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Episode 134. The REAL Reasons You Need a Birth Plan with Dr. Sarah Leahy of Birth Uprising

Episode 134

It’s ridiculous that birth plans even have to exist. The purpose of a birth plan really is to decrease the likelihood that you are going to be abused while you’re in this setting. To decrease the likelihood that people are going to do stuff to you that you don’t want done. – Dr. Sarah Leahy

Join our Birth Plan Workshop on July 19, 2022!

There was a crazy letter circulating on IG recently that was penned by three OBs from New York about birth plans, letting their clients (specifically their pregnant moms) that birth plans were not welcome in their practice. There was a poor attempt at justifying their reasoning behind this, but the simple fact this “rule” in their practice was put into place is enough to show me that women NEED to talk about birth plans more—including what they are and why they are essential. Birth plans are about so much more than the ridiculous stereotypes that surround them. People dismiss them (medical providers and OBs) because they assume women are creating them thinking that their birth can be planned. We don’t create birth plans hoping our births will be “perfect,” they are an education tool, a path to clear communication with a healthcare provider, and so, so much more that we’ll talk about today.

It’s insane to me that there are OBs in the world that don’t trust in a mother’s ability to give birth to the point that they manipulate and micromanage every aspect of our pregnancy and birth experience—down to your expectations about your birth and your right to communicate with them. Birth plans are a necessity now more than they’ve ever been.

In this episode, you’re going to hear real life examples, stories from our birth and pregnancy experiences, how to find your conviction & strength to speak up, and even “elephant in the room” topics like “I want a homebirth and my partner does not” and explanations for basic questions like “why do I need a birth plan?” and “how do I start to create a birth plan?”

Dr. Sarah’s Bio: Dr. Sarah Leahy is a doctor of chiropractic, mother of three, artist, birth educator, and the creator of Birth Uprising. She shares passionate, funny, and informational videos & slides on the regular over on her IG account @birthuprising

In This Episode, Dr. Sarah & I Talk About:

  • Birth Plans: Reduce regret, foster informed consent, create clear communication, & reduce abuse
  • Knowing your rights in pregnancy, labor, & postpartum
  • Applying critical thinking skills to your prenatal appointments and birth
  • Is what you’re being told about birth true?
  • Dr. Sarah’s birth experiences from her unnecessary c-section to her free birth
  • The inspiration for her IG account @birthuprising
  • Healthy & unhealthy boundaries
  • Finding confidence when we find resources
  • Going with your flow rather than your providers
  • The myth of “healthy baby, healthy mom…that’s all that matters”
  • Birth trauma
  • Who cares most about your baby: YOU
  • Templates for birth plans
  • Having copies of birth plans…and even laminating your plan to make sure it is seen
  • Responses to people who say birth plans are useless
  • Birth is a huge life event—much like a wedding—why would we not plan for it?
  • Birth affects us forever and changes us
  • The importance of knowing what you’re going
  • Doulas as bodyguards
  • Birth plans as a reference
  • Fighting depends on who is attending you
  • Understanding dilation and cervical exams—and how subjective they are
  • You have the right to refuse cervical exams and other “standard” interventions
  • Thoughts on transition
  • Social stigmas around birth
  • Fears women have about creating birth plans
  • Are there risks when creating a birth plan?
  • Social conditioning to please others first
  • Having the expectation of respect
  • Understanding regional influence on your birth plan
  • The first thing a mom should do when creating a birth plan
  • Learn about the different places you can give birth
  • Picturing your birth
  • Self-reflection
  • Figuring out where you feel safe during your labor
  • Conviction
  • Changing the face of birth culture in the United States
  • You can change your mind
  • Asking for more time when asked to do something during your pregnancy and birth
  • Finding your power in labor…and maintaining
  • Re-centering birth
  • Finding the right birth support team
  • Being bold
  • Not giving over our responsibility to research to someone else
  • Setting strong examples for our kids
  • What role do partners play in the creation of a birth plan?
  • Support for your birth plan
  • How others can mute our transformation during birth
  • A man’s role of protector
  • Conquering your fears as a preparation for birth
  • Learning from moms who have gone before
  • Making decisions from information and not fear
  • Dr. Sarah’s offerings: affirmation cards, art, earrings, t-shirts, birth plan outline, education resources, free resources, prenatal workbook, workshops, consults, etc.

Sarah’s Links: Website and Instagram

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Homeschool Explained. Today’s episode is sponsored by Homeschool Explained, an online course I created to help parents find their confidence on their homeschool journey. I used to teach in-person workshops here on Maui to help families gather all the information and resources they need, answer all their questions, alleviate concerns, and help them get organized as they started homeschooling. Homeschool Explained is the online version of those workshops. I totally get it, starting any new journey can be overwhelming…especially when it comes to re-thinking how your kids are going to get an education—and that you’re going to be the teacher. But don’t worry. There is so much support and freedom in homeschool. It’s do-able. It’s fun. And it takes way less time than most people think. I put almost 15 years of homeschool experience and insights into this easy to follow, easy to use online course that answers common questions, helps you work through worries, and saves you time. No more internet search overload. This is all the info you need to get started homeschooling today from a trusted, experienced source.

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