During a birth debrief, the new mother has an opportunity to talk about her birth experience.
The hospital maternity reception is full of expecting parents like my husband and me, waiting for the birth unit tour to start.
It's very common to feel a little stressed in the lead-up to your baby's birth. The reality is one in four pregnant women – under that "pregnancy glow" - feel anxious about giving birth.
There are so many forms to fill out during your pregnancy: from Medicare to Family Assistance Office forms, health insurance and hospital forms, life can seem like a constant procession of paperwork. But there's one document that's more interesting than most: your birth plan.
A birth plan is about putting it in writing that a woman's body is to be treated with respect and dignity by her caregivers
Birthzillas, Bridezillas and perhaps all ‘Zillas’ are bad news. It’s amusing stuff, but the thing is, birth plans are helpful for many parents, and an increasing number of obstetricians and midwives request them. There are a number of reasons for this.
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. If you want to make a midwife laugh, tell her your birth plan. I'd always mocked birth plans, even before having a baby myself and most certainly afterwards.
As the final weeks of my pregnancy creep by it's time to pack my bags and contemplate going through labour again. But this time one part of my preparations will be missing. I won't waste my time writing a birth plan. Because I know now the idea that I have any control over how my labour goes is an absolute crock.
In five months' time, if my pregnancy progresses without complication, I will birth my second child at home, attended by two registered private midwives. If I'd become pregnant a mere six months later, this carefully researched, intensely personal decision would have been far more tenuous.
You are approaching the end of your pregnancy and it is time to get ready for that important moment when labour begins.
These days you and your partner can play a far more active role in your pregnancy, labour and birth.