Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of our clients, the names and identifying details of some individuals may have been changed.

To be or not to be in-hospital?

Giving birth is one of the most important events in a woman’s life. As such, many expectant mothers spend a lot of time planning for it. They write down birth plans and birth wishes, dream about how they want to bring their baby into the world, and choose between in-hospital and out-of-hospital birth, among other options.

However, sometimes things don’t go according to plan, as Susie discovered. Susie had planned to have an out-of-hospital birth for her first child. She took all the necessary precautions, such as eating well, taking her vitamins, and exercising. Her pregnancy was also uneventful, making her believe that her birth was going to go according to plan and be a success in every way she had imagined.

Birthing at 41 weeks

When Susie’s delivery day came around, it was not what she expected. While her pregnancy was easy, she went into labor at 41 weeks. What’s more, her baby’s head was not positioned correctly, and Susie was unsure if he would even come out. This experience taught Susie a simple but powerful lesson: not everything goes according to plan, so it’s important to be prepared for as many contingencies as possible.

Susie ended up having multiple aspects of her birth not go her way. After much deliberation, her midwife recommended they transport to the hospital while things were relatively stable (i.e., not an emergency situation). So that’s what they did.

Once at the hospital, Susie continued to have difficulties with her labor. After sleeping through the night and her labor remaining stalled, her doctor recommended a Cesarean section (C-section). After that, Susie and her husband were able to say hello to their new baby in relatively short order.

Planning for success

One of the significant benefits of having a birth plan is that it helps women feel empowered and in control of their delivery. They can express their wishes for the kind of delivery they want, such as whether they want an epidural, to avoid C-sections, and so on. However, a birth plan should not be viewed as a guarantee that everything will go smoothly. Because, clearly, things just go the way they’re going to go sometimes.

Birth plans are intended to be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. Women should expect the unexpected and be ready to alter their plans accordingly. This requires trust in one’s healthcare provider, open communication, and an awareness of what is happening in one’s body.

Trust your midwife

In Susie’s case, her experience taught her that, even with the best-laid plans, things can still go awry. But it also reinforced the importance of having a trusted healthcare provider who can provide guidance and support during labor and delivery. This is where Susie’s midwife, from the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) Birth Center, SCV’s premier birth center, came in.

Susie’s midwife had been with Susie from the beginning of her pregnancy and was well aware of her birth plan. Her midwife was with her throughout the birth of her beautiful child, even when things started to deviate from her birth plan. And because of the relationship Susie developed with her midwife team, they were able to support and advocate for Susie to keep her birth as close to the plan as possible while adjusting where necessary.


Birth plans are an essential part of preparing for childbirth, but they are still just that: plans. They should never be viewed as a guarantee that everything will go smoothly, but there are still amazing benefits and power to having a personalized birth plan.

Birth plans allow mothers to think through the non-negotiable aspects of their birth as well as the areas where they have a strong preference, but would be willing to deviate if necessary for the health of mom and/or baby.

This helps mothers to be prepared for the unexpected and to be more willing and able to adapt their plans accordingly if it becomes necessary. In doing so, birth plans actually increase flexibility during birth to help ensure mothers and their families have a more positive birth experience overall, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Need help coming up with your very own birth plan?

Contact us today and claim the birth you’ve always dreamed of!