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Birth Plan(s)…

03 Sep

There’s lots of discussion on the internet on birth forums about whether or not you should “bother” writing a birth plan. Everyone has their own opinion, some of which are quite forthright and abrupt. I’ve seen women making statements such as…

“…I’d rather just see what happens when I get there…”

“…why try to control and uncontrollable situation…”

“…you’re setting yourself up for failure and upset if your birth doesn’t follow your plan…”

“…the midwives and doctors know what they’re doing, writing a birth plan is acting like you know better than they do…”

“…no-one will read it anyway…”

“…I’m having a c-section so I’m not going to bother writing one…”

My response to all that?…an incredulous “Really?!”

…followed by…

  • If you wait and see what happens when you get there you will be going in unprepared for the options you actually have…
  • There is a difference between trying to control something, and preparing for something
  • You’re only setting yourself up for failure if you write a rigid set of rules that your labour MUST follow for you to be happy – that’s not a birth plan, that’s an exercise in futility…
  • Yes, midwives and doctors know what they’re doing (and I should bloody well hope so!) but they may also want to get your labour done with quickly, not because it’s the best for you, but because it’s the best for them
  • No-one has to read your plan. The sheer act of writing it helps you to be aware of your options so you know what you want to ask for and what you would prefer to refuse – and no-one can do anything to you without your consent…
  • You might be having a c-section, but you still have options and it’s perfectly fine to have a plan for a caesarean too...

The way I see it is that by writing your birth plan you’re giving yourself the opportunity to look into all the options you have for your birth, to research them, and to decide which ones you’d prefer to take advantage of IF your situation allows. It can also be a really good way to set out the things you’d like should emergencies happen.

When it comes down to it, your birth plan can be as simple as:

  • I want my husband in the room
  • I do NOT want an epidural

Or, if you’re anything like me, it can be LONG…

I am a control freak. I know this. I want to know all of the possible eventualities and I want to plan for all of them. I don’t want to be offered something that I know nothing about…I mean, how can I make an informed decision about being induced if I’ve never looked into what one involves?…I want a natural birth, but if I have to have a c-section, how will I know what to ask for during/after surgery if I’ve never even considered it?

I am a control freak, yes, but I’m also a realist. I’m not writing ONE birth plan as a set of rules to be followed, oh no, I’m writing SEVERAL birth plans so that my preferred options are set out in writing for whatever may happen.

If we get to stay in the birth centre the whole time, great! If we have to be moved to the labour ward, that’s fine! If I have to have a c-section, well it’s not ideal but I’ve planned for that too!

For those of you who are interested, my *current* birth plans are listed below (I am going to go through them with my midwife on Saturday and get her opinion so they may well change). I’d be really interested to hear other people’s plans for birth and I’m happy to discuss any of my choices with anyone who wants to know more about why I’ve chosen certain things.


Birth Plan – Midwife Led Unit

Birth Partner: my husband, Luke

  • I would like to use a birthing pool if one is available

  • I prefer as few people around me as possible

  • I am preparing for birth using Natal Hypnotherapy and would like a quiet, relaxed calm birth environment

  • During labour I would like:

    • As little monitoring as possible

    • No vaginal examinations unless necessary

    • Do not break my waters unless labour slows and not with my/Luke’s consent

    • I want to push when my body tells me to, and in an upright position

    • I prefer to tear than be cut, and do not want an episiotomy unless in an emergency and not without my/Luke’s consent

  • After birth I would like:

    • skin-to-skin contact with my baby (or failing that, skin-to-skin with Luke)

    • delayed cord clamping until it has stopped pulsating

  • Please use the umbilical cord tie that I have in place of a clamp if possible

  • Natural delivery of the placenta if possible

  • I would like my baby to receive Vitamin K by ORAL dose


Birth Plan – Labour Ward

Birth Partner: my husband, Luke

  • As few people as possible around me

  • I am preparing for birth using Natal Hypnotherapy and would like a quiet, relaxed calm birth environment

