How to Write a Birth Plan.
First off, congratulations on your impending arrival!
Many years ago I went into labor with my first baby. I was young and naive. I had the picture perfect idea of how I wanted my baby to be born. All natural, no pain meds, complete old school. Yeah that didn’t happen. It is very rare that a birth will go exactly as how you have it written out on paper. Our sixth baby’s birth plan basically said, yes to pain meds and have a healthy baby, end of story.
Like all mothers out there I have a birth story, actually I have six of them, and they are all very very very different. My waters have broken twice before making it to the hospital, two of them were technically breached, and one was a c-section or as we called it an eviction notice due to misbehavior, she was one of the breached babies.
This is where I tend to make other mom’s mad. When it comes time for your baby to come out. What is the end result you want? Common sense would make you think a healthy baby and healthy mom right? Yeah, not always the case. The best thing I could tell you is listen to the Doctor or Midwife that is there during your labor. They are trained professionals and are there to make sure everyone comes out healthy. And at the same time, listen to your body. Yes Doctors know what they are doing but so does Mother Nature. Make sure you don’t have anyone telling you how it should be when your body is not cooperating with your plan. Being in labor really is very unpredictable and you could be the most prepared momma ever and still get a curve ball out of the blue.
When writing your birth plan, the hospital or birthing center wants you to include your choices for the following topics;
- What is your preferred pain management if any?
- Who is allowed to be in the room during delivery along with visitors during your stay.
- Who will cut the cord?
- Do you want to have delayed cord cutting?
- Do you want to hold baby right after he/she is out?
Now if you are going to have a scheduled C-Section then there will be tons of paperwork to fill out before you get to the hospital, and be sure to have that all done and squared away with copies in your hospital bag just in case. I should add that if you have a misbehaving baby like my last one and they suggest you come in to attempt a version (external flipping of the baby to make them head down) they will go through the steps as if preparing you for a C-Section because like all births prepare for the unexpected. If the baby shows signs of distress while flipping or the water breaks and they aren’t head down then they need to get that baby out pretty quickly or lives will be at risk.
The best advice I can give you about how to go into your labor prepared is to be flexible. I never wanted to have a C-Section simply because of the recovery time, I already had five kids at home that would need their mommy and I just didn’t have time to recover from major abdominal surgery but I had no choice, like most mamma’s it was out of my hands when it comes to emergencies. You really have to be prepared for anything. Prepare for the worst, pray for the best. And for the record a C-Section is not the end of the world, but I would not go into one willingly.
Remember that birth plans are just plans, have more than one if it makes you feel more prepared but keep in mind that even that may change when the day comes.
Please keep in mind…. I am not a Doctor or Midwife, just a mom who has had 6 very different births. You can find my whole disclaimer here.