Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Birth Plan: 5 steps to a better informed birth experience

I wrote this piece about birth plans for RichmondMom. You can read the full article here

“My doctor told me to keep my birth plan short and to the point, how do I fit in everything I want to include? I don’t want to be too demanding.”

“You can’t really PLAN labor, won’t my care provider tell me what I need to know?”

“A friend of mine brought a bunch of copies of her birth plan to the hospital when she went into labor and no one even looked at them!”

“I’ve read online that care providers and labor and delivery staff laugh in the face of birth plans. Should I even write one?”

“My sister is a labor and delivery nurse, she warned me that moms who write long birth plans are the ones who end up with a bunch of intervention and babies born by c-section.”

As a doula and childbirth educator I work closely with women, and their partners, as they prepare for the intimate life event of birth. I encourage every family I work for to develop a birth plan as part of their childbirth preparation, and as an integral step in their personal journey to becoming better informed consumers of maternity care.

The dismissive messages that often characterize discussions around birth plans undermine their many benefits and true purpose as a communication and information gathering tool. The process of writing a birth plan serves in at least three ways:
  1. To help you to identify your needs and wants for labor, birth, and postpartum care.
  2. To begin, or continue, a dialogue about your needs and wants with your care provider in the context of her practice style, and the policies and procedures routine to your chosen birthing place.
  3. To engage your birth team to facilitate and support your birthing goals.

Reframe the value of your birth plan as the PROCESS by which the document is created and the degree to which you utilize it as a communication tool before labor begins. To merely present a birth plan document to Labor and Delivery staff on admission to your birthing place is to miss out on many of the benefits of having created the document in the first place.

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