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writing a birth plan - where shall I start?

(28 Posts)
MrsMcJnr Thu 20-Sep-07 15:30:51

I've decided that I want to get this started as I have a consultant's appointment next week and know that this will be on the agenda - anyone know of any good templates or have any good tips? thanks smile

mammaduck Thu 20-Sep-07 15:32:42

look in the back of your purple pregnancy book your midwife should have given you. There is a template there which you can follow.

Be warned though that while it is worth having a birth plan - they often go totally out of the window.

I planned an 'active birth' but ended up being induced (i.e. attached to a drip - not very mobile) and then an emergency C-section (totally passive birth!)

Good luck btw. Sorry - don't want to put you off!

tasja Thu 20-Sep-07 15:33:51

Don't bother with a birthplan, all of that goes out the window when you are actually in labour.

SuperMonkey Thu 20-Sep-07 15:34:44

Sorry but I have to agree - I spent ages on mine and no one even read it when labour came.

IcingOnTheCake Thu 20-Sep-07 15:36:01

I didn't realise people actually did those? I didn't bother because all i took into that hospital with me was my hospital bag and an open mind.

MrsMcJnr Thu 20-Sep-07 15:53:24

Thanks ladies but I’d feel much better if I’ve read about things and thought about it – I have a condition which makes an epidural an issue and a section a big issue for me so I need to try and avoid both if at all possible. I totally understand that it is more of a wish list but I just want to understand the options and the decisions I can make if all goes to plan, I feel less afraid if I’ve read lots smile

Mammaduck but I don’t have a purple pregnancy book – I’m in Scotland, maybe that’s why?

HelloMama Thu 20-Sep-07 16:03:30

I wrote a birth plan last time, using Birth and found that not only did my midwife read it, but followed it almost to the letter (it was quiet on the NHS labour ward that day, and she had a student too, so maybe why?). The website it American, so there are quite a few sections not relevant (i.e. circumcision at birth, yes or no?!) but you can check the boxes, it will create your plan for you, and then you can cut and paste it into Word and add on anything else you like. I found it useful as a guide anyway as I had no idea where to start!

SlightlyMadSweden Thu 20-Sep-07 16:12:23

I would answer the following Qs

who do you want present as a birth partner?
what medics do you (or not) want present (e.g. students)?
do you want to be active?
what pain relief would you like to use? Whta do you definately not want to use?
Do you want to find out sex yourself?
Do you want a natural 3rd stage (i.e. no drugs cut cord after placenta is delivered)?
Do you or DP want to cut cord yourselves?
Do you want your baby to be put straight on your tummy? Do you want him/her cleaning/wrapping first?
Do you want to establish bf straight away (if at all)?
Do you want baby to have VitK? If so Oral of IM?

Don't just think about labour but the hours before and after the birth too.

Klaw Thu 20-Sep-07 18:48:01

I refer to this one a lot, and i know it's from a VBAC site but the vast majority of it is relevant to anyone, it gives a list of various options whic you can keep or delete on all sorts of options which you may come across in labour, hope you find it useful.

lulumama Thu 20-Sep-07 18:52:17

there might be things that you feel really strongly about, that even if your MW does not read the plan, your birth partner should know them too, so if the MW suggests soemthing that is not in the plan, then they can say otherwise, and point out it is in the plan.


waiting for the cord to stop pulsating before it is cut

discovering the sex yourself

asking for pain relief if you want it rather than havign it offered

preference for SROM rather than ARM

things like that

going with the flow is great, but also so is having a good idea of what you would prefer

sleepfinder Thu 20-Sep-07 20:50:49

Becuase childbirth can be such an unpredictable business when it comes down to it, I'd recommend finding say a maximum of 3 things which are really, really important to you and putting them down. Try not to be disappointed if they don't happen.

A friend of mine was totally comitted to a birth in water. She required an emergency C-section and was very bitter about it.

The most important thing is that the baby comes out safely and well and that you have a chance to rest and recover.

My list included who I wanted the baby given to first, my breastfeeding preferences and i think that was it. Of course I had to practically SHOUT them out at the end, but they got it right (eventually).

gingercurl Thu 20-Sep-07 21:01:49

I wrote a birth plan, but like other posters, mine went completely out the window when I had to be induced. I ended up having an epidural, an episiostomy and ventouse delivery. I found that actually writing the plan had not been a waste of time though because it had made me consider all the options regarding pain relief, vitK, etc, so when it all happened, I felt I could make informed decisions.

MrsMcJnr Fri 21-Sep-07 10:35:42

Thanks all of you, this is all great.

Lulumama - "preference for SROM rather than ARM!" sorry, blush what does that mean?

SlightlyMadSweden Fri 21-Sep-07 10:38:00

Spontaneous/Artificial Rupture of Membranes

I.e. breaking of waters naturally or with the crochet hook

MrsMcJnr Fri 21-Sep-07 12:02:13

ah thanks smile

lulumama Fri 21-Sep-07 12:10:10

sorry, was typing in a rush grin

mixedmama Fri 21-Sep-07 13:43:46


I just try to think about what is important to me. Use short succinct sentences that can be easily referred to.

I try to keep mine as flexible as possible. I use words like enourage, help me to do.... blah blah. Have only catergorically said NO to pethidine / diamorphine as I know this was awful for me last time, but tried to prefer some things to others rather than saying catergorically this is what I want.

Completely agree that DH needs to have a clear understanding of everything so that you can feel he will speak up on your behlaf.

really helpful to have the other things mentioned such as baby being given straight to you / cleaned up first etc.

I also wrote a few bullet points about if there was a need for CS or instrumental delivery as I still want to feel as in control as possible in these circumstances.

MrsMcJnr Sun 23-Sep-07 16:24:06

Thanks smile

NKF Sun 23-Sep-07 16:25:11

Oh come on. Everyone writes a birthplan the first time. We have the time and it's fun.

MrsMcJnr Sun 23-Sep-07 17:36:41

grin also a bit scary though! Do you think I can just write "don't come near me with anything sharp" smile

BroccoliSpears Sun 23-Sep-07 17:47:01

I wrote a lovely birth plan, but unfortunately dd hadn't read it and we did things her way instead wink

ezridax Sun 23-Sep-07 17:48:48

Get your husband to memorise the most important part so that if you are a little out of it he can make sure your plan is followed.
Just remember that this best case scenario and things may change - try not to get too hung up if they do, and enjoy!

MrsMcJnr Tue 25-Sep-07 18:08:26

Ladies - I read on one of the recommended plans something about eye medication for the baby, can anyone elaborate for me or is that not a UK thing? thanks smile

lulumama Tue 25-Sep-07 18:11:27

US thing, afaik....

you will be offered vit k for your baby, which is usually given via injection.. but you will be asked permission first..

apart from that, if baby is fine,then nothing else needed after birth

Klaw Tue 25-Sep-07 23:13:56


The Americans put silver nitrate on babies eyes so that they don't get affected by gonorrhea (sp). Which is extremely presumptious of the mother's sexual habits shock and very thoughtless about the affect it has on the baby (I believe it might sting) and will interfere with bonding as mum and baby are unable to gaze at each other. Thankfully in the UK we are more respectful of our mums and kinder to our babies!

You can opt for Vit K to be given orally by drops rather than by injection.

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