My Birth Plan

I am a planner and I cannot help it. Not only do I like to know the who, what, when, where and why’s, but more often then not I like to plan the who, what, when, where and why. So needless to say pregnancy is teaching me a lesson or two about plans and how to roll with the punches (and kicks and twirls).

I found out I was pregnant on Mother’s day. Two months later I had a pretty good outline done of my birth plan and by August I had already gone on several hospital tours. I took the information I learned from the tours and updated my plan as necessary. I cannot stress the importance of a hospital tour and the importance of writing out what is ideal for you in your birth plan to help you pick the place that is most compatible. Most of the tours I went on had about 5 or so pregnant women and their spouses (one woman had brought her in laws, parents, brother..which is really not necessary in my opinion). On all tours I was the only one to ask questions. This surprised me! It seemed like people just assume that because it’s the hospital it’s their rules – which just isn’t true. You have a say in your healthcare! Fortunately during each hospital tour a lot of my questions were answered as we went from room to room and they gave their usual speech. However some of my more important questions that I had to ask were:
  • Is this a teaching hospital? Can I expect interns/students to be present during my delivery?
  • Is skin to skin immediately after birth an option?
  • Is their the option of delayed cord clamping?
  • what happens in the event that my baby is in distress and requires NICU attention? Do you have the setup here? Or will they be transferred to another facility? Will I be in transport?
  • What security measures are in place to protect me and my baby?
When I first found out I was pregnant I was immediately introduced to this amazing podcast called ‘The Birth Hour’ (I tuned in via Spotify). I have a long commute to work so I was able to get an episode in each work day. I was (and am) obsessed! I learned so much from listening to women all over the continent talk about their birth stories and what they planned. They shared what went right, what went wrong, what they would do again and what they wouldn’t. I learned so much and with listening to these amazing women I can say I have no fear of birth at all. That may change with each contraction, but for now I am content and look forward to the whole process.
Listening to the podcast and knowing myself I knew a midwifery and birth center was not for me. I’m a worst case scenario type of girl (which isn’t a compliment) and knew I wanted a hospital. I have been seeing the same gynecologist since I was 18 and he is now my OB. He is wonderful and I’ve worked up 13 years of trust with him so I knew I wanted him there too. I work in the veterinary field and although I deal with animals and not people – medically they are very similar. I’ve seen the good that can come with medical intervention and am not going to shy away from it if it means a safer birth for my baby.
Below is my birth plan (as of now). I say as of now because as I learn more and get farther along in my pregnancy things change!
In early Labor I plan on:
  • Eating and drinking light foods
  • Taking walks and stretching (until I receive an epidural)
  • Resting
In active labor I’d prefer:
  • Minimal cervical checks, unless medically necessary
  • To labor until at least 7cm dilated then get an epidural
  • To not receive pitocin (unless absolutely necessary)
  • Fetal monitoring
  • To labor in water if I choose to
  • Low lighting
  • Just my husband in the room with me

In birth (pushing) I’d prefer:

  • To deliver out of water
  • To be offered a mirror to see the baby crowning
  • To be helped/guided when pushing if their is slow progress
  • To catch the baby myself if possible
  • Cord to stay attached until it stops pulsating
  • My husband to cut the cord if he chooses
  • To be shown my placenta
  • For all newborn exams and procedures to happen with me present
  • No mother/baby separation if medically possible

Newborn Decisions

  • To be informed of all procedures that are being performed on my newborn
  • To have my baby room with me
  • To keep my baby with me until she has breastfed successfully on both sides (if medically possible)
  • Administer erythromycin eye prophylaxis
  • Administer Vitamin K injection
  • Apply the pulse ox to my baby during newborn exam

In case of a cesarean birth I’d prefer

  • To be awake
  • To have my partner with me during birth
    • I understand if general anesthesia is needed my husband is unable to be with me.
    • I do not want extended family or friends to meet my newborn until I have recovered and have had time to bond with my baby (My husband is excluded from this).
  • To have my hands free
  • To place baby skin to skin as possible after birth
  • For my husband to stay with the baby at all times after birth
  • That someone is with me in recovery

My birth plan used to be a lot longer. However, when we finally selected the hospital I took out what was standard care in this hospital. This way they just see the bullet points of things that are not routine practice. I hope this post helps anyone that may be confused on where to start in their birth plan. If you have any questions feel free to message me using the contact tab. I’d be happy to send you my full list of questions I had for the tours.