The next issue of the International Doula features an article written by Missy David titled “Birth Plans Don’t Work. Did They Ever?” This article offers a very interesting discussion about the use of birth plans and how we can help guide our clients in a different way.

She offers six reasons why birth plans don’t work:

1. You can get everything on your birth plan and still have a terrible experience.
2. Offering choices doesn’t mean a client understands those choices.
3. Some people aren’t comfortable asking questions.
4. It’s really hard to eliminate bias.
5. Not all interventions are bad.
6. Birth Plans set our clients up to fail.

“Ultimately, we need to be teaching our clients how to communicate and ask valuable questions, rather than pumping them up to show their doctors who’s the boss. When we empower others to think critically and focus on what is right for them as individuals, we set them on the road to success and help them create an experience with more positive memories and fewer regrets.”

This article will be a great conversation starter amongst your doula peers about the evolving use of birth plans with your clients.

In this issue you’ll also find articles about The Every Mother Project, Kathleen Kendall-Tacket’s trip to China, tips from a seasoned doula about what clients are really looking for, leaving your personal life at a client’s door, and how to share the doula career pre-training with others in your community. Additionally, we’ve included more information about each of the newly awarded Advanced Doula Designees.

Keep an eye out for the Spring issue in your mailboxes in the coming weeks!

–Susan Troy, CD(DONA), Managing Editor, International Doula