A Birth Plan or birth preferences is simply an outline of how you would like your labour and birth to unfold. Always keep an open mind and be flexible in your approach, as women whom I have seen who have taken the time to write a birth plan are often very dissappointed as they are not going into their birth with a flexible mind. Their plans/preferences are often very rigid and when events don’t go as planned, you can be very dissappointed. Points to consider for your birth plan/preferences:
* Think about who you want in the birthing room as your support person/s. You will need to contact your hospital where you are booked to give birth to check on their rules. Some hospitals have a restriction on the number of support people allowed in the birthing room, and do remember that children are usually not allowed nor is usually appropriate for children to be present (depending on their age of course). Do you want your support person/s to stay in the room during assessments?
* Do remember that you have the right to reject any interventions. Always ask for a full explanation as to why an assessment/proceedure is being performed and the pros and cons associated with it.
* Ask to take a tour of the birthing unit before going into labour, so that you will know what the rooms contain and to make you feel a bit more familiar and comfortable. Does the room have a T.V. and/or a CD player and radio. You may like to take some favourite CD’s with you or have your mp3 downloads on your mobile. This can be great especially if you have been practicising self hypnosis for your birth. Women enjoy many different types of music, so whatever music resonates with you and makes you feel comfortable and relaxed is good.
* Does the birthing room have a bath, and if so do you plan on using the bath during your labour? You will also need to check the hospitals policy around this. Some hospitals will allow you to labour in a bath, but not to give birth in a bath. Remember that a warm shower can be a very beneficial tool to use during the first stage of labour. Some hospitals have twin shower heads, so you can have water directed on your front and back at the same time.
* Consider all analgesia options available and decide what you think would be best for you. Be open to all the possibilities. These can include *self hypnosis – Hypnobirthing, *deep breathing, *position changes, *shower or bath, *massage by your partner or support person, *nitrous oxide and oxygen inhalation (N2O+O2), *water injections (check with your hospital), *pethidine (intra muscular injection) a synthetically made opioid. Also known in the U.S.A as demerol or moperidine, *epidural (very invasive)
* Do you want your partner or support person to cut the baby’s umbilical cord?
* Do you want the cutting of the cord delayed until after it has stopped pulsating to allow the baby to receive an optimum blood supply?
* Do you want syntocinon or syntemetrine (both synthetic hormones) injected either in to a vein or into a muscle in your leg, to hasten delivery of the placenta (third stage) or do you want a physiological third stage where the placenta seperates on its own perhaps with a helping hand from your baby suckling at your breast as nature intended?
* Do you want immediate and prolonged skin to skin contact with your baby?
* Do you want the weighing, measuring, vitamin K administration and dressing of your baby delayed until you have had some special skin to skin bonding time?
* Do you want to put your baby straight to your breast?
* Do you want dimmed lights in the birthing room whenever possible?
* Are partners allowed to stay with you on the postnatal ward? Some hospitals allow this and some don’t. Usually if you are a public patient, there won’t be partner facilities but in many private hospitals, partners are catered for and are welcome. So check with the hospital where you are booked to have your baby. Perhaps this should be a consideration when looking for an appropriate facility to birth your baby.
These are some of the things you may want to consider when making your birth plan.
I am available to help you with the process of creating a birth plan. Simply visit the coaching page and purchase a single coaching session, and then we can work together on what’s important for your birthing experience. www.PregnancyBirthAndParenting.com/coaching I will type up the finished plan and email it to you, couldn’t be easier. Just email me at info@PregnancyBirthAndParenting.com