Post # 1
I hope this isnt too intrusive but I was talking to a GF of mine who is due in a few weeks about creating a birth plan (i’m currently 18 weeks).
Doing this makes me nervous because i’m not sure what I can and cant ask… I feel like there are so many things to cover and i’m afraid I will miss a vital piece… i’m also not sure that when my birth plan starts to waver off from what I would like when to stop pushing for my plan and go with what the doctors suggest.
I have watched a documentary (The business of being born) which is a few years old and set in the United States (i’m in Canada) and it set a little bit of fear into me with doctors and the rate of c-sections. Its my first child and i’m not planing on going an all natural home birth or anything but i would like to have control and avoid a c-section if at all possible. I’m also looking into hiring a Doula as I have pretty severe anxiety of needles and because I am afraid of the medical unknown.
My question is that If you ladies created a birth plan, would you mind sharing it as well as your experience? Id like to know how your doctors respected you and your wishes and possibly how much your plan wavered.
Thank you so much
Post # 2
I didn’t create a birth plan, but I just wanted to say that doctors also want to avoid c-sections as much as possible. The “business of being born” raises some important points, but it is a very, very one-sided film. I wouldn’t worry about a doctor pushing you toward an unnecessary c-section.
Post # 3
I had a birth plan that my Doula knew. It was not written but it was her job to tell the nurses what I wanted. Unforntunely, all of my plan flew out the window and I’m fine with it. You have to do what is best for you and the baby. The nurses and my doctor were ok with my plans but my baby just was not coming out so after 36 hours of labor I had to have a C-section. I wanted to go natural but after 24 hours of labor I caved and got the epidural. I have not wated that movie but I think as long as you are not doing an elective early C-section then you just have to follow what the doctors feels is best.
Post # 4
It might be helpful to think of it as a “birth wish list” rather than a “plan.” There is a lot about birth that is unpredictable, but it’s good to have thought about all your options and know your preferences beforehand.
We wrote ours as a Plan A: Best-Case Scenario (i.e. my “dream birth” if everything went perfectly smoothly), followed by a Plan B (preferences if intervention was necessary) and a Plan C (preferences if things really went south and a C-section became necessary). As it happened, we ended up using Plan B, and I was very glad to have it prepared and my wishes communicated clearly. The staff was very supportive and adhered to the plan as much as possible in light of how things were going.
Post # 5
For the record.. this is NOT official medical advice or anything… but I’m a nurse & I previously worked in Postpardum for a number of years as a tech. It’s perfectly fine to have preferences and wishes for your birth.. PLEASE don’t have them set in stone. Doctors try to avoid C/S as well (unless you have a crappy OB) but there was always an unofficial trend that the moms that came in with written plans always ending up getting a c/s because they don’t listen to the doctors/nurses advice and things turn south. This isn’t ALWAYS and it’s not to scare you, but being willing to deviate from your plan is HUGE. Doctors and Nurses really do try to respect your wishes, but your well being and baby’s well being are their main priority.. sometimes that means deviating from your plans.. sometimes it means a c/s… sometimes you can have every birth plan wish granted. But you set yourself up for disaster by not willing to give a little and listen to advice. <br /><br />I, in no way, mean to scare you.. I want you to have a wonderful experience with your birth and truly hope any birth plans you make are able to happen! Definitely look into the Doula, if anything just to answer some questions and alleviate any conerns you have and see if a Doula would be a good fit<br /><br />Congrats on your pregnancy!! 🙂
Post # 6
I fear my original post was a little unclear… i’m ok with going off from my “plan” if its medically necessary, however Id like to have somthing (wether it be a plan, wish list, plan a, b and c, or what).
Post # 7
Jamie90: Hi, Thank you for your advice… the Birthplan my gf showed me was very thorough and had things on it like… if mother and baby are healthy i would like to hold my child immediatly after the birth, I would like to watch with a mirror, no narcotics, continuous vs intermitent fetal monitoring etc etc. There was so much on that list. Im ok if medically necessary to go with what the doctor suggest but i also want to labour my way if possible and have medical “jargin” exlained to me throughout.
