“We go into labor as one person, but emerge as another.” – Roni Jay
This post was written during the week before my due date, August 15th, 2015. In other words, Zoe was not born yet, and I had not experienced labor and delivery.¬†
Birth Plan – Is it helpful to have one or not?
I’ve known ladies who have written up their birth plans – which are pages long… I want this, but I do not want that. Then labor happens, and nothing goes as they planned it. All¬†the time and dedication they spent on planning, goes out the window, and afterwards these ladies feel disappointed when things don’t go in the direction they thought or expected.
Because of this, I was hesitant to write out a birth plan. After all, pregnancy has taught me there are things you just can’t control.
Anyway, after a lot of thought, I finally decided to write a short birth plan. And although, my plan is written up and reviewed by my doctor, I know this is just a plan that could change anytime. I will be flexible and opened minded, with the end goal of keeping my baby and myself safe.
When writing up my plan, I thought of my own profession, hair styling.
As a hair stylist my worst nightmare is to have a new client sit in my chair who tells me, “Do whatever you want.” I normally laugh, because they are lying to me. Don’t tell me this when I know there are things you do not like. Because of this idea, I decided a short birth plan would be helpful. I don’t think the nurses at the hospital would want me to be in active labor screaming, “Do whatever you want?”
On another note… As a hairstylist, it is equally hard, to have the client, who maps out exactly what they want, when they do not have the hair texture, face shape, or skin coloring, for the look they are demanding. With that being said, a very demanding mama with a well detailed long birth plan, might be expecting the impossible.
By keeping these two ideas in my mind, while writing up my birth plan, I was able to avoid being to extreme, and stay balanced.
How to create a birth plan?
Start your birth plan with general information. This includes…
- Partner’s Name:
- Due Date:
- Doctor’s Name and phone number:
- Blood Type, including if you received Rhogam and the date received.
Then move on to what you want during labor…
- What kind of birth is your delivery planned as?
- Who do you want present before, after, and during labor? Don’t forget to include hospital or birth center staff, doctors, nurses, students, residents, interns, doula, midwife.
- What do you want when it comes to food or drink during labor?
- Do you want continuous fetal monitoring? Do you want a portable monitor so you can walk around?
If you need to be induced…
- What natural methods would you like to try for induction?
- Are you okay with medical staff breaking your water, if it hasn’t broken yet? This may speed up or jump start labor, but it also gives you a time limit. There is only so much time that a baby can stay inside once your water is broken.
- Are you okay with receiving Pitocin? Pitocin can speed of labor, however it also can put baby under stress.
Pain relief methods…
- What natural methods would you like to try for pain relief?
- Are you okay with receiving an Epidural? Epidural will take away the pain, but it is also known to slow down labor.
- Do you want options to request birthing tools, such as birthing ball?
- Are you okay with forceps usage?
- Are you okay with vacuum extraction?
- Do you want to be guided on pushing, or would you rather naturally push depending on how your body feels?
- Do you want the option to touch your baby’s head as it crowns?
- Do you want a mirror available to see the birth?
- Would you like a episiotomy?
If you have to have a C-Section…
- Who do you want to remain with you in an event of c-section?
- Do you want the surgery explained to you?
- Do you want hands free to touch the baby?
- Do you want skin on skin and to breastfeed as soon as possible?
Cutting of the cord…
- Do you prefer delayed cord clamping?
- When do you want the cord cut?
- Who do you want to cut the cord?
- What do you want to do with the placenta?
- Is it okay to give routine pitocin to help the placenta deliver faster and to prevent bleeding?
Immediately after Delivery…
- How soon after birth do you want to hold your baby?
- Do you want us to wait to clean the baby until after skin on skin and first feeding?
- Do you want all newborn procedures delayed until after skin on skin and first feeding?
Family members and other visitors…
- Who will get unlimited visiting? Husband? Partner?
- Are you okay with other visitors coming to your room? Who does this include and when?
- Is it okay to have a lactation consultant come to your room?
Baby’s Medical Procedures…
- Are you okay with immunizing your baby according to normal procedures?
- Do you know what PKU testing is? If not have it explained?
If your baby is not well…
- Do you want to accompany your baby to the NICU or other facility?
- Would you like to breastfeed or provide pumped breastmilk?
- Would you like to hold your baby whenever is possible?
End your birth plan with…
What additional things you would like for your baby? And … What you do¬†NOT want for your baby.
So there you have it… These were all of the main things I included in my Birth Plan. But again, this is just a plan, that gives the hospital staff an idea of which direction I prefer to go in. Things may change, and I will go with the flow.
What ended up happening…
Things changed and I just went with the flow… ¬†Turns out that a lot of stuff that I included in this Birth plan – the exact opposite happened. But at the end, Erik, Zoe, and I are happy and healthy.
“Even though an “ideal” birth isn’t an outcome you can control, if you are prepared, you can come close.” – Alicia Silverston from The Kind Mama
¬© 2015 sweat1xdaily