Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Now that I'm over halfway through my pregnancy, I'm looking ahead towards what the rest of my pregnancy holds. At the very end, obviously, there will be a birth. And for that, I want to have a plan.
Having a birth plan makes me feel more assured that my wishes for my birthing experience will be honored as much as possible. If there is a medical emergency, I realize that I may not be able to have everything done in the exact ways I had hoped. I am open to adjustments where necessary, but having a general guide for what I want during labor and delivery will help to ensure that my husband, my midwife, the nursing staff, and I are all on the same page.
Your practitioner may ask you to fill out a birth plan before your due date, so if you're creating one yourself, you might need to use their forms. However, you still might find some ideas in mine that you'd like to include. It'll at least get you thinking.
(Ideas for what to include in my birth plan came from:
Only one birthing partner to accompany me: my husband
Eating/drinking as needed (as cleared by my midwife)
Free movement around the room as desired
Access to a laboring tub
No photos or video
No students/residents/interns present
No one notified until after the birth
Labor & Delivery:
Various laboring positions as desired (squatting, all fours, standing, etc.)
Wear my own clothes
My partner present at all times
Deep breathing and relaxation practices through contractions
No enema or shaving
No membrane sweeping or rupturing the membranes medically
Minimal checks for dilation (as few as possible)
No IV or catheter
No induction or augmentation of labor (mechanically nor medicinally)
No vacuum extraction/forceps
Pushing according to my body's signals, without time limits (unless the baby is at risk)
Local anesthesia for stitching, if necessary
Natural vs. C-Section Preference:
Natural, unmedicated birth is ideal (no epidural or other pain meds)
C-section as emergency option only, if all other options have been exhausted
If an emergency c-section is necessary: my partner to remain with me at all times, and to breastfeed in the recovery room
Immediate skin-to-skin contact, before weighing, cleaning, or eye drops given
Delayed cord clamping (cut once it stops pulsating)
Baby's father does not wish to cut the cord
Breastfeeding as soon as possible, within the first hour
No visitors while in the hospital
Baby's medical exam given in my presence
No formula given to baby, just breastmilk
Baby's first bath given in my presence
My partner will sleep in my room
Stool softeners/laxatives as needed
Leave the hospital as soon as allowed
If the baby is sent to the NICU: visitation and holding her as much as possible, and breastfeeding (or providing pumped breastmilk)
So there you have it! An outline of my birth plan. I hope making your own makes you feel excited, empowered, and ready for the amazing experience of bringing a new life into the world.
Find out how my birth ACTUALLY went here: My Birth Story - What Happens When The Best Laid Plans Don't Go To Plan.
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