Your Birth Plan
When writing a birth plan, you are basically stating how you would want your ideal birth to be.
The best piece of advice I could give is be flexible. No two labours are the same and you don’t get a medal for most natural birth. So don’t envisage that someone who gives birth with no pain relief will have a healthier baby or will be a better mother. Speaking as someone who has had a drug free birth (not through choice I might add) and had one where I was so high I was nearly on the ceiling, there were pro and cons with both. But I have two beautiful and equally healthy children. Go with the flow! Remember to go through the birth plan with your birth partner, so that they can put across your views and wishes during labour.
What details will you need to include:
- Your birth partner, with any contact numbers for them; home, work, mobile, pager.
- Any music you want played.
- Any holistic treatments you want during labour. If you are being treated by someone other than your birth partner, then you will need to check that this is ok with the hospital. You will also need to include contact details for the therapist.
- Preference for pain relief.
- Amount of monitoring. Remember you will not be able to choose if there are complications.
- Positions for labour and delivery if you have a preference.
- If you would prefer to tear or be given an episiotomy (a small cut to the vagina to aid delivery) if needed.
- Do you want the baby delivered straight on to your chest?
- Do you want to be told the sex or see for yourselves?
- Who will cut the umbilical cord?
- Do you want an injection to speed up the delivery of the placenta?
- Do you wish to breast feed straight away?
In some circumstances your birth plan will have to be amended during labour for medical reasons. This is because the medical staff will be looking after the best interests of you and your baby.