Why Meghan Markle 'Shunning' The Royal Birth Plan Is No Big Deal

"It's her body, her baby, and her choice."

Megan Markle has chosen her own delivery team led by a female doctor. We know what you’re thinking: what’s the story?

However, this weekend newspapers including the Mail on Sunday suggested the Duchess was “snubbing the Queen’s doctors”, stating she doesn’t want “men in suits” delivering her baby.

When HuffPost’s Jess Brammar tweeted about the headline on Twitter, hundreds of people responded, saying that pregnant women are – of course – entitled to choose the way they give birth – and Markle is no different.

Newspapers have reported that Markle will not be assisted by the usual Royal Household gynaecologists, Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who were present during all three of the Duchess of Cambridge’s births.

But as the NHS points out, no two women’s birth plans will be the same because your birth plan is “personal to you” – a truth also evidenced by the individual stories in HuffPost’s weekly Birth Diaries series.

“It depends on what you want, your medical history, your circumstances and what is available at your maternity service,” the NHS website says. “What may be safe and practical for one pregnant woman may not be a good idea for another.”

Following this weekend’s headlines, Val Willcox, an antenatal teacher at NCT, told HuffPost UK it’s “really important” that women feel in control of their birth plans because this can make them feel “calmer and more confident as the birth approaches”.

“However, it’s also crucial that women and their partners are as well informed as possible about the choices available to them so there is flexibility if the birth turns out differently,” she said.

“Childbirth is far more likely to be a positive experience for women if they have been able to have a voice to express their choices and preferences during the process. It’s likely they’ll feel more satisfied with their birth experience if they’ve been an active participant in decision-making, and this is good for recovery and mental health postnatally.”