Post # 8
Ahhh that’s awesome to hear!! All of those things are SO amazing and important. Like you said, as long as everyone is healthy those are things they’ll do/offer/ask you about when you’re admitted.
Post # 9
I didn’t have a birth plan written out, but had a few things I did want during the birth. My nurse asked me what specific things I was hoping for. I genuinley believe that most doctors and nurses are there to support you.
Post # 10
Pappy8: We are TTC, so I may not have any good advice. But there are a few things that will be on my “wish list”
- I’m going to try to labor without drugs. I don’t want them offered to me more than once. If I ask for them, fine, but don’t ask me everytime you come in the room.
- I’d like to avoid snipping if possible, but if the Dr. has good medical reason to do it, so be it
- Minimal internal monitoring
- Minimal internal checks
- Skin to skin with baby and delayed cord clamping
- DH to cut the cord
- Freedom to move around while laboring (birthing ball, shower, something other than being stuck in the bed)
I’m sure once I am pregnant I’ll do more research and have more things for the list. But so far, that’s what I have in my head. Hopefully this addresses your question a little better?
Post # 11
MechEBee: This is very similar as to how i imagine my labor and delivery. Big thing is that i would like to be able to move around during the beginning stages of labor so i would like to not be strapped to a constant fetal monitor (unless necesary) until later and I would like to push an epidural until i actually ask for one.
Post # 12
Jamie90: Theres also so much i dont know about… like vitamin k, waiting to cut the cord until it stops pulsating and the “goo on the eyes” (sorry i dont know the technical tern for it). So much to learn
Post # 13
Pappy8: Check out EvidenceBasedBirth.com – it has excellent, scientifically accurate information about those topics!
Post # 14
I didn’t have a birth plan because my plan was to get baby out as safely as possible for baby and myself. But, things I think are helpful to think about are pain relief, labor techniques, pushing positions, cord cutting, breastfeeding, etc.
Some things may not be possible based on how yor hospital operates. For example, I wanted to avoid an episiotomy (if I had a birth plan that would have been in it) however, I had to fill out consent forms a few weeks before my due date and one consent form was permission to perform an episiotomy if medically necessary. I will say, during pushing the word episiotomy was thrown out there and I freaked out and said I would like to avoid that if possible and the doc reassured me he wanted to avoid it to and would certainly tell me before doing it if it came to that (Luckily it didn’t).
I gueS’s my point is, it’s great to know your preferences but also recognize what is reasonable within your control and within the protocol and policies your hospital follows. Definitely hae a conversation about it with your doc beforehand So you both know what you can expect.
I have to agree with pp that it always seems the people with the most concrete birth plans end up with the most interventions.
Post # 15
DH and I are currently TTC and I am an information junkie so I have read a ton of books already, as well as seen TBoBB. I wavered back and forth a lot on a birth plan because I am a medical professional and have seen first hand how these situations cannot always be controlled. However, I am a firm believer that birth is a natural event which the female body was made to perform and there are truly very few cases of real complications. I believe these (complications) do exist though so that precludes me from home birth.
I think I have finally decided on a list of birth “preferences” rather than a birth plan. For one, it shows that I am level headed about the fact that I am not the one in control here and it shows the staff that I will be easier to work with than some folks who may be more concerned about achieving their “perfect birth” than obtaining a healthy baby.
I must say that while the US cesarean rate is alarmingly high and the cascade of interventions is quite rampant, the documentary we have both seen is a tad “alarmist” in nature and tends to be biased. I did find it very helpful in nudging me into further study though.
If your goal is natural or minimal intervention birth in the hospital setting, I have read some amazing books that are very encouraging on the subject and helpful with outlining your birth preferences. The most important part in forming this list will be the absolute involvement and agreement of your care provider and your partner. Your doctor should be willing to sit down with you during any appointment and answer any questions you have, including their cesarean rate, thoughts on episiotomies, mother directed pushing and so many other topics. Make a running list of questions in a notebook that you take to every appointment and make sure you write the responses down because you WILL forget!
Here’s the recommended reading:
“Home Birth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Child Birth with Modern Medicine” by Dr. Stacie Marie Kerr
“Natural Hospital Birth: The best of both worlds” by Cynthia Gabriel