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My Birth Plan

Writing a clear, concise and brief birth plan is essential if you want your birth to go well. Not only will a birth plan tell your OB or midwife your preferences, but it will also determine the kind of nurse you are assigned.

I believe, quite strongly, that one of the primary reasons why my natural hospital birth went so well was because I had a fantastic nurse. Why did I have such a great nurse? Because she read my birth plan and chose me that day.

This is how it works…First, you submit your plan to your OB or Midwife and you go over the details with them. They sign it and then put it in your file.

When you arrive in labor at the hospital, the nurses gather, read your file and will volunteer or pick the mom(s) they want to work with. Some nurses want NOTHING to do with a natural birth. They would much rather work with a mom who is choosing to have a epidural or a planned c-section.

So, all that being said, here is my birth plan word for word. Feel free to copy and paste this into a word document and edit it accordingly.

Try to keep it to one page if possible, this makes for easier reading for the busy nurses and increase the likelihood that it will acutually be read.

Jessica & Matthew Ray Birth Preferences

Dear Hospital Staff,

We trust in your expertise and sensitivity and thank you in advance for your support during our birth. Below is our “ideal” birthing scenario, but we realize that in the event of a life-threatening emergency, we will be relying on your professional judgment and skills to see us through. If the labor is normal, we ask that you refrain from using any interventions not previously agreed upon.

Jessica will be using various techniques of self-hypnosis, and for this reason we ask that the staff speak softly and avoid references to “pain” and “hard work”. Please do not offer pain medication.

The people present for the birth will be Jessica’s Mom, doula, and possibly a friend.

Labor

pain management: self-hypnosis, bath/shower, hot/cold therapy, massage, birth ball

hydration: drinking fluids rather than having an IV

food: according to appetite

freedom to move around

Heparin lock if needed

as long as the baby and I are doing well:

intermittent rather than continuous EFM

no stringent time limits

Delivery

as long as the baby and I are doing well:

no stringent time limits

quiet room, with no excited cheering

position: whatever feels right (side lying, squatting, hands & knees, etc.)

perineal massage, hot compresses, and oil would be appreciated

prefer risking a tear rather than having an episiotomy

After delivery

hold my baby right away, putting off any procedures that aren’t urgent

wait until cord stops pulsing before clamping

have Matthew cut the cord

breastfeed as soon as possible

no pitocin unless needed

all newborn procedures done in my presence or, if I can’t be there, in Matthew’s presence

Infant Care

breastfeeding only no bottles or pacifiers

routine checks for baby’s vital signs performed in my room

If C-section is needed, I’d like:

Matthew to be present at all times

the screen lowered a bit so I can see my baby coming out

the baby given to Matthew as soon as he’s dried (as long as he’s okay)

to breastfeed as soon as possible

Approved:______________________________________________ Date:_______________

4 Responsesto “My Birth Plan”

  1. Hillary says:

    Hi Jess,

    I love your birth plan — I notice some of the code is a little wonky here. Is there a Word document available that you wouldn’t mind sending? I’d love to have a copy to use, as my husband and I are expecting our first baby (a little boy) in March 2011.

    Best,
    Hillary

  2. Wow! that is a very detailed and interesting birth plan. Like you, I had a normal spontaneous delivery. No episiotomy or pain relievers. I just practiced self-hypnosis as well. The baby came out very quickly and he is now an 8-month old baby boy.

    Self-hypnosis really works especially for birthing mothers. the pain really is terrible but it is worth it; plus you can lessen or eliminate pain thru self-hypnosis.

  3. Jess Ray says:

    Hi Rochelle,

    It is unfortunate but true that many woman are surprised to know that they have rights as a birthing woman. You are not sick and you are not a patient. You are simply a woman doing exactly what your body has been built for.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. There are certainly instances where medical intervention is necessary in order to keep mom and baby safe. But, overall, interventions are what put mom and baby in harms way. If doctors would just allow nature to take its course (due dates, pitocin) then there would be far fewer c-sections and difficult births.

    I could go on and on. This is something that gets me pretty fired up so I’ll stop here.

    If you decide to have another child, please feel free to contact me with any questions or help with preparing your birth plan.

    Jess

  4. Rochelle says:

    Wow this is all news to me, I was never told I could make a birth plan or have request. Both of my pregnancies were difficult, from start to finish.

    I also wanted to say how beatiful your daughter is not only in her physical appearance, but I can see she has a beautiful heart, the Lord has truly blessed her and her parents.

    Be Happy Be Blessed,
    Rochelle

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