Having a solid, one page birth plan is an essential item for any mom planning a natural birth in a hospital setting.
I am confident that having such a plan directly contributed to me achieving the birth experience I wanted and made sure that my post birth wishes were respected as well.
If I had the choice I would have had my daughter at home, but home births are illegal in New York state. (Any New York doctor or midwife who participates in a home birth will lose their license.)
There are important elements that should be in your birth plan in order to clearly communicate with the nurses, doctors and midwives who will be assisting your birth.
- Do your best to keep it to one page – Nurses are busy people and a good nurse makes all the difference. They will be one of the main people you are writing this for since he/she will be who is with you during the beginning stages of your “birthing time”.
- Start with a paragraph like this: 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 judgement and skills to see us through. If the labor is normal, we ask that you refrain from using any interventions nor previously agreed upon. INSERT YOUR NAME HERE will be using various techniques of INSERT YOUR METHODS HERE, and for this reason we ask the staff to speak softly and avoid references to “pain”. PLEASE DO NOT OFFER PAIN MEDICATION.
- List who will be present for your birth. This allows them to prepare and know who is/not allowed in your room.
- Break things down in an outline form such as: “Labor” or “Birthing Time” then list your preferences,”Delivery”, “After Delivery”, “Infant Care”, “If C-section needed”, or any other heading you feel are needed.
Within those headings there a number of issues you will need to address such as:
- Pain management you are using and/or allowing
- Food and drink
- Need to be able to move around
- Fetal monitoring
- Time limits or lack there of
- delivery position
- Yes or no to an episiotomy
- Holding your baby right away – delaying any non urgent procedures
- Have your significant other cutting the cord
- Use of pitocin post delivery
- Baby to be in your or your significant others presence at all times
- Whether or not to allow bottles or pacifiers
- If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding
You get the idea. I have an additional article that is my birth plan word for word. Please feel free to copy it and change it as you need. I wish you all the best and hope your birth is all you hope it will be.