Entering into parenthood we read the books, we make mental notes as we watch others parent, we vow to never do this or always do that. We make birth plans and breastfeeding plans and daycare plans and potty training plans and so forth. Having a plan is a great idea. Being flexible with your plan
is an even better idea.
In my world, as a postpartum doula, I get the privilege of discussing these plans with many parents both prenatally and postpartum (after baby comes). I get to watch how these plans unfold. Sometimes they transpire seamlessly and other times we are all grasping at what is left of the original plan and trying to make some sense of it.
Often, the moms and dads that fare best are the ones who made a plan based on what they knew best at the time and then rolled with the punches. Because that is what parenthood is at times... hard punches and often they are unexpected.
I don't encourage planning for the worst. I encourage acknowledging all of the variables and planning accordingly.
For instance, if a mom wants to exclusively breastfeed, I encourage her to have support lined up in case she encounters hurdles. If a mom has a history of depression or anxiety, I discuss support options to have at the ready. If the family wants baby on schedule early on, we discuss the biological norms for newborns.
A postpartum doula can help you with your plan. They can assist you with setting up reputable supports all while personally supporting you in your home as often as you need. We are there for you when the plan changes.
Being prepared for when the plan changes may be the single best support you can plan for yourself.
Have your resources ready for after you give birth, before you give birth.