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to ask if you had a birth plan?

(84 Posts)
user1467032004 Mon 15-Aug-16 10:36:04

First of all, I was going to post this in childbirth but it isn't very busy and thought I would get more responses in this topic. Please move if not allowed.

I'm an avid reader of the Baby Bumps sub on Reddit and noticed that a lot of the woman have birth plans prepared for the hospital. I know that in the US it is different - a lot of people pick and choose what they want to happen in labour. Some women type up massive lists of instructions and others simply make diagrams. A lot of effort goes into these! Most of the time the birth plan seems to go out of the window so I'm unsure if there's even any point.

Do the NHS offer an equivalent? We really want to start trying for a baby but are doing some research first!

P.S I've attached a birth plan I seen on baby bumps so you can see what I mean.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Mon 15-Aug-16 10:37:59

I had a comprehensive birth plan for my first.

I didn't bother for my second as I soon learned you can't plan it, or change your mind half way through grin

londonrach Mon 15-Aug-16 10:38:09

Goggle nhs birth plan. I filled it in. Tbh birth happens and doesnt follow a plan. I dont think my sister and i know anyone whos birth plan went as planned. Keep open minded.

QforCucumber Mon 15-Aug-16 10:40:03

My thoughts of having a birth plan were how can I plan something I've got no experience of or have never done before? I basically said I'll follow whatever happens with an open mind and welcome whatever I need to ensure baby and myself are OK. Lucky really as 11 hours in turned out baby was facing sideways and I'd never have delivered him naturally, needing emergency spinal and a forceps delivery in theatre. I honestly think if I'd planned for no pain relief or intervention then I'd be a lot more upset by the birth.

mouldycheesefan Mon 15-Aug-16 10:41:33

No. I was booked for c section didn't need one.
Nobody in their right mind would put no pain medication! If you had a head have you would take a paracetamol but sheer agony you would ban pain meds?
Don't forget in USA you or your insurance are paying for the birth, it's a different set up from the uk.
Flexibility is key in childbirth especially if you have never given birth before. Do not ban anything. Stay open minded.

CestLaVie93 Mon 15-Aug-16 10:42:00

I had a birth plan and took it to hospital with me when I was in labour (I'd already been having contractions for 24 hours). It didn't come out of my bag grin

It's good to have an idea of what you want but I wouldn't do one for DC2

WiIdfire Mon 15-Aug-16 10:42:54

I had preferences - it gave me chance to research what I wanted. The important thing is to realise it wont go to plan, so they really are preferences not rules.
When it came down to it, the only bit that could have been implemented, wasn't, because the obstetric reg was an arse. I know lots of obs regs and most are lovely, I just got one who wasnt a big fan of communication skills 😖

NarcyCow Mon 15-Aug-16 10:43:07

I thought about my preferences and discussed them with DH but didn't actually write it down. Then I was induced both times and had pretty much no choice about anything in the end anyway.

To be honest I think people can get too hung up on birthplans and find it hard to adapt to changing circumstances. It's not about your 'birthing experience', it's about getting the baby out in good shape.

davos Mon 15-Aug-16 10:44:19

I didn't have one for either.

For me first I had no clue and no way would have ruled out any treatment or anything. I wanted to take it as it came.

It worked well. So I did the same with my second.

Unless you have really sceptic reasons for not wanting certain things, it would be mad to say 'I definitely do not want xyz'

BabyGanoush Mon 15-Aug-16 10:44:26

It's just to give mums to be the illusion of control.

Mostly you can't predict how a birth will go. You can choose home or hospital, but you can't even be sure of that!

I did not bother, and just as well as I almost gave birth in street (DS1) and at reception desk in hospital(DS2)!

TheCrumpettyTree Mon 15-Aug-16 10:44:31

I just wrote a list. But you have to keep an open mind, sometimes birth doesn't go to plan. For example, the birthing pool actually slowed my labour down and I had to get out.

Things like delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, and vitamin K injection are important to consider.

Thefitfatty Mon 15-Aug-16 10:44:38

The only plan I had was "get child out, preferably with both of us still alive."

ShanghaiDiva Mon 15-Aug-16 10:46:23

I had my children in Europe (on in Germany and one in Austria) and didn't have a birth plan, but did go to a series of evening meetings with the midwife team to discuss what would happen at the hospital - booking in etc.
In Germany you choose your midwife and the hospital calls them when you arrive and they stay with you until you deliver. I really liked the continuity of care - but not sure if that's an option on the NHS.
I think you need to be flexible with regard to the plan. I ended up with an emergency section under GA, not what I had anticipated, but the outcome was a healthy baby.
I really valued the support I had after the birth - help establishing breastfeeding which I found very difficult at first - so that may be worth researching too.

Klaptrap Mon 15-Aug-16 10:47:48

Yep, I had one, but waters broke before labour started, so it mostly went out of the window. I always kept an open mind though, so I wasn't too bothered. I achieved some of my "wants" but not others.

