Why 'Going With The Flow'  Just Might Lead You Over a Waterfall. 

by Kelly Bardon/ Dec 26, 2018/Birth Plan


Often when I meet expectant new parents I ask them what their ideal birth looks like? Is it a home, hospital, water, drug free etc.

Some are specific with their answers and others know more about what they don’t want than what they do – it’s one of the reasons they hire a doula - to help them work through the options.

However, occasionally I come across those who tell me they’ve no expectations at all and intend to just “go with the flow”.

'Going with the flow'

What a wonderfully idyllic picture that makes.

What an image!  There’s a beautiful pregnant woman lying on a blow up floatie bed, drifting lazily down a peacefully flowing river. She’s bobbing along in the gentle current, and ends up splashing into a lovely pool of clear fresh water…

Ah! So this is what orgasmic birth feels like?

Well maybe it is - and maybe it isn’t ?

Here’s the problem.

Not all rivers are created equal.

The choice of the river has a huge impact on where you end up!

True, some rivers do flow down into lovely peaceful pools but, what happens if the river you’ve chosen to ‘go with the flow’ down is a tributary to another river that you hadn't planned on? 

What happens if that river ends up taking you to the crest of a waterfall with massive rocks, and torrents of water so overwhelming that you find yourself unable to keep from going under?

Get the picture? I’m gasping for air already.

You see, our maternity system is much like a river system. In the early part you float along, focusing on the pregnancy and just loving being in the water.

Then as you start to drift towards your pregnancy’s natural end, you may begin to notice the water start to get a little choppier, the current’s getting a little stronger, and depending  on which river you choose, you find yourself being pulled in a direction you didn’t even know existed.

But, that’s OK you decided earlier that you were going to

‘go with the flow’

So this is just part of that and, your still floating… right?

Sure, you’re going a little faster than you wanted but, you can still see land. You still feel safe.

Then…without warning, the current picks up. You’re suddenly being swept away and the choices you had earlier are now no longer available and before you know it…Well, you can imagine the rest.

Here’s the thing

I’m not trying to say that having a relaxed attitude towards birth is a bad thing because it’s not.  I’m just saying that all rivers end up somewhere, and each has their own risk attached.

It’s not good enough to just bob about - unless of course you really don’t care where you end up.

I’m saying that it’s important to know something about the water you're going to be entering, before you enter. You need some perspective and YOU need a plan…Click Here to talk to me about birth plans

A few tips on paddling wouldn’t go astray either.

A doula will work with you, helping you navigate any rough waters, providing you with the tools and the confidence to know what you can do next.

Because guaranteed, there is ‘a flow’- there is ‘a plan’ for your birth - and if YOU choose to ‘go with the flow’ then the probability is that you'll be going with someone else's flow. And that just might leave you gasping for air.

The time for learning how to swim is not while going over a waterfall.

Be informed. 

 Because in a river, it's usually dead fish that are the ones 

'going with the flow'

'The birth plan is a tool that outlines a woman’s expectations for her birth and can open communication between a woman and her care providers, providing the woman with knowledge prior to giving birth'.
My name is Kelly Bardon and I am a birth doula and birth educator who specialises in breastfeeding and pregnancy massage. I am based in the Northern Suburbs and you can contact me by email
or phone me 0433 071 133