Notebook--check! Pen--check! Coffee--check! Ready for birth plan writing.

Telling other women how to give birth.


There is a blog making the rounds this week that alleges that a woman who creates a birth plan is a “birthzilla” (the delivery room equivalent of a bridezilla, according to the blogger).

The blogger (and anyone else who would use the suffix –zilla to describe a woman who has dreams and desires and a plan to achieve them) is a BULLY.

Baby deer

“I do not care what kind of birth you have…a homebirth, scheduled cesarean, epidural hospital birth, or if you birth alone in the woods next to a baby deer. I care that you had options, that you were supported in your choices, and that you were respected.” -January Harshe,

Whether you envision using an epidural, birthing at home unmedicated, being induced, having a VBAC, scheduling a cesarean, having a doula, seeing an OB, being attended by midwives, or birthing in the woods next to a baby deer (thank you, January Harshe, for that imagery)…IT’S COOL TO HAVE A BIRTH PLAN!

Or as I like to call it, a birth vision. We all know we can’t plan birth, and a birth plan is not about controlling every last little detail of what happens. It’s not about telling your doctors/midwives/nurses how to do their jobs. It’s not about asserting your superiority through the choices you make. IT’S NOT.

A birth vision is a tool. It is a tool for exploring and learning about many of the things that might be desirable or not desirable or become necessary during the course of your labor. It is a tool for practicing decision-making and letting your mind wander down the path of the what-ifs that could occur. Above all else, it is a tool that is the basis of the conversation you have with your trusted care provider to find out if everyone is on the same page and whether, barring complications, your vision is realistic given your choice of provider/birth place/individual situation.

I promise you, it can be about the birth AND about the health of the baby. Those things are not mutually exclusive. You are not selfish for wanting to take part in the process and you can have power in your experience. Sharing your birth vision with your birth team doesn’t make you a –zilla at all…it makes you a smart, competent, strong, capable, confident, supported, decision-making, birthing woman!

Authored by: Kate Herzel


About Kate Herzel

Kate Herzel is the co-owner of Heartland Doulas alongside Stacy Ash, and together with their combined 20 years of experience and 7 doulas, they help people have really amazing birth and postpartum experiences. In her spare time, Kate enjoys cooking with her kids, brewing beer with her husband, and entertaining for her friends.

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