I filled out the NHS birth plan and put it into my maternity notes.

Sparklesilverglitter Mon 15-Aug-16 10:48:57

As a first time Mum I found the birth plan was good at preparing me a little for something that I obviously knew nothing about. It was a relaxed plan and as an adult of course I knew things in life don't always go as planned but to me it was helpful.

TheInternetIsForPorn Mon 15-Aug-16 10:49:01

I had a birth plan for my baby. I had the same one second time. Literally, the same sheet, still folded up, in the same bag.

I did t need it in delivery and j was fortunate and got exactly what I planned.

What I DID find it very useful for was as a guide to discuss with my DH my feelings and hopes before birth. It meant that if I had needed him to be my advocate he knew how I felt about things and had it written down.

I don't think many people actually whip them out in the delivery suite but it's a nice way to think about what you hope for. I did a worst case scenario plan in there too, e.g. I'd prefer a c-section to episiotomy / ventouse if circumstances allow time to choose etc.

mouldycheesefan Mon 15-Aug-16 10:49:49

Fit fatty has it covered. Everything else doesn't matter.

MrsHathaway Mon 15-Aug-16 10:49:58

It's rare for the HCPs to be able to read a detailed plan during labour and delivery.

However it is useful for you to consider things on the list before the time. Many can apply regardless of how the birth goes.

For example, vitamin K is routinely given to newborns. If you think you wish to decline this, read up and plan.

Do you react badly to certain painkillers? I don't tolerate G&A well; recovering addicts may prefer to avoid opioid painkillers.

Are you interested in cord blood donation or storage? That needs planning in advance.

Are you happy for students to sit in? It's a very valuable experience for them (and they need a certain number to graduate) but you can decline.

Physiological third stage or oxytocin injection?

Any reason for limiting internal examinations (eg previous sexual assault) or declining male HCPs? Bear in mind that in an emergency there may be no choice.

Who will be your birth partner? If you want more than one, does the hospital allow it? If you want to keep someone out, how can you ensure it?

Cutting the cord - who and when? What options do they offer? Delayed cord clamping is a hot topic at the moment and can be extremely beneficial (eg for my DC3 who was slow to breathe on his own).

Breastfeeding? You may wish to have a standing instruction that baby is not to be fed other than by you except without express consent of one of its parents.

Read, read, read. Work out what your non-negotiables are and print them out in bold to clip to the front of your notes. Then consider the rest a "wish list" and not a plan, because your cervix and your baby won't have read it.

DramaAlpaca Mon 15-Aug-16 10:50:11

I had a fairly comprehensive one for my first. It was good to write one as it made me think about what might happen and how I might want things done in different scenarios. It made me feel more in control of what was happening in a situation that was new to me.

I didn't bother for births two and three, I didn't feel the need.

As others have said, the most important thing is to keep an open mind as every birth is different and they don't always go as planned.

Welshrainbow Mon 15-Aug-16 10:50:25

I had a sheet attached at the back of my maternity notes with all the preferences on.
Hospital completely ignored it.

user1467032004 Mon 15-Aug-16 10:51:36

On the birth plan you can specify how the baby will be fed. Have any of you guys decided breastfeeding wasn't an option and opted to bottle feed from birth? Was this frowned upon by medical staff and did your midwife try to make sure you at least tried to breastfeed?

Eatthecake Mon 15-Aug-16 10:52:22

I had a plan with all my DC, after my first baby being stillborn I found the birth plan helped me to prepare more of course for each birth after my first I knew the very worse that could happen but I liked doing the birth plan in a way they helped me to relax about the birth a little

Some wants I achieved like delivery in the water, no epidural But other wants I didn't.

UmbongoUnchained Mon 15-Aug-16 10:52:37

Think they did mine at my 36 week check. All I had in mine was "no forceps".

passingthrough1 Mon 15-Aug-16 10:53:03

I filled in a basic birth plan the midwife gave me (was basic tick boxes). I would never be too prescriptive because all births are different. Never discussed it with the midwives at the hospital but going off their actions I think they read it (eg I'd said I wanted gas and air, no pethadine/ diamorphine, hoped not to have epidural but wouldn't rule out).
Some of it was just pretty uncontentious but good for them to know so they don't have to ask after the birth eg. - do you want to try and breast feed straight away, do you already know the sex/ who do you want to tell you, who should cut the cord, how do you want vitamin K. So I'm glad I did it specifically for the "easy" questions because it meant the baby was just put on my breast, the scissors just given to my partner etc automatically.

davos Mon 15-Aug-16 10:53:29

I could breastfeed my second. They did encourage me to put him to the breast for bonding purposes.

Tbh I found formula feeding a bit weird in hospital. Like it was a dirty secret.

I don't blame the midwives. I blame the culture the NHS has of not wantin fb to be seen encouraging formula.

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