Post # 1
Anyone doing a formal written birthing plan? We are at the halfway point now and I’m starting to put a lot of thought into how to assure that I get the type of delivery that I want (barring any emergency/ unforseeable incidents).
I found this sample plan that is very close to what I am thinking about….Just wondering what kinds of things you all are having in your birth plans.
Is anyone doing a home birth? Or a water birth? Using a doula or a midwife? I’m not planning a natural birth and am open to some pain meds but I really want to allow for natural progression of the labor. I don’t want my water manually broken or Pitocin to “speed things up”.
I’ve been talking extensively to Darling Husband about my plan to labor at home as long as possible. I feel like its really important for him to know the plan so that he can remind me if I start getting antsy or nervous or feeling like I can’t do it.
Sample Birth Plan: Family Two
Husband:name removed Hospital: name removed Midwife : name removed
Labor Assistant : name removed Pediatrician: name removed
Thank you for allowing us to summarize our desires for the birth of our first child. Following are a number of items listed in importance that if at all possible, we would like to accomplish with our help. Also, please note that the mother is Rh negative.
- We would like to have a “natural birth” – avoiding all medication if possible (including, but not limited to, Pitocin, IV, epidural, etc.). If an event should arrive where medication would be needed, we would like discussion of alternatives and consequences, and some private time for discussion.
- We would especially like to avoid labor induction (Pitocin). I would prefer to initially try other methods of induction (i.e. changing positions, walking, nipple stimulation and thumb sucking, cervical ripening, etc.)
- We would like the absolute minimum of time attached to monitoring.
- During labor, we would like the ability to:
- walk freely,
- use the shower and labor tub,
- change positions throughout,
- have access to clear liquids,
- have a quiet and encouraging environment, and
- avoid an IV and an excess of vaginal exams.
- We would like the baby to be placed on the mother’s chest immediately after birth in order to “bond” and nurse. As well, we would like any tests done to the baby while placed on the mother’s chest.
- We would like to not have a mirror present during birth. Neither of us want to view the baby crowning. Also, the father DOES NOT want to cut the cord, so please do not pressure him to do so.
- We would like to not have the cord cut until it has stopped pulsating.
- We would like a private room if possible
- We would like all procedures done at bedside. We would also prefer the baby to “room in” full-time.
- We would like to meet with a lactation consultant regarding breastfeeding.
- If the baby is a boy, then we would like a circumcision.
PS: If the baby’s a girl, her name is name removed, and if the baby’s a boy, then his name is name removed.
Post # 3
Wow. I didn’t even know that they had those all typed up like that!
I like your birth plan, sounds very logical. Maybe you can talk to all those people on the list first, and make any changes necessary? Depending on the hospital, some of those things may not be offered/possible. But overall, I’m impressed! And also suddenly VERY nervous about my delivery! I don’t feel prepared at all!
Post # 4
We are planning on writing a formal birth plan as we get closer to the delivery date. Right now, I’m still doing a bunch of research, but we would are shooting for a med-free, intervention-free labor and deliver. I used this website to create a birth plan that I’ll bring with me to discuss with my doctor at my appointment in two weeks (27 weeks). I’ll go over it with my doctor, and then probably bring back a revised, more concrete version after our childbirth classes and tour of the hospital (so somewhere around 35 weeks).
The only other thing I have seen added to birth plans that is not in yours is a “in case of emergency” section. Some people add in their wishes in case an emergency c-section is needed (like if you want to hold the baby before they do any tests, if your husband will accompany the baby to the nursery while you’re being sewn up, etc…).
Post # 5
We are absolutely doing a home birth (unless there are any complications, of course)! We are just starting to TTC but we already chose our midwife and met with her for a preconception appointment. We will have a birth plan in place because I want a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. Congrats on doing your research and creating a plan!
Post # 6
Not pregnant but just wanted to say I like your plan! Although I think it’s important for the baby’s safety to deliver at a hospital if possible, I think doctors sometimes try to control what doesn’t need to be controlled; let nature run its course a bit 🙂
Also, many women go to the hospital wayyy to early. Good job! I think it’s great that you have it written out!
Post # 7
I respect that some women choose a homebirth. It was done for hundreds of years, it’s definitely not any more dangerous now. Especially when you’ve got a doula or midwife with you!
I like the part to add about the c-section. I added a part for that, but I forgot to add that I want to hold the baby when they pull her out. It’s definitely possible (although not typical) and it would do a lot to help ease my mind while they stitch me up. Hope I don’t end up needing it though…
Post # 8
I did one, wrote it up myself:
First Stage —
- I have not prearranged for an epidural. Please do not offer me one, but advise me on other comfort measures and pain relief methods.
- For the use of Pitocin, I understand that a low-dose protocol to be in place and I want to be informed when the dosage is raised. I want the option of turning down or turning off Pitocin eventually and seeing if my labor continue to progress on its own.
- I want as much freedom to move and maintain positions that I believe are comfortable as is allowed by hospital policy, the monitoring standards set by my doctor, and the health and status of my baby. I have an exercise ball that I would like to be able to sit on, and I have some body pillows that I would like to be able to use as well.
