plan and think about it as if it’s in stone, such as: No episiotomy; no drugs; natural only – no intervention; baby to breast immediately, we set ourselves up big time. The truth is, as much as we want to believe we’re in control of all the factors, we’re not. For instance, we don’t know if the baby’s head will be the size of a bowling ball, or when the time comes, if the baby will be in a safe position for delivering vaginally. And, what if you change your mind about taking a medication? Birthing a baby is not a test, but that’s often how we approach it. Many of my clients’ mental health issues – including severe postpartum depression - stemmed directly from feelings of inadequacy and failure when their birth plans needed to be altered or thrown out completely. Unrealistic expectations can have extremely damaging consequences. So – if you’d like to have a birth plan, go right ahead. But, instead of thinking about it as a prescription that must be followed or else someone failed, think about it as a wish list! In other words, if all goes as you hope, the birth plan is what you’d optimally like. And remember, any way that baby pops out of you is the right way and you deserve a huge congratulations!

Article contributed by

Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.


Clinical Psychologist

Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D. (Dr. Shosh) specializes in moods during pregnancy and postpartum. She works through phone and other technologies with women and their partners worldwide.

The Radio Show can be heard on her website and callers receive free advice!

Download the free app PPD Gone! A great resource for those in need of support, guidance, or simply a little encouragement.

Get Dr. Shosh's books here.

Follow Dr. Shosh on Facebook and Twitter @DrShosh and LinkedIn


Location: Bodega Bay, CA
Credentials: PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.:

Should You Nix These 'Dirty Words' From Your Parenting Vocab?


Not too long ago, a parent who didn't set firm rules, tell her children to behave themselves or punish them when they acted out was thought to be an irresponsible parent. Now, in contrast, some of the most popular and commonly used words in parenting are considered to be off limits for the up-to-date and discerning parent. When did these words become, well, ... Read more

6 Important Ways To Help Your Partner Cope With Grief


When your partner suffers a major loss, it is an opportunity for the two of you to grow closer, whether the relationship is new or well-seasoned.  However, if handled insensitively (no matter how well-intentioned), the opposite can easily occur, and a wedge between you will grow instead. Here are six basic do's and don'ts to keep in mind when ... Read more

Telling Your Husband You Have Breast Cancer


Telling your loved ones of your recent diagnosis of cancer is difficult. Having been in this scenario quite recently, I can tell you from the inside out—it is a challenge. First, you're dealing with your own emotions about the diagnosis. Second, it's hard not to try and take care of and feel responsible for your spouse's reaction.  It ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular