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unhelpful bl**dy phonecall!

(14 Posts)
lightsandshapes Sat 23-Jul-11 15:50:25

I have just called hosp / midwife unit to ask bout antenatal classes. Whilst I was on the phone I happened to ask 'when should I write my birthplan?' whoever I was speaking to said 'at 36 weeks, the midwife will come to your house - but it all goes out of the window anyway'.

Am I right to feel a bit (ok very) annotyed by this flippant remark? 'm aware it's good to stay flexible, but I want a home water birth and I'm pissed off and a bit scared in case that was one of the midwives I'll be having who is so disregarding of people's wishes.... staring to think an independent modwif might be better now! The others I've met so far wll 2 out of 3) seem great angry confused

LisMcA Sat 23-Jul-11 16:00:03

Your birth plan is a bit like that though. You have an idea in you head of how you will have natural, non medicated, minimal intervention birth, but when reality strikes, you realise that you pain threshold may not be what you thought it was or there are other issues that need to be taken into account.

I wasn't planning a HB, but I wrote a birth plan that read like a miliatary operation. I ended up being induced at 40+10, when that didn't work I ended up with a CS at 40+14. And it wasn't as horrific as I had expected.

I think what the MW was meaning was by all means write what you want it to go like, but babies are unpredictable so you should be prepared for plans to change if need be. MWs generally don;t disregard peoples wishes and I'm sure you wouldn;t ignore the advice of a professional if you or the baby was at risk just to follow your birth plan.

Good luck with it all, the best bit is the snuggles afterward smile

DaphneHeartsFred Sat 23-Jul-11 16:06:38

For example :

My Birth Plan stated that I WOULD NOT BE GIVING BIRTH ON MY BACK. Oh no, I'd read all the books on how mysoginistic it was... blah... blah...

DS was back-to-back and I was kicking midwives who tried to move me off my back!

Everything may go out the window, but it won't be the midwives' decision.

But once you have your little baby, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you will so not give a shit about any of it!

lightsandshapes Sat 23-Jul-11 16:11:09

I know what you're saying Daphne and LisaM - but is there any point in writing one then?

LisMcA Sat 23-Jul-11 16:20:00

Yes, def write one, it gives the MW at least a guide to how you want to do things. Even if its simple, ie Home Birth, in pool in dining room, G&A if asked for, Adele songs on iPod, DH to cut cord and immediate skin to skin to extablish BFing. Thats all it needs to be ifyou want. Mine had all sorts because I had SPD, thngs like how far I could oblique my legs for internals, my desire for now stirrups AT ALL, the medication I'd been taking, doses and frequency, how I didn't want continual monitoring, like Daphne not on my back to deliver (Ina May Gaskin has a lot to answer for!!).

It's YOUR birth plan, put in it what ever you want, but always bare in mind it may all go out the window as soon at that first contraction hits.

piprabbit Sat 23-Jul-11 16:35:19

When you write your birth plan, don't write about your ideal, perfect birth.

Take it as a chance for you and your birth partner to talk about possible scenarios (even one's that you hope to avoid) and to document what your preferences. For example - You can put things like - " I would like the baby to be handed to me for first feed and skin-to-skin contact. In the event that I cannot do this, my DH should hold the baby and give skin-to-skin contact". You can also write down your choices about things like Vitamin K injection, the way you want 3rd stage to be managed and so on.

Try not to be dogmatic, saying that X will, or will not, happen. Remember that the birth plan is a bit like a one-sided conversation - it documents your ideas and preferences when you don't have all the information about your particular situation - when the MW joins in with the other side of the conversation, you may find that you want the script to change a little.
Use language that shows you are flexible and open for discussion as the situation evolves. That way you are less likely to feel that you have failed if your actual birth is very different from your ideal.

milkyways Sat 23-Jul-11 16:54:11

Maybe it wasn't the best thing to say to a first time mother. My birthplan for my DD had a whole 2 paragraphs stating how I hate needles and I didn't want any kind of intravenous intervention and wrote a whole list of drugs that I didn't want to be injected with. I then wrote a long paragraph about how I wanted an active birth, and I wanted to walk for as long as possible and use my TENS machine to help alleviate pain.

It happened that I was induced, so the active birth plan went out the window as I had an oxytocin drip attached to my hand (for which they obviously put a needle in me) and was connected to about 3 different machines measuring my hb, baby's hb and, contractions

Then, as I was in labour for so long, the mw suggested I have an epidural as I wasn't handling the pain very well. I literally screamed to have the epidural as soon as possible. So I was injected a few times with a local anaesthetic in my back, and then the big needle went it for the epidural.

So really, birth plans are a guide for what you would like and what your fears are. For example, as my MW knew I had needle fear, she did things like put emla cream on the areas to be injected so I felt no pain. She held my hand and reassured me whilst I was injected and then she covered up the cannula with a bandage so I didn't have to look at it.

Definitely write a birth plan - it may not go to plan, but the mw will know how to handle your fears or wishes and give you the right reassurance if things don't go to plan.

BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 23-Jul-11 16:58:26

I didn't write one for this very reason. My idea in my head was: I will try and manage without pain relief and if I manage great, if I don't oh well. I will have the injection for third stage and baby will have vitamin K. If something goes wrong after baby is born then DH should go with baby and not me.

This basically allowed me to be very flexible. I had two labours one with pain relief the other without but both following this vague plan.

RockChick1984 Sat 23-Jul-11 17:02:55

My birth plan stated that I hoped for specific things, rather than being too rigid. For example, I had put that I wanted to try and use no pain medication, and that I hoped to have a water birth. As it was, the only pool at my hospital was in use when I went into labour so that part went straight out the window! I had also put that I didn't want an episiotomy and would prefer to tear, but I had a fairly quick labour and was told that if they left me to tear it was going to be a major tear, so recommended a cut which I agreed to. As long as you see it as a guide for an ideal situation then a birth plan is fantastic and makes you feel more in control, however if you see it as an instruction manual for your labour you are setting yourself up to be disappointed!

lightsandshapes Sat 23-Jul-11 17:13:55

Thanks folks, you've made feel better about her comments and good tip about using flexible language!

allthefires Sat 23-Jul-11 17:19:42

I think it was a bit flippant but maybe she meant it kindly.

Wouldn't let it stand in way if your relationship.

My birth plan was very much would prefer to/prefer not to.
Skin to skin yes. Vit k yes. Placenta jab- whatever the midwife advises at time.

Now I my second birth plan will be very much the same except if this baby is back to back get me a birthing ball asap and when I say I want an epidural don't fob me off!

LadyOfTheManor Sat 23-Jul-11 18:49:33

Was it a midwife who said that or a receptionist?

edwinbear Sun 24-Jul-11 13:00:56

I didn't bother with a birth plan for DS and don't intend writing on for DC2 either. I felt that I would rather see how I got on as things progressed as I really didn't know what to expect. As an obstetrician pointed out to me once, 'you are there when giving birth, so if there is anything you do/don't want to happen you can just say at the time' smile and he was right.

Bartimaeus Sun 24-Jul-11 17:48:19

I'm always a bit hmm about birth plans, at least written ones. But then again I'm giving birth in France and no one has once mentionned the idea!

Instead they explained how things will happen ie. vaginal birth you can choose an epidural or not, you can be on your side or your back, DH can cut the cord if he wants, you will be given the baby for about 15 minutes, then baby will be taken away (still in same room) for cleaning, vit K, tests etc. then taken out of the room to be weighed. DH should stay with the baby at all times (they specifically said he should hold the baby's hand during the tests and talk to him to reassure him) and bring baby back to me to tell me the weight grin at which point you will breastfeed baby for first time (if you plan on breastfeeding).

Most of that I'm ok with, I asked a few questions and it seems that some things can be changed but on the whole I'm happy with the standard procedure.

Bascially I think I'll tell DH the couple of things that are important to me but at the end of the day it's my first birth and I don't really have any specific requests. I just want it to be as easy as possible! <naive emoticon>

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