- Breaking of the waters or vaginal exams should be performed only after explaining the intent/reasons and gaining my permission to perform the procedure. I would feel more comfortable with waiting to have my water broken until I am dilated to 5 or 6 cm.
- I want as much freedom to have clear liquids by mouth (as allowed by the ACOG: water, fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, black coffee, and sports drinks) as allowed by my doctor’s orders.
- I want the ability to either use the tub or shower for short periods of time, consistent with my doctor’s orders for monitoring.
- Unless there is an emergency situation in progress, I would like all of my care providers and hospital staff to knock before entering my room and introduce themselves to us before any interviews or exams are done.
Second Stage —
- If I am feeling a clear need to push, I would like to follow that impulse with minimal coaching.
- It is a high priority for me to avoid major tearing or an episiotomy. Please do coach my pushing to help me avoid either event.
After birth —
- I would like to spend as much time as possible with our baby directly after birth. Please perform as many routine procedures as possible with her on my stomach.
- Please delay cord cutting or clamping until the cord stops pulsing.
- We decline the use of eye drops on our baby.
- Either my husband or I should be with our baby at all times.
- I would like to attempt breastfeeding as soon as possible, and I would like to be visited by a lactation consultant.
- Please do not give our baby any bottles or pacifiers.
I had an induction, so the use of Pitocin was assumed… my original plan asked for it to NOT be used. Things that didn’t go according to plan were that they DID coach my pushing (I was so far gone I didn’t care), and they did end up taking her away without us to the nursery a couple of times (once we asked them to keep her for a while because she’d fed constantly all night and we were both completely wiped). But other than that, they followed it pretty well. I was super psyched to be able to have liquids during labor, because I was a little nauseous and having ginger ale helped a lot.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2018 - LDS Seattle Temple & Hotel 1000
The thing I’ve consistently read about birth plans— the staff at the hospital doesn’t usually read them. This is their territory and they’ve been doing things a certain way for a long time now. Make it brief, make it concise.
If you’re really concerned about having your wishes honored, I think a doula is going to be 10X more effective than a birth plan would ever be. A doula can fend off staff offering epidurals, watch for scissors being reached for in order to cut an episiotomy, and push to get you more time to labor if they are urging surgery.
Post # 10
@Avocado–I really hope thats not true…It really bothers me that nurses would have that kind of attitude about something that is so personal and that a woman deserves the right to have a say in.
Speaking of that….Did anyone watch The Office last week when Pam gave birth? The portrayal they did of nurses was awful! She was basically dismissing everything that Pam wanted. I think I would go off the deep end if I got a nurse like that!
I haven’t really started talking to my doctors office about my plan yet. But really my plan is just to stay home as long as possible. That way it takes a lot of the control out of their hands.
Post # 11
Unfortunately – I think Avo’s comment is pretty accurate.
I found that nurses WILL respect your wishes, but if you hand them a typed paper and expect them to absorb and follow it, they put it in your chart and move along. From my personal experience and that of friends I’ve talked to, it’s better to convey your wishes verbally and on a more personal level. I learned quickly that your nurse is your best advocate. He or she holds the most control in your care and experience. Having a doula takes the pressure off of you and your partner. Your nurses and doctors DO want to respect your wishes, but will disregard that if it gets in the way of doing their job. (hospital policies, your well-being, health of the baby, etc.) In the end, no one really knows what will happen during a person’s labor. It’s my personal opinion that having a plan is important, but knowing when to be flexable and allowing for circumstances beyond your control are important as well.
My Maid/Matron of Honor planned a home water birth with a midwife. She developed pre-eclampsia and ended up with a C-section at a hospital. It wasn’t what she wanted, but she forgave herself for / came to terms with the circumstances and was able to still make it a wonderful experience. Expectations vs. what actually happens are often really different.
Post # 12
I had a really awesome nurse at my hospital birth, who (as I said before) followed my plan pretty well. Next time I’d like to be more picky about following the baby around, as we’ll no longer be zombie-first-time-parents, but on the whole I found the hospital staff to be pretty respectful and helpful. Honestly, it was the nurse assistants who were the jerks, not the nurses or doctors.
Post # 13
I generally have faith in my hospital staff. I think as long as you don’t write a 14 page epic nor a one page garbled plan in size 6 font, they’ll respect your plan. (Unless of course you are in extremis and they don’t have time to read it because they are spending their time saving your life.)
Post # 14
I am a labour and delivery nurse, and I receive birthing plans all the time. We try our best to respect every plan, but we may not always be able to fulfill all the wishes on the plan. Labour is a trial, for every individual. Unexpected things CAN happen, so birthing plans must be realistic. The best birthing plans are always the ones that are flexible birthing plans. I agree it is a good idea to have a general plan of what you expect for your birthing experience, but know that hospital guidelines, best practice guidelines, policies and extensive experience & training also guide our practice. This is a specialized area of nusing that requires extra training, we do our best to provide the best outcome, healthy mom and healthy baby!