    • dimmed lights

    • my own music

    • as little interruption as possible

  • During labour I would like:

    • To remain active if possible

    • Intermittent/wireless monitoring to allow me to be mobile

    • No vaginal examinations unless necessary

    • Do not break my waters unless labour slows and not with my/Luke’s consent

    • Ventouse only in an emergency and never without my/Luke’s consent – I would prefer not to use forceps if possible

    • I prefer to tear rather than be cut

      • Episiotomy only in an emergency, and never without my/Luke’s consent

    • Pain relief: Entonox only – spinal block in an emergency – no pethidine or epidural

    • I prefer to stay hydrated by drinking rather than via IV

    • I want to be upright during pushing stage and let my body tell me when to push if possible

    • Please set up the resuscitation equipment as close to me as is sensible, so that the cord can remain intact if possible

  • After birth:

    • Immediate skin-to-skin with myself or Luke

    • Delayed cord clamping until the cord has stopped pulsating

    • No bathing of baby

  • Please use the umbilical cord tie that I have in place of a clamp if possible

  • Natural delivery of the placenta if possible

  • I would like my baby to receive Vitamin K by ORAL dose

In case of being induced:

  • Intermittent/wireless monitoring to allow me to be mobile

  • I prefer to give birth in an upright position/on all fours


Birth Plan – In Case of C-Section

Birth Partner: my husband, Luke

  • Delay clamping and cutting the cord if possible

  • Baby to be lifted onto my chest immediately after birth

  • If I cannot be conscious, please give the baby to Luke for skin-to-skin immediately after birth if possible

  • Please administer a vaginal swab to give baby microbiomes

  • All post-birth procedures (e.g. cleaning and weighing) to be delayed until Luke and I are ready

  • I would like my baby to receive Vitamin K by ORAL dose

In the Event of Medical Separation of Baby and I

  • No bathing baby

  • Luke to stay with baby unless there is an emergency

  • Do not give baby glucose or formula without my/Luke’s express consent

  • If baby must be fed please hand express from me and spoon/syringe feel baby

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting, Plans, Pregnancy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “Birth Plan(s)…

  1. Georgina

    September 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    So useful! I am inspired, having got a bit overwhelmed by all the unknowns I have procrastinated about writing a plan. Could you say a bit more about the vitamin k thing? X

     
    • onegirlandacampervan

      September 3, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      I did just the same! I think I started thinking about it before our first scan and then did my usual trick of feeling like I had all the time in the world!

      They give vitamin K to prevent vitamin k deficiency bleeding (I got a leaflet about it from MW at around 36/7 weeks I think) it only affects 1 in 10,000 babies but can result in fatal bleeds. Some parents choose not to have it altogether, but if you want it it can be administered by needle (one dose) or orally with one dose at birth, one at a week old and then a third dose for breastfed babies after a month. We decided to go for the oral dose as we didn’t want to risk going without it, but we also didn’t want our boy to have to experience needle-sticking pains so early in his life. A needle prick is also a possible infection site. The downside to the oral dose is that it’s easy to miss a dose so we’re going to have to be on the ball with his checkups and health visitor appointments! Xxx

       
  2. Georgina

    September 3, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks for the info, really helpful! I get so many leaflets…

     
  3. bloodsugarecmomagik

    September 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Very thorough! I had no birth plan with number one, and I’m glad I didn’t as I could not of foreseen any of what was to happen. I did with number 2 however, and even though it was a planned section I liked having a plan in place (eg about delayed clamping and who was there etc) and had a lovely, positive birth experience. It’s whatever works best for you! Go with what you feel best doing 😁😊 x

     
    • onegirlandacampervan

      September 6, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      I think I took thorough to a new level!! I’m sure it’ll all go to pot but at least I feel prepared 🙂 so glad you had a great experience this time round! He’s a beautiful baby xxx

       
  4. bloodsugarecmomagik

    September 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    *have

     

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