How useful is a birth plan?
it's useful to keep you occupied while you are pregnant - in action - not so much.. what happens happens and if you plan too much and it doesn't work out you just get stressed about it..
I think if it's general and you understand its a plan not a blueprint it's very helpful. You LMC then knows things like do you want to try with/out drugs, water birth, who's allowed in the room, how long you want to stay at home etc.
My current birth plan is this: stay home until the last possible moment which I will base on the day with how I am feeling, music to be played (so I pack my ipod and speakers), a pool if available and as my baby is posterior I want to have access to any birth equipment like slings, swiss balls etc so I can attempt to move him if he still hasn't turned. Also I want to not be offered drugs but have them available to me if I change my mind. Lastly the safe delivery of my child trumps any desire to make my birth my pleasant experience and therefore as I trust my midwife I have given her complete authority to step in and change anything at anytime.
I may or may not get the birth I would like, but at least my midwife knows my preferences and will accommodate me if it's possible
The nice thing about having a birth plan was that in researching how to write one, you are forced to think about things you wouldn't normally have given time, and that can be helpful. With my first child, I put a plan together, but abbreviated the c-section part as I was positive I wouldn't need it. As the date got closer and it became more clear I was going to need to have a c-section, I was able to go back to my plan and put more detail into that section so come d-day I knew exactly what I wanted and what I should expect. I was also able to talk with my doctor and husband about it beforehand so they were aware of what I wanted. As scary as the c-section was, I knew what was going to happen for me and for the baby every step of the way. For someone who likes to have control, that was a big relief and helped to put my mind as ease. Good luck.
Well my personal experience, not very helpful lol. Of course I went into labor 8 wks early down state, and had to deliver at a different hospital than I had originally planned. I had my birth plan with me and showed it to the attending nurse, and she politely as possible told me that none of it mattered since I was not considered a patient there, and that I get what I get. So I had a bunch of interns in the room despite my protests, my dd's father was no help at all since he was about to pass out, and his best friend's mom that I had met once before ended up coaching me. So hopefully it works for you. I do know that prepping one made me feel more prepared while I was pregnant. At least it was comforting at one point.