Priorities for childbirth

Penny Simkin says that most pregnant moms and dads would agree that the priorities for their labour, birth and baby would include

Healthy pregnancy

Full term pregnancy

Spontaneous onset of labour

Normal labour pattern without need for interventions

Use or non-use of medications as planned – no undesirable side effects of medications are used

Spontaneous vaginal birth in desired location

Successful breastfeeding

Healthy Mother and Baby


We can have our dream labour and birth planned down to a T. We can have practiced all our techniques for pain relief in labour. Our bags are packed for labour that house all the most comforting measures possible, the birth plan is written down to the last specific request of what you do and don’t want. It is all worked out. Now labour just has to happen. We have done all the reading, attended all the classes. We have been given all the options. We know exactly what we want. And then devastation hits – we start with prem labour, or our blood pressure goes up – but these things weren’t on our birth plan – they can’t happen to us – we wanted a normal birth without any medication. We didn’t sign up for that! Or perhaps we go past our due date and need an induction of labour or perhaps labour was just more painful than we anticipated and needed to ask for pain medication. We have to remember in times like that that our biggest priority is a healthy mom and baby. Sometimes interventions and a change in our plan means we can still have our biggest priority – that of a healthy mom and baby!

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