I want to focus on helping you build a great birth plan. I am going to walk you through what I talk to all my clients about. There is so much information out there about birth plans and I am sick of referring my clients to templets that just aren’t extensive enough.
It’s time to plan, we all know a stork doesn’t just drop off your baby, so you need to figure out what you want for your birth.
A birth plan is necessary in hospital births so that you have a written plan for what your wishes are for you and baby. This gives you a voice and the ability to feel empowered. Most expecting moms have an idea of what a birth plan is and what it consists of in general terms. It is a buzz word these days. I ask my clients to start with just a bullet point list. Things they know they want and do NOT want for their birth. This is just a starting place. Even if you aren’t sure of all your options or what you want. Don’t get over whelmed!
Do not want/NO:
This information helps you start to think of your day of birth. I then have my clients spend some time thinking about what that day looks like. Do they envision birthing at home? When would they want to go to the hospital or birthing center. How do they envision the atmosphere being when they give birth? Do you want dim lights, your favorite slippers, your own pillow? Who do you want in the room? What about a pushing positon or baby care postpartum?
I then I go over their bullet point birth plan. It gives me a good idea of what sort of research they have done. I may point out options or areas to do more research in. I then ask them to write more details/specifics in these main stages of labor.
The main points to focus on when writing a more complete draft of a birth plan are; admitting, labor, pain management, pushing, third stage(placenta), after birth for mom, and after birth for baby.
A good sample birth plan to look at is Healthwise. This gives you a format to follow if your feeling stuck. I don't recommend this format as a final draft.
There are some things I would like to point out, that you might want to do your own research on. It will help you decide if you want to include them in your plan. During labor not having vaginal exams done, eating/drinking during labor, your preferences for music/ lighting in the room, how much staff you want allowed in the room, clothes you want to wear, having your water broken and continuous fetal monitoring. After birth Pitocin after birth to deliver placenta, how you want to deliver the placenta (unassisted or Pitocin/care provider assisted), placenta (are you keeping it to encapsulate), delayed cord cutting (for how long), chest to chest bonding (for how long), baby led breastfeeding, medications for baby (Vitamin K shot, eye ointment, hepatitis shot, circumcision), and delaying babies first bath.
I also like to remind my clients that just because you have a birth plan; detailed or not, it might go out the window because of a medical reason that warrant intervention or your choice to medicate/use interventions. In that case you still are informed and know how to handle those decisions if they were to arise.
Creating a birth plan insures that you don't give someone else the ability to form decisions for you and baby, you allowed them to make necessary lifesaving interventions for the best outcome or interventions you felt comfortable with.
Once I email them back with those suggestions I tell them to print what they have and bring it to their next appointment with their care provider. It is so important to talk to them about all the details. This way they know where you stand and they can tell you beforehand what they will or won’t do. You then have the choice to change providers if necessary. Most of my clients want to have a natural birth but will be in a hospital with either a Dr. or Midwife. If you are having a home birth, then it would change your birth plan and you might not feel you need one. Kristen Burgess at Naturalbirthandbaby.com has a great birth plan templet for a home birth.
Again let the focus when creating this birth plan be about learning your options and preferences for Your birth. This gives you a voice when you talk to your care provider. Feel empowered! As always comment below if you have specific questions or email me. I would love to help you.
I am a Doula, Childbirth Educator and certifying Nutritionist. Essentially I am a women's health nerd. I have struggled with Autoimmune issues for the last 10 years, and more recently fertility issues. This along with my birth work, has driven me to self research. I have added a blog to my site in hopes of giving resources to clients or those interested in these topics. I would love feedback and comments.
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