Apgardian Boosts the Birth Plan
Apgardian provides a boost to the average birth plan by closing gaps.
One gap found with most birth plans is that the medical preferences in the plan are not always in line with the current labor conditions. Since birth plans are written prior to labor they cannot accurately predict the medical condition at the time of labor.
Another gap occurs when the birth plan choices aren’t medically sound due to the mother’s medical or obstetric history. Typical checklist style birth plans allow for choices to be made that may be medically unrealistic. This information gap can be a source of conflict and disappointment.
Medical choices made in advance of labor may create a barrier that can lead to safety complications in the moment of care.
Apgardian suggests two simple adjustments to boost the average birth plan.
Think of the birth plan as an outline with preferences. Outlines leave room for the unexpected.
Review the current birth plan for medical and non-medical categories. Consider the medical categories like pain and monitoring as part of the outline with your choices as preferences not a firm plan.
2. Make medical decisions in real time based on current health conditions.
Research treatment options for your care prior to labor but make decisions in real time. Treatment option research prior to labor is especially helpful if informed consent is needed for an intervention.
Another enhancement option is the birth partnership.
In January 2017 the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) published a call to action for providers to use the birth partnership as a tool to,” build trust and effective communication between patients and providers.
The article titled “From birth plan to birth partnership: enhancing communication in childbirth” by Amy DeBaets, PhD highlighted the one-sidedness of checklist type plans and some reasons why such plans may be unpopular with providers. The recommended birth partnership combines patient values and control over care choices with mutual provider and patient education.
The VECTOR communication tool is an essential part of birth partnership planning.
Use the VECTOR tool to develop your birth partnership.
“Birth partnerships involve ongoing conversation, before and during the birth process.”
Other strategies supported by birth partnerships are:
- early discussions about labor and delivery options
- assessment of the provider fit for a trusting relationship
- education to close knowledge gaps around birth for the patient
- consent based on treatment information about intervention and options
The birth partnership can be an effective way to strengthen an existing plan or to use as a template for creating a custom plan to meet your needs.