Fast Births! We have all heard a story about a baby born on the way to the hospital or unexpectedly at home. Generally, a fast birth is a ‘good birth’, in that all is physically well. But it can be a panicky and even traumatic experience for the parents.
Pregnant women are told to ‘stay home as long as possible’, which means travelling during the intensity of labour which is not safe, comfortable or without risk. They are not encouraged to prepare for a fast birth, and beyond calling an ambulance are given no instructions.
Most people do not consider the unassisted scenario in their birth preparations, particularly if it is their first pregnancy. There are many advantages for including a ‘fast birth pathway’ as part of the Birth Cartography process.
Often times birth progresses more quickly than anticipated, even when only a few minutes from a maternity hospital. If a fast birth has not been considered, this usually means panic stations; ambulances are called or a mad dash is attempted, and shock (for mother and attendant) is a very real possibility. This puts the mother and baby at unnecessary risk.
Taking some time during pregnancy to understand and be prepared for a fast birth means that if it does happen, it is more likely to be a calm and simple process. Having a multi-layer birth plan prepares you for several scenarios. These multi-layer plans are call Birth Maps.
A Birth Map does not get thrown out. This is a carefully considered ‘plan’, which includes contingencies for scenarios such as the roadside birth. This way, no matter what, you are still birthing according to your plan. Informed Decisions are made in advance, not in the spur of the moment, on the fly or under duress. If you don’t need to use your contingency – FANTASTIC. It is Your Birth, Your Way, No Matter What.
2 thoughts on “Baby born on side of road. Birth Plan thrown out.”
Reblogged this on Sprout and About and commented:
Every time I read about a baby born by the side of the road I am reminded of the necessity of birth planning – plan for all contingencies!
I updated this post, and then realised there were pending comments. Some of those comments were no longer relevant with the update, so I didn’t approve them. One stood out because it was very defensive (the original post referred to a particular story, and even though it was only used as an example the author of the comment felt I was being critical of the mother) and ended with “good on you, guess we can’t call be as clever as you for planning a fast birth’. I found this comment sad…because you can be that clever in the future, and you can help others to be that clever. Hindsight! We hear stories like this so often that the University of Western Sydney did a study: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/3/e019328
The media coming out of this story, written and spoken by Prof Hannah Dahlen, included details on how to prepare for a ‘Birth Before Arrival’. It is not about being clever – it is about being practical. We owe it to future parents to give them this preparation.