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Birth Plan?

(15 Posts)
Szeli Mon 04-Mar-13 20:43:49

I'm 38+2 should I have one?

What is on it?

Is this something I write myself or something that's discussed with a health professional? My next appointment with anyone is at 40+2.

Sorry, just really confused, hear alot about them on here but it's not something that's ever been mentioned at any of my 1099876 medical appointments.


Caitycat Mon 04-Mar-13 20:55:01

My midwife met me and dh at 36 weeks to discuss. There was a page in my mat notes to suggest what should go in it but it was things like thoughts on pain relief, whether I wanted injection to speed placenta, vitamin k for baby etc. I was keen to go with the flow but have it as natural as possible so my plan wasn't v detailed (and I'm not convinced anyone read it) but I know some people have them in great detail and bring copies which they hand to each professional they encounter. I think it depends on how planned and organised you want to be but bbear in mind that even the best plans may be unavoidably changed.

Granitetopping Mon 04-Mar-13 22:08:10

You can write a birth plan if you want to. In my experience - things don't necessary go to plan and you might feel that in someway you have failed if the birth you have imagined doesn't happen ie natural, drug free and you end up with a c section - plus some midwives hate and ignore them!!

BettyStogs Mon 04-Mar-13 23:02:58

I did one but called it birth preferences rather than a plan, found it made me actually think about what I wanted, and research a bit more than I would have otherwise.

You can find some examples and templates online which may give you some ideas of what to think about or include.

Bunbaker Mon 04-Mar-13 23:09:47

I didn't bother with one as I had no strong feelings about what I wanted. All I wanted was a healthy baby at the end. I was open minded about pain relief and that was all.

I didn't know that their were options about who should cut the cord or various other things that get discussed on here. In any case OH would probably have passed out if he had been shown the gory stuff as he isn't good with things medical. I have has to scrape him off the floor a couple of times.

Dromedary Mon 04-Mar-13 23:15:50

I did one, as advised by NCT classes, and the midwives paid no attention to it at all - I don't think they bothered to read it. Also, what happens in practice is often totally different from what you expected. As an example, the pain may well be worse than you imagine beforehand, and you may well change your mind about what pain relief you want.

Szeli Tue 05-Mar-13 03:22:06

Ok cokes ladies, thanks. Not as big a deal as I was fearing then! So long as everything's going ok and I can grab someone to let OH cut the cord I don't think there's many personal choices involved anyway for me (high risk).

I'm counting down the days tho to the diamorphine!


bangersmashandbeans Tue 05-Mar-13 03:31:03

I think the only things you really need to think about are whether you want a natural or manages third stage (I.e whether you want the injection to assist the placenta coming away) and whether you want baby to have the vitamin k injection after birth.

Szeli Tue 05-Mar-13 08:24:10

I don't know what either of those entail so will do some research today thankyou xx

bangersmashandbeans Tue 05-Mar-13 09:45:35

Your midwife should've discussed them with you by now. Have you got a number for your community midwife team so you can have a chat with someone about it?

Rainbowbabyhope Tue 05-Mar-13 11:21:43

I'm surprised that so many people think that midwives don't bother reading birth plans or have experienced this. I hate to think that the professionals caring for me would ignore my express wishes. Even though the best laid plans can change in birth that doesn't mean a woman's preferences should not be acknowledged and efforts made to achieve them where possible. I will refuse treatment by any midwife who fails to read my birth plan and does things expressly against my wishes, e.g. I have explicitly asked not to be offered pain relief unless I initiate the discussion - I know from experience that very simple things like that will make a world of difference to my labour. If there are things that are important to you, these need to be communicated to the people caring for you and when the time comes you may not be capable of doing so yourselves so a printed birth plan is ideal. Incidentally I call mine a 'birth guide'.

ZuleikaD Tue 05-Mar-13 13:57:51

Mine (on third DC) says:

Entonox for pain relief
Bucket to be sick in (those little cardboard things are useless)
Need to be told when it's ok to push as don't get the urge
Wait for cord to stop pulsing before cutting
Physiological 3rd stage
Intramuscular vitamin K ok

More or less the same as last time, though I'm pretty sure they didn't read it last time. Trouble is, when you're on all fours on the floor with 30-second contractions every two minutes you're not really in a position to insist anyone reads anything. It's not the part of your notes they're going to be focussing on, let's be realistic.

Radiator1234 Tue 05-Mar-13 17:03:14

I didn't particularly feel strongly about my birth plan but I did jot a few things down on the green notes including "no students present" (OH request not mine). Pretty sure there was a student present at most stages of the process.... Leading me to conclude that the mws didn't read the plan (or just disregarded it!). Plus my birth plan said "very open to all forms of pain relief". I was offered pethidine very early on and had that, but despite me saying like a stuck record "why isn't the pethidine working?" I was never offered an epidural or anything. Pretty sure if I'd have been offered I'd have said yes. Can't really remember why I never requested one on the day.... Think as I was too out of it to ask.

I think in practice what often happens is that women write a birth plan and then on the day they are in so much pain/ so caught up with it all that a lot of what they have written goes to pot.

Fwiw I think if you do have really really strong preferences for birth then the key thing is to get your birth partner to be crystal clear what those preferences are so he/she can clearly articulate this on the day.

sw11mumofone Tue 05-Mar-13 19:18:51

I agree that you can get too caught up in a birth plan if you have a lot of specific ideas of what you want. And it can be disappointing if things don't go to plan and you've spent a lot of time on it. The fact that you haven't is a good start.
Bangers is right in that you do need to know whether you want a managed third stage and vitamin k for the baby.
You should definitely have a look at some templates online as it may make you consider things that hadn't popped into your head before.
It doesn't need to be long and complex but I wanted to include things like I wanted my OH to be there at all times and if the baby needed to be taken away for checks after the birth I wanted either myself or OH present at all times.
I'm also surprised that many people seem to think that midwives do not read them. I had been advised that midwives are obliged to read and follow them unless they need to go off course due to medial emergency.

Szeli Wed 06-Mar-13 11:34:14

I have the number for the community midwives but they're only there on a Monday; literally nothing has been discussed with me other than which hospital I'm going to - and I unknowingly chose the one my midwives don't work at so they don't know much about what goes on there.

I had a health visit where he told me my baby won't be offered one kind of injection the other babies in the hospital will because of where I live but I think that's to do with TB...

I think most of this confusion comes down to the fact that they closed my local maternity ward so I'm being seen under 3 different trusts;

1 hospital for antenatal
1 hospital for midwife appointments
1 hospital for the birth

and then a different centre again for my perinatal councilling.

It's driving me batty! xx

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