birthing plan advice please...(18 Posts)
Our baby is due in seven weeks. I have started to realise how important it is to have a birthing plan. I know I have to say things like, 'yes I am happy to have an injection to deliver the placenta' and 'yes I want my dh to sex the baby' but I am not really sure what else to write. Has anyone any really good ideas about what to write/research? I would really appreciate some advice about do's and don'ts. Thanks!
You don't 'need' one, many deliveries look nothing like the plan.
A reasonable plan would be to keep moving, keep going to the toilet, keep moving some more, have minimal internals/monitoring, stay off the bed (unless getting an epidural section)
It is normal practice for the mw to ask all of those things anyway.
I guess the whole idea is that the mw can read it and know what you do or don't want- so if you have strong views on anything then write them down.
If you really don't mind, or want to be asked when it is relevant, prob not worth bothering about. If you end up being completely conscious/with it through it all then you will likely just talk about enything relevant but sometimes things don't go to plan so it's good to have a back up.
I've had 2 babies now and neither of my birth plans were even looked at so I probably won't even bother with one this time (due in 8 wks), dh knows what I do and don't want- and nothing is out of the ordinary so I'l probably just go with the flow.
So maybe that is more the question that I should be asking. What do I want? What don't I want? Any advice on musts and must nots?
I would say that was a better plan. I can't see the point of a birthing plan-if you haven't done it before you can't know what you want! They all go differently so I didn't have one for any of mine. I had three lovely births in 3 different hospitals without wasting time on plans. Just be friendly and work together with them.
Having said that I wouldn't have any musts and must nots-I went with the flow and it was fine.
It's such a personal thing. I didn't really know what I wanted with DS until I read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth - it might help to research a bit about things that might happen/be offered in labour and see if anything makes you feel passionately yes or no. There might be a load of stuff you don't care either way about or for example you might want to avoid certain drugs that might make you feel out of it/make your baby groggy/inhibit milk production.
FWIW most of my birth plan went out of the window due to complications with DS, but I had done enough research to know what they were talking about when they said they advised certain things, I felt much better able to make an informed decision. That said, many people don't feel bothered either way about a lot of stuff... But if you read up on it you'll know how important it is to you.
I thought my birth plan this time would just say 'give birth' but I've actually realised there's a lot more I want to try for. For example no internal examinations (ha the midwives love me for that one!) because I felt they made me more tense last time. I also want to decide for myself when to push. I find it liberating to at least have a preference on these things but will remain open minded in labour, I think you have to to a certain extent as nature often has other ideas.
My midwife just said to put things personal to you as they will ask everything else at the time. For instance if you are not good with too many people then write please no groups of medical students.
Things that I have an opinion on and might actually write down FWIW;
I really want to try the pool this time (stressing this because I tried the last 2 times and it didn't happen)
I do want the injection to deliver the placenta
Neither dh nor I are interested in cutting the cord
Dh to discover the sex
Skin to skin immediately- and for as long as is wise afterwards, leading to bf
You might have a strong view on a particular drug you do or don't want?
You might have a strong view on being monitored, many things have been mentioned above and yes I would suggest if you have a strong view then write it down, otherwise go with the flow?
Oh yes and the vitamin K injection they offer for the baby- you might want or not want it, this is something to consider.
Have you had your ante natal classes yet? These will probably bring up lots of discussions which might help.
If you haven't done it before you have no idea when you want to push. I would have put no pain relief, but at the time I said 'yes please anything!' (luckily I was too late for them to give me any)
I would just make the job easy for them without weighing them down with lots of instructions that you might find are wrong at the time or irrelevant.
All of this information is really helpful, thank you everyone. Please keep your thoughts, wisdom and experience coming. I really appreciate it!
When my dc1 was born, in the middle of the night he passed his meconium, right up his back and out of his nappy. The mw took him to bath him and as he had lots of hair it was still quite gunked up with blood etc. He came back pristine and I always wondered if she had used some sort of baby bath etc as there were bottles all over the ward (I was really surprised about that) and I didn't want anything used on him for a few months. It made no difference really but as I had a strong view on it I should have voiced my opinion then rather than get worked up later. Really not a big deal but I'm just using this as an example of a strong view being important to voice, these experiences don't come along all the time.
I'm expecting no 3 in 8 wks and in the last few months there has been a problem with legionnaire's disease (sp) in our hospital. A friend had a baby 3 months ago and told me they won't let you use the water to clean baby's bum- they give you wipes! She wasn't bothered in the slightest, some people aren't but I really am and so it's something I need to check with my mw and then remember in hospital.
No I'm not really that anal at all, I just have strong views on baby cleaning chemicals, and breast feeding!!!
My plan is more of a list and it is this:
DH to stay at the head end - last time the midwife MADE him go to the business end and he was too chicken to say no. I was not happy and he still carries the scars.
Delayed cord clamping - skin to skin (skin to skin kind of goes without saying unless you are giving birth in the ark).
Stay active as long as I can but if I say I want an epidural I mean it.
No drugs that will cross the placenta and make the baby drowsy.
No medical students - this also happened last time and I wanted to kick them in the face. I know they have to learn somewhere but not when I am in transition thank you very much.
ELCS rather than having the drip for speeding things up if it gets to that stage (as I have a monster size baby).
Vit K injection OK
If the baby is in danger all this goes out the window - I just want him out safe with as little damage to my fanjo as possible.
I wrote out a plan that pretty much went along the "see what I need as and when it arises" lines. However I highlighted two sentances so no matter if they just skimmed over it then were drawn to then and they were (1) dh to tell ne the sex of the baby and (2) explain everything in full to dh and I before you do it (i.e. forceps, induction etc).
In the grand scheme of things I would be quite OK with any type of birth as long as the two rules above were adhered to.
My MW read and referred to my plan throughout the labour.
I found it useful more as a way to think through different scenarios rather than as a prescriptive plan, given the number of things that can change. It was also quite useful as a prompt for dh so he knew which questions to ask if certain things happened. And then we were very clear that we wanted any HCPs to be up-front with us if there were a problem.
As it turned out, I had 3 natural deliveries with lots of movement and no pain relief beyond G&A for first two so the plan was mostly redundant.
Best of luck.
Mind, my next birth plan if I ever need one will be much much more in depth!
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