How to write a birth plan(20 Posts)
...and is it worth doing? What do I need to include?
I never bothered with a birth plan. I just went with the flow with both of mine and I plan to with my current pregnancy too
I put on mine that I'd like to try the pool if poss. As it happened I was induced and they were about to take me to the delivery suite where there are no pools when the midwife had a look at my plan and asked if I still wanted to try the pool. I'd just thought I no longer had that option but she said give it a go and as it happens it was brilliant and my DS was born in water.
I didn't write one previously, but at a labour suite course I took this time, they mentioned a few things that would be good to have written down/thought about before hand. Most other things are just preference and you may change your mind during it. (Pain relief, lighting, music, if student midwives/doctors are allowed to be present etc.)
1. Who would you like to cut the Cord?
2. Are you okay with a managed 3rd stage? (i.e. the injection to help placenta come away quicker)
3. Do you want your baby to have the Vitamin K injection right after birth
I did, but I was quite strict with myself as I tend to waffle on! I limited it to a maximum 10 bullet points, on one side of A4 and wrote what options I would like to have if the unpredictable stuff happened... so I said that if I had to be induced via a drip I wanted an epidural to be sited first and that if an instrumental delivery was in any way foreseeable, I would prefer to opt straight for a c-section, for example.
DH knew the plans for if everything went well, so I wanted to cover off the other stuff.
I printed one off from a website. Tickboxes make it much easier
It helped me to be clear about what I wanted and what my preferences would be in different situations. I then talked it through with DP so he was clear too. It was more a guide than a plan as such.
I never had one. The only thing is if you want a water birth then let your midwife know. My hubby knew what I'd want or wouldn't want. I said under no circumstances do I want epidural. Even if I am screaming for it to try and talk me out of it. But honestly, go with the flow of the labour you have. Making a plan is all very well if you are anxious as it will give u a feeling of being in control, if you are not anxious then enjoy the craziness and excitement of labour. X
I used the NHS' tickbox birth wishes generator. The (Danish) mws loved it because it was stuff they didn't need to discuss with me in between contractions, it was all right there.
Never did one. Do MW's like them? I can't see the point. I can see the point of reading through a document/ a tick box, to make sure YOU have considered all the options, and that you are clear what you want.
But mostly, generally births turn out nothing like expected. But then, who cut the cord never bothered me.
I like to consider the options..... waterbirth...... emergency CS, ending up giving birth on your own .... to cover all eventualities. But that's as far as I would take it.
I never did a birth plan as I just wanted to go with the flow and do what I wanted and needed at the time. I made sure though that all hospital staff knew I wanted my partner to tell me the sex of the baby
You could try these
I think it's worth thinking about what happens after the birth and writing that stuff down. Like do you want the baby put on your chest for skin to skin or cleaned up and wrapped up like a buritto? What do you think about vitamin K? Do you plan to breast feed or formula feed? Do you mind who dresses the baby? If you need to be separated do you want your partner to go with the baby or stay with you?
Your midwife will go through it with you and then you'll get asked when you go into hospital.
Don't put too much thought into it as chances are it'll change when you're in labour. Put together a rough idea of what you'd prefer and also what you definitely don't want or have a strong opinion on, it is important your partner knows this so he can speak in your behalf when you're unable to.
Important things are pain relief, injection to deliver placenta, vitamin k for baby.
Think how you'll go through the labour - lots of movement, birth ball, bath etc..
I would actually say the opposite of several posters on here - for me, it is absolutely worth doing one and putting some thought into it! Yes, it may well go out the window, but actually the important bit is the time you take to sit down and think through what you want to happen, what your ideal birth would be like, and also what you want if things don't go to plan. Questions like - what pain relief do you want, do you want the midwife coaching you to push, what position do you want to be in, water birth or not, etc etc - are not what you need to be trying to decide on mid-contraction!
My experience was that my birth plan was invaluable, and the midwife followed it to the letter. I was lucky enough to have the birth I wanted, and I'm so glad I took the time to consider what I wanted beforehand as it allowed me to switch off my brain and focus on the labour.
Also it's worth saying that you can take much more control of your labour than many people think - for example, I specified I didn't want any internal exams, barring an initial one on admission. So worth doing a bit of research on what you can ask for and at least aiming to shape the birth you want!
It's worth thinking about what you want and don't want, and the birth plan will help you structure that.
My midwife said with my first it's a trial of labour, which was a helpful way to look at it. So I knew what I wanted, but was aware it would depend on how the labour progressed.
As an aside, skin to skin was only introduced here when I had my youngest DC. It was so lovely. Whoever mentioned it has brought back fond memories.
I'd agree inmemoryofsleep - research into your options and gain understanding of what's available. It just the plan itself may not happen.
Definitely worth making a note of your preferences relating to your labour and birth. Things to research and consider are:
Who will be with you, are you happy to have a student midwife with you?
What kind of pain relief and coping methods you'd like to use (think about homely remedies like hot water bottles, massage etc too). Anything you'd like to try, anything you'd like to avoid - when it comes to pain relief it's worth checking the effects and side effects for you and baby.
Are there any alternative therapies you'd like to use? Such as hypnotherapy or aromatherapy? If so, who will support you with this? How can the midwife support you with this?
Whether you'd like to use water or not.
Think about 3rd stage of labour (research active vs physiological)
Who will cut the cord - will you want delayed cord clamping (big benefits for baby)
Think about urgent/emergency scenarios - forceps, episiotomy (a cut down below), c-section - what would be your preferences in relation to these? Especially important as there may not be time to discuss any preferences here. E.g. If you go to theatre, do you want skin to skin immediately? Do you want partner there? Do you want delayed cord clamping here?
Skin to skin contact after baby's born - do you want baby dried first or straight onto you? Could midwives weigh baby earlier rather than later so not to disturb skin to skin? Can midwife do top to toe baby check while baby skin to skin? Same goes for vitamin k?
Vitamin K. Are you happy for baby to have it, if so, oral drops or injection
Do you want to keep your placenta?
All useful things that the midwife can read and understand quickly without trying to explain all in detail between contractions.
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