Does Having a Birth Plan Impact Your Birth Experience? A Deeper Look into Birth Plans, Birth Assistants/Attendants, and The Microbiome in Birth Experiences

Elijah Winfield

Name: Elijah Winfield
Major: Social Health (Student-designed major)
Advisors: Dr. Thomas Tierney & Dr. Stephanie Strand

The importance of pregnant women’s well-being to the outcomes of pregnancy is widely acknowledged. However, the microbiome is not, and a beneficial microbiome is promoted through vaginal birth. If having a birth plan allows the mother to avoid an unnecessary c-section that will influence the microbiome of the baby from the start of birth, then the outcomes of the birth experience would change. This study focuses on the benefits that a birth plan can bring to the birth experience, as well as the roles of birth assistants and attendants’ contributions to the experience. Additionally, the study examines whether women knew about the microbiome and the role that it plays in promoting infant health. A survey was conducted to gather data on their experience using qualitative and quantitative methods. Results showed that there was not a huge correlation between the microbiome in relation to the birth plan and birth experience, but there was evidence of a connection between the birth plan and the birth experience. The results also suggest that the role of a midwife and doula does lead to a better birth experience. These findings provided insight into the complexity of the birth experience and how it can be improved over time.

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Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022 on April 26, 2022.

11 responses to “Does Having a Birth Plan Impact Your Birth Experience? A Deeper Look into Birth Plans, Birth Assistants/Attendants, and The Microbiome in Birth Experiences”

  1. Miriam Harley says:

    Elijah this was super interesting! I love the different aspects you highlighted and your poster was super interesting! <3

  2. Elique says:

    I love your research paper!! How it brings light to the birth plans and the influence they may have on pregnancy. I enjoyed reading it and looking at the data you have collected.

  3. Elijah says:

    Thank you, Miriam!

  4. Elijah says:

    Thank you, Elique!

  5. Ms. Chalonda McIntosh says:

    Do you think having a birth plan can improve the birth experience?

    Do you think a birth plan is important? And Why?

    Which is more important midwife, doula, and or the Obgyn?

    You have done an amazing job. You are a self directed individual who set herself clear goal, act upon plans, take initiative, and are open to learning.
    Congratulations on your well deserved success!❤️

  6. Elijah says:

    According to my research, many participants did benefit from having a birth plan and would create it for future pregnancies, so yes, it is important and can improve the birth experience.

    In terms of providing medical care, an OB-GYN and midwife would be the most important and for emotional and physical support having a doula would be more important. Overall, I think they are all essential and would depend on what’s important to the expectant mother and what stage of pregnancy they are at.

    Thank you for your questions and kind words!

  7. Sydney Barger says:

    This is so cool, Elijah! Great work!!
    I really like your project especially as my mother had a tough pregnancy with twins that didn’t go as planned—she had to stay in the hospital a few days after her c-section to recover.

    So, my question for you is: do you think that having a plan for one’s pregnancy can help to ease any bumps or unexpected issues along the way?
    And: why is there such a stigma between those who go for a c-section and those who don’t?

    Enjoy the rest of your senior year!

  8. May Zin Hlaing says:

    Wow!!! This is super interesting Elijah!!! I am so very proud of you. Such an very informative poster as well.

  9. Jennifer Faust says:

    Congratulations on your I.S., Elijah! You have such a cool major.

  10. Saralee says:

    Good job, Elijah! This is so interesting. I loved getting to talk to you about it along the way!

  11. Ishynae says:

    Really appreciate that your research was able to highlight the benefits of having a birth plan, along with resources that support the theory as well.

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