When you are pregnant, one of the things you may want to consider doing is a birth plan. A birth plan is simply an outline of your preferences during labor and delivery. It’s not absolutely necessary but it’s really good to have.
What to Include in a Birth Plan?
You should include your name and your husband’s name, your doctor or midwife’s name, your preferences for the atmosphere (although you may not be able to control this in a hospital), labor preferences (if you want to walk freely, use a birthing stool or ball, warm shower or bath, ..), pain medication (if you want any or not), delivery preferences (about episiotomy, umbilical cord), care at the hospital (breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, pacifiers, etc.), and anything else you want the team who will take care of you know.
Who Gets my Birth Plan?
I would print 3 copies. Keep a copy with you when you will go to the hospital or birthing center. If you have a home birth, keep it somewhere accessible and close by. Print another copy to give to your doctor or midwife for your personal records. And print another copy to give to any other doctor or nurse or staff that may take care of you. It’s always better to be prepared. You can also keep a copy on your phone.
About My Birth Plan
Before creating my birth plan, I spent hours making research on what I wanted, preferably, for my experience. I’m very happy to say that I got the childbirth I wanted. It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life.
I truly wanted to have an all natural childbirth, without medication. I wanted to be fully present and manage the surges with my breathing. I wanted to feel in control of my body. I read so many books and learnt about hypnobirthing during pregnancy, which helped me tremendously.
My birth plan was simple and easy to go through. My midwives agreed and supported me with what I wanted.
Ok, so Here It Is:
We understand that birth is unpredictable, and that emergencies arise. These are our preference for a normal birth. If complications arise, we request the least invasive treatment possible and informed consent before interventions.
We strongly desire to have a natural, vaginal birth. In the event that a cesarean is medically necessary, we request that only spinal anesthesia is given, that the baby remains with parents at all time, and that as many of the below items are still honored.
(Signed mom & dad)
- Labor at home as long as possible
- No breaking of water
- No artificial labor augmentation (no Pitocin; no rupture of membrane)
- No pain medication – natural pain relief only (birthing ball, shower, massage, hydration, heat, …)
- All interventions must be asked and explained
- Vaginal exams only upon consent and as few as possible
- If IV is deemed necessary, please use a heparin lock
- Freedom to move, eat and drink as needed
- Lights dimmed
- No internal fetal monitoring, unless emergency arises
- Quiet room, no excess staff and as few interruptions as possible
- Mother chooses when to push
- Allow to try different positions
- No episiotomy
- No vaccum extractor or forceps. If absolutely necessary, use suction instead of forceps
- Delayed cord cutting (until the cord has stopped pulsating)
- Cord to be cut by father, after pulsing stops
- Place naked baby on mother’s chest right after birth for breastfeeding
- Placenta to be delivered naturally and saved for encapsulation
- No Pitocin, cord traction or manual removal of the placenta
- If stitching is necessary, please use local anesthetic
- No post-delivery medication, laxative or stool softener
- Newborn to stay with parents at all times; no nursery visits
- Delay all routine exams for bonding time
- APGAR done on mother
- If warming is needed, baby is to be place naked on mother’s chest with blankets
- Breastfeeding only: no bottles, pacifiers, formula, sugar water or water
- No bath, please
- No hat, unless necessary
- No vitamin K shot, hepatitis b vaccine, eye ointment or any other medication
I hope that by sharing my birth plan with you has helped or inspired you making yours. I encourage you, however, to make your own research and write your own birth plan, according to what you truly want and what feels right to you.
Ps: If you want great books suggestion to read during your pregnancy, I share 12 amazing books to read during pregnancy in this blog post.