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3 Big Mistakes You Can Make When Writing Your Birth Plan

I know you’ve probably heard how birth plans don’t work, or to toss it right into the trash because that’s where it’s going to end up, but hear me out.

It’s not that birth plans “don’t work” OR that “birth is unpredictable”...

It’s that the WAY you’ve been taught how to make that plan actually disempowers you in your birth experience.

It’s because you've been taught to pick from a list of menu options, and not everyone will tell you that there’s way more on offer in your birth experience than what’s on that birth plan template or checklist.

So unless your goal is a heavily managed birth where your care provider calls all the shots and just does whatever they think is "medically necessary" even when it's not, then you're going to want to read on because these are the 3 Biggest Mistakes you can make in writing a birth plan for a true physiological birth


Many people will argue about this, because in their minds you could develop any number of complications that would derail your birth plan if you create it too soon.

But I disagree.

In fact, I feel that it’s all the more reason to think about what you want in your birth as early into your pregnancy as possible!

Actually, it’s even better to think about what you want before you get pregnant!

But I know that pregnancy isn’t always planned, and sometimes you barely thought about the birth experience prior to finding out you’re expecting.

And I also know that you might be sitting here reading this in your third trimester and freaking out because you don’t have your birth plan yet!

Well, if that’s you, then I want to share some wise words with you: The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, and the next best time to plant one is now.

That means that wherever you are in your birth planning, if you start right now, then you will be further ahead tomorrow than you would be if you had never found this article.

So from this point onward, I want you to let go of any shame or guilt you might have for not having done this earlier, or with your first pregnancy, or before you even planned to have a baby at all.

It’s okay. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

You can move forward and learn a new way to plan your birth with power, and have more confidence to go for what you want.

And speaking of what you want, that leads us to...

MISTAKE #2: Focusing On What You DON’T Want

I cannot even count how many times I see negative language like "no" and "don't want" in birth plans.

On the surface, it looks pretty harmless, but here’s the thing that you might not realize:

There is POWER in how we say things.

In fact, your words can become your reality!

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of the Law of Attraction, let me break it down quickly for you:

What you focus on gets stronger.

So if you’re thinking “I don’t want an episiotomy” what happens is that your brain will interpret that without the negative word “don’t”.

And what will be more likely to happen is that your own subconscious mind will betray you into getting the very thing you didn’t want, or it will come very close to happening.

This isn’t the only reason you want to avoid negative language though.

Think about how negative messages make you feel when you read them:

“Not Allowed”

“No Food or Drink”

“Don’t Get Your Hopes Up”

How does that feel?

Not very good, right?

That’s because we don’t like being told “NO”.

It’s in our DNA, and we bristle at the idea that someone else gets to tell us what to do.

Now, I’m not going to justify the actions of care providers, who hear your “NO” and take it as a direct challenge to their authority.

That’s still wrong, and there is never any justification for abuse of power.

Furthermore, you have rights!

So when a care provider hears you say “NO” and then does it anyway, or they tell you that you “have to” or are “not allowed”, they’re actually doing something illegal.

That being said, let’s talk about the other care providers.

These are the people who genuinely want to support you and don’t want to abuse their power, but they’re scared.

When you say “NO”, they don’t know whether there’s any wiggle room to that refusal of the IV they’re suggesting you be open to.

For one thing, it could be part of their hospital’s policy, and they are simply afraid to go against direct orders.

Or maybe they’ve witnessed a true emergency where someone had previously refused an intervention and they had no idea what else to do!

You see, in your care provider’s mind, your “no” sounds final.

It sounds like, if shit hit the fan, they would have to watch you or your baby die, and they would be powerless to save you.

That’s really scary, and that’s why you want to avoid negative language.

Because if you say “no” then the unspoken question is “what if?” and that leads to fear, and your care provider might try to get you to “see reason”.

Now, I know that if there was a true emergency, you would come to the conclusion that your birth plans needed to change a bit.

