"Birth Plans" can have a bad rap. But should you ditch the document?...probably not. Here's some guidance for how to use this platform to aid you in optimizing your care no matter how your birth unfolds.
If you need to do your taxes, rest up. Get that frontal brain in top form. If you need to birth, use all available means to get your instinctive brain to run the show. Use sleep deprivation to your advantage.
When I tell people that I'm a doula, I tend to get 3 responses: "Huh?", or "I love doulas!", or "That's like a midwife, right?" Midwives are medically-trained professionals, just as are OBs. The difference that midwives are trained in birth as a normal event; doctors are trained in the abnormalities. Doulas differ from both midwives and doctors in that they are non-medical caregivers. Here is an FAQ-style overview of a doula's role. Though the focus here is on delineating what a doula does from that of a midwife, this also applies to births with doctors and doulas. You can also check out my corresponding post on Doulas and Homebirth.
A common question is whether a doula is redundant at a homebirth. While doulas and midwives tend to overlap in their understanding of continuous care and emotional support as elemental components of birth, the roles are still quite different. Here is an FAQ to explore the complementary care of doulas at homebirths. You can also check out my corresponding post Is a Doula Like a Midwife?