I finally decided it was time to get serious and put together a birth plan. Kellen and I have been discussing a lot of this stuff for a long time, but I kept forgetting that we actually have to put this down on paper and discuss it with our doctor before the baby gets here, which isn’t all that far off at this point. I wasn’t really sure what to put in a birth plan, so to organize my thoughts, I used BabyCenter’s Birth Plan Worksheet as a template. I was worried it might be difficult, but it only took about 15 minutes to type the whole thing up, even adding in some things that weren’t included in the template. All of the research and discussions we’ve done/had beforehand made it super easy.
I’ll print this out and go over it with the doctor at our next appointment to see what will be possible. I know I may have to modify some of this based on hospital rules and procedures, but I’m hoping the bulk of my requests will stay. *fingers crossed*
If you’re interested in seeing what our birth plan looks like, continue reading below the cut.
Attendant: Kellen (Husband)
I’d like to: bring music, dim the lights, wear my own clothes during labor and delivery, take pictures and video during labor.
Hospital Admission and Procedures
I’d like: the option of returning home if I’m not in active labor.
Once admitted, I’d like: my partner to be allowed to stay with me at all times; only my practitioner, nurse and partner to be present (no residents, medical students or other hospital personnel unless medically necessary); to eat if I wish to; to stay hydrated by drinking clear fluids instead of having an IV; to walk and move around as I choose.
As long as the baby and I are fine, I’d like to: have intermittent rather than continuous electronic fetal monitoring; have as few vaginal exams as possible; have as few interruptions as possible; be allowed to progress free of time limits and have my labor augmented only if necessary.
If available, I’d like to try: a squatting bar, the whirlpool tub.
I’d like labor augmentation: performed only if baby is in distress; first attempted by natural methods, such as nipple stimulation; membrane stripping performed before pitocin is administered.
I’d like to try the following pain-management techniques: bath/shower; self-hypnosis; massage.
Please don’t offer me pain medication. I’ll request it if I need it.
If I decide I want pain medicine, I’d prefer: trying systemic medication before an epidural.
When it’s time to push, I’d like to: do so instinctively; be allowed to progress free of time limits as long as baby and I are fine; avoid forceps or vacuum extraction if possible.
I’d like to try the following positions for pushing and birth: semi-reclining; side-lying position; squatting; hands and knees; whatever feels right at the time.
During delivery, I’d like: the room to be as quiet as possible; avoid an episiotomy if at all possible.
After birth, I’d like: to hold my baby right away, putting off any procedures that aren’t urgent; to breastfeed as soon as possible; to wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsating before it’s clamped and cut; my partner to be given the option to cut the umbilical cord.
If I have a c-section, I’d like: my partner present at all times during the operation; to stay conscious; my hands left free if possible; the baby to be put on my chest as soon as she’s dried, if possible; the baby to be given to my partner as soon as she’s dried, if I can’t hold her and if it’s possible; my partner to accompany the baby at all times if possible; to breastfeed my baby in the recovery room.
Cord Blood Banking
I’d like to: donate cord blood to a public bank, if possible.
After delivery, I’d like: all newborn procedures to take place in my presence if possible; if not possible to take place in my presence, all newborn procedures to take place in my partner’s presence, if possible; my partner to stay with the baby at all times if I can’t be there; to be able to have my partner room-in at all times.
I’d like: 24-hour rooming-in with my baby.
If baby is not well, I’d like: my partner or I to accompany the baby to the NICU or other facility; to breastfeed or provide pumped breastmilk; to hold her whenever possible.
I plan to: breastfeed exclusively.
Please do not offer my baby: formula, sugar water, a pacifier unless there is a medical reason.
I’d like to: be discharged from the hospital with my baby as soon as possible.