But if you’re not clear on what you want, then you won’t know what those changes could be, and you’re left with whatever options your care provider recommends in the moment.

That might be hitting everything with a hammer, even when that level of force was overkill.

This is why the default “solution” to going past y

our due date is most likely going to be to offer induction.

And if you’re “failing to progress” in labor?


There are so many different alternatives, and you can even create your own if you really know what you want and aren’t just thinking about what to avoid in your birth.

And that leads us to the last big mistake that I see in birth planning…

MISTAKE #3: Not Getting Perfectly Clear On What You Want

The worst thing you can do is assume that everyone knows what you mean when you use certain words or generic terms for what you want.

For example, “Vaginal Birth” can mean anything.

You could be birthing on your back, with your feet in stirrups and the doctor cutting an episiotomy.

That’s still a Vaginal Birth, but is that the kind you want to have?

Also, you might say you want an “unmedicated” birth.

Well, there are enough blog posts out there and social media comments in the mom groups that will state that going “unmedicated” was horrifically painful.

The only part they seem to overlook is that those same births happened with Pitocin involved.

BUT it’s still “unmedicated”.

You see the problem, don’t you?

When you use generic phrases that seem so simple and to the point, you are more likely to be misunderstood by your care provider and less likely to get the birth you truly intended to have.

This is why it is so important that you get granular when creating your birth plan.

You need to spell out every single thing you really want when you're thinking "natural birth" and then write that down. Then you put those things in point form.

Forget about focusing on playlists, lighting, and being able to wear your own clothes. You don't need to put those things in your plan for the hospital because your support team is actually in charge of creating the environment.

Your care providers have other things to focus on and they're more likely to follow your plan if it focuses on how you want them to care for you rather than things that your doula and partner are going to be able to carry out on their own.

But here's the thing...Until you know exactly what you want in your birth, and what you will and will not consent to, and under which circumstances you will change your mind and your plan, you are going to have a hell of a time trying to create a birth plan that actually works!

And that means that you could end hiring the wrong care provider, the wrong doula, choose the wrong environment, ask the wrong questions when trying to educate yourself on your options, and let your fear control you and derail your birth!

So before you start filling out a template or writing your birth plan for your care provider to read, you need to really ask yourself...what do you want? Because the truth is that you can create your birth experience any way you desire, and when you really start focusing on those details suddenly the path to getting that birth becomes a lot easier to follow.

Creating an Empowered Birth Plan is one of the most powerful things you can do to start creating that dream birth experience and avoiding your worst nightmares. It's also part of what I teach within my Empowered Birth coaching sessions and classes, and is a key component of the Empowered Birth System!

If you would like to know more about how to get the birth you want without having to fight, beg permission, or compromise on your birth plan then be sure to get my book Your Empowered Birth!

In this book you'll learn why it's so hard to get a truly natural birth, especially within the medical system, and I'll teach you the powerful framework you need to start asking the right questions and create your birth your way!

You'll not only learn how to start creating your birth plan, but also how to choose your care provider, select your ideal birth location, get your partner better to support you, and get past your fears.

Final Thoughts

One word of caution: don't let anyone else tell you what to put in your birth plan.

That's reading off their menu instead of creating your own.

You only get to birth this baby once, and you deserve to feel like every decision you made was YOUR choice!

That means that IF something comes up in your pregnancy or in your labor and you need to change your plan, you’ll know exactly WHY you’re agreeing to it and you’ll have an idea of what conditions need to be met for you to even change your plan in the first place!

And it won’t be because of your doctor’s policies or the hospital’s protocols they prefer to follow. It will be 100% YOUR decision!

The resources here and through our social media channels will help you get the information you need, however when you get your copy of Your Empowered Birth you'll also get valuable tips, videos, articles, and podcasts delivered to your inbox each week! You'll be able to skip the Google search and have everything you need to get your dream birth!

So if you're ready to say goodbye to cookie-cutter templates and checklists then sign up here and get your free copy of Your Empowered Birth delivered to your inbox!

Happy Birth Planning!


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