Disclaimer – my birth plan is 100% based on my own personal opinions and beliefs. I don’t judge any mom for the decisions they make for their own births nor do I encourage anyone to follow my birth plan as the gospel. I encourage you to educate yourselves so that you are able to advocate effectively for yourself and your baby.
Once I was officially cleared for a vaginal delivery, I asked my doctor about a birth plan. She suggested I go home and write one up and bring it to my next appointment. At one of our classes, the labor and delivery nurses kind of joked that any mom that comes in with a written birth plan almost always ends up in a c section.. its like some kind of curse. They were joking of course, but after that class and learning what to expect at our specific hospital, I didn’t really feel like I needed a written birth plan anymore. So I told my doctor, “Oh that won’t be necessary, this is all I want… ”
My birth plan:
– No epidural/pain meds. I’d prefer to manage my pain on my own.
– Able to labor however I’m comfortable, whether that be laying down, sitting on a birth ball, walking, etc. Our hospital actually has wireless monitoring available and whirlpool tubs in all labor rooms for this reason.
Yup, that’s the plan. 🙂
That’s basically it. A birth plan is just that – a plan. Everything else I feel we can cross those bridges when/if we need to. I’m really just trying to relax and go with the flow. I’m learning to trust our doctor’s judgement and that she’ll do what’s best for us and our baby. If the end result is a c section, I’m okay with that because a healthy baby girl is our #1 priority.
There are a lot of other things I feel firmly about that I originally would have included in my birth plan but after our class and learning about our hospital, I didn’t feel the need. But here’s what I would have included if that hadn’t been the case.
– Skin to skin immediately after birth. Our hospital is very big on this and do everything in their power to allow this for the entire recovery period – about 2 hours.
– Breastfeeding asap after birth – again, our hospital is very big on promoting breastfeeding and will help you feed for the first time in that recovery time. They also have a lactation consultant on staff.
– No forceps for delivery. Not to scare any new moms, this is solely our own experience, but there was a local baby who was injured during delivery due to forceps and later died. I absolutely refuse to have forceps used and would have requested a c section if forceps were ever brought up as an option. Fortunately, our L&D nurses told us they don’t use forceps in our hospital anymore. I highly recommend doing your own research on this. You can read more about this baby here – Baby Olivia.
– We wanted our baby to remain in the room (and preferably on me) for assessments and shots, etc. We also wanted her to “room in” instead of going to the nursery. Our hospital actually did away with their nursery a little over a year ago, so unless they need to go to the Nicu, babies stay in room 100% of the time. Also, because they are so big on skin to skin, they actually do as many of the assessments that they can with the baby laying on the mom.
– No episiotomy, I’d prefer to tear naturally. The reason I decided this was best described with a t-shirt: if you tried to rip a perfectly good t-shirt in half, it would stretch to its max, then eventually tear. But if you cut a slit in a t-shirt and then tried to rip it in half from that tear, it would rip quite easily. I’ve read a lot of studies about tearing naturally vs episotomies and I feel like tearing naturally is best for me. I didn’t need to specify this because they don’t do routine episotomies at our hospital anymore, only in extenuating circumstances.
– No visitors until Nolan and I have had a chance to bond with our baby and feed her for the first time. I didn’t want our families bombarding us immediately after birth wanting to see her and hold her. I know they are just as excited as we are but this is something that gives me extreme anxiety. I have witnessed several people that their babies got passed around the family mere minutes after getting to hold them for the first time themselves. At our hospital, they have somewhere around a 2 hour recovery time after both vaginal births and cesarean. They do not allow visitors in the room during this time unless Nolan specifically leaves the room to retrieve a person, and there can only be one at a time anyway. So that gives us plenty of time to get cleaned up, have significant skin to skin time, do all the testing and what not, feed her for the first time (def do not want an audience for that!), and then once we’re comfortable, we’ll see about visitors. We’ll probably wait until we’re in our mother/baby room before we have any visitors at all so we don’t have to pick one person at a time to visit in recovery. That’ll prevent hurting anyone’s feelings.
So as you can see my birth plan could have been extremely meticulous, but I’m super happy with the hospital we’ve chosen and I really like all the nurses in L&D that we’ve met. I definitely recommend getting a tour of your hospital or even attending a class held by your hospital if you can. Those two things shed an incredible amount of light on our situation and really helped put my mind at ease about a lot of things.