As you prepare to give birth to your baby, it’s common to sit down and examine your options. You may decide to put it in writing in what is known as a birth plan. But there is another type of plan. One that you likely haven’t considered. One that you won’t likely need. But one that is critically important should you need it.
I had the unfortunate opportunity to learn just how important this document is in my personal life. While it was a difficult situation, I was relieved to know that my family member’s wishes were clearly outlined before me. There was no guesswork.
For many years I have struggled with a way to bring this important topic to the families that I work with. Birth is an amazing process. A process that results in a healthy outcome for most. Yet the reality is, there aren’t always happy endings.
The plan when it doesn’ go as planned.
You’ll find many birth advocates that claim that birth is a natural biological process. On the surface, I don’t disagree. But having attended births for 19 years, I know that sometimes things go sideways. Even when you have the best of circumstances. It is those moments that families often find themselves unprepared.
It’s understandable that you may not want to have conversations about what you’d want if there were a major complication. We try to focus on the positive when we prepare for birth.
Ideally, these hard conversations about what you would want if you were unable to advocate for yourself would happen well before pregnancy. Yet for many, childbirth may be the first real exposure to a hospital environment or their first exposure to potential surgery.
Sometimes hard decisions must be made.
It’s not necessary to discuss here what could possibly go wrong that may require such decisions. We want to bring forth an awareness of the importance of an advanced healthcare directive. We encourage you to visit the link below to the Arizona Life Care Planning Packet.
This document includes the forms needed to establish your Advanced Healthcare Directive along with a guide to help you complete the forms. The discussions contained within the guide will help you identify what your wishes may be should you encounter certain healthcare decisions.
If you are not expecting and you are reading this post, please consider filling out your own directive if you have not done so already.