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Birth plan basics(37 Posts)
Hi, first pregnancy and have a basic birth plan question. When do you start putting one together? Is it something discussed at midwife appointments? If so when? Did you find that the hospital took the time to read them?
Wrote mine sat with contractions (was in and out of threatened labour for a week and a half)... no one discussed it with me - I just wrote a list of things I was bricking it about in the light of a previous crap delivery.
Hospital actually (I wasn't expecting them to take it seriously) were incredibly respectful of it all - mind you none of it was of the "I want whale music and candle light and a choir singing as the baby emerges" level stuff... it was things like warning them of completely random things I knew would trigger flashbacks, a request to be very careful with spinal blocks and pulling my legs too far apart as I'd had fucking awful SPD (they handled my poor wrecked pelvis like it was made of glass when they had to numb me up for a manual removal), and one comment about please for the love of god tell me what sex the baby is this time as last time they whipped her off to NICU and no one bothered to tell me it was a she!
Just write what is and isnt important to you. I had the following on.mine:
*only dh as my birthing partner
*dh to tell.me the gender of the baby
*only intervene if necessary
*dont have me lay on my back being monitored all day
*explain everything to us in detail so we know exactly whats going on at every stage
And a couple of other things I.cant remember. I then highlighted points 3 & 6 of above as if all else I wanted those stuck to.
My.MW read and followed my.notes to the letter, especially the highlighted.ones. I ended up in surgery about to have CS but had forceps instead and all those.docs.and.MWs around could hear her instructing everyone.not.to let slip what gender baby was as DH needed to do that.
I would keep your plan very very simple and keep an open mind. Do not have your heart set on a particular thing in case it doesn't happen. I desperately wanted a water birth and couldn't have one in the end. I wax so disappointed.
It's really important hour birth partner knows what you want so they can't tell/remind the midwives. Chances are they won't all see your written down plan, but your partner can tell each midwife as necessary.
My birth plan was similar to Mortified. Concentrate on the things that will really, really matter to you. I've seen birth plans which include the music to be played during the event and what is to be worn whilst in the birthing pool! Being very specific about what you want can easily lead to disappointment. This time my plan will basically be tell us everything, the less drugs the better, I'd prefer not to be on my back at any point, in the event of me not being able to make decisions refer to DH.
Mine is more a 'DON'T ...' list of things that will completely freak me out and bring on a meltdown (I have AS). Eg:
- Don't touch me unless it's essential and comes with advance warning.
- Don't talk to me unless it's essential and then be blunt and to the point as I won't be able to filter out what is important.
Beyond the essential list of DON'Ts, they can pretty much do as they see fit.
My birth plan consisted of:
Anything else I was open to
Mine was done at 34 weeks with DD, with a midwife. Think it just said things like "water birth pls" and yes to anti-K injection, don't think there was anything else (was booked in at a birth centre so pain relief was relatively limited as a topic).
This time with DD2 will probably have more info based on things I've learned about since (eg will ask for the cord to not be cut for 2 mins at least), but it's more of a wish list, in some circumstances things aren't in your control anyway.
I did mine around the 12 week mark, and had the in a folder for it. A few of my main ones were:
*If boys, no circumcision wanted.
*Baby to remain with mother at all times - except medical reasons etc.
*Cord to be cut by father.
*Baby given straight to me before cleaning and weighing.
*The minimum amount of doctor/nurses in room.
*DH birthing partner only.
*Water birth or in knelt position. On back as a last resort.
*Do not touch me during contractions and strapped constantly to machines.
*No intervention i.e forceps unless absolutely necessary.
I had a few pages and went into loads of detail. Haha.
Also another big one was
*No medication - even if I beg. I want an all natural birth.
I don't think anyone even looked at my birth plan in the end, so don't set your heart on anything and be prepared to be flexible. You might not end up with a sniff of a water birth, let alone have the right music playing. And being hooked up to monitoring is good if there is a potential problem - it flagged up that my DS was in distress and a quick EMCS later he was resuscitated and fine. Had I been adamant about no monitoring, things might have been different.
You will be asked if you want baby to have the vitamin k injection so think about that beforehand.
I don't have a birth plan this time & didn't for DS either. I have long accepted that these things are often beyond our control & have let go of the concept of being in control. But then I'm having a high-risk pregnancy & have a very different perspective.
My motto is "baby out safely". And DP to find out what "variety" we've got. Beyond that, nothing.
I think I was given the form for the birth plan at my booking appointment and left to fill it in as and when.
I only had 3 things on it for DS1 and it still didn't go to plan:
1) Be on my feet as long as possible (couldn't manage it, my legs "went" quite early on in the induction and I couldn't stand, let alone walk)
2) Be allowed to use my hypnobirthing CD and breathing - couldn't remember it or bother myself to put the CD Player on.
3) Have baby cleaned up before he was plonked on me - this did happen.
For DS2, I wanted things to go as well as they had for DS1 - so minimal intervention. Ha.
1) No spinal/epidural - missed this by the skin of my teeth as DS2 got stuck on the anterior lip and they were just putting me on my back to ultrasound him to find out where he was before taking me to theatre when he dropped clear of the obstruction and shot out.
2) No syntocin drip - failed in this because I had polyhydramnios and unstable lie, so the drip was required to bring on contractions to force DS2 to stay put after he'd been turned
3) No ECV (turning baby in utero) - but it was done under close supervision with theatre right next door if anything went wrong - and it was either ECV or CS, so I chose ECV to start with.
4) no early induction without REALLY good reason - they wanted to induce me at 38w (DS1 had been induced at 42w) but I hung out until 39w, and DS2 was born at 39+3. Good reason was my age and risk of placental disintegration.
Still very lucky that things went as well as they did for me, I have to say.
We had planned a home birth so mine was very short -vit k, natural 3rd stage etc. I ended up in theatre with forceps. BUT everyone took one look at the first line that said "we are hoping for a home birth" and left me alone as much as possible. I'm glad I did it as it set the tone for everything and meant they didn't have to keep asking me about stuff. Good luck!
My birthing plan wasn't put to work during PG1 as he was unplanned home birth, PG2 was a home birth but most of birth plan was rearranged to suit that. PG3 twins birth plan was followed through to the letter at the private hospital. V. Impressed.
I started making a list of preferences as soon as I started reading up on the process, as I found it easier to write things as I went so I didn't forget. I don't think it matters when you start - its up to you, whatever works best. You might not want to do one at all. There are some useful templates online that could help. I'd advise calling it 'birth preferences' rather than 'birth plan' though. It's a small thing but it has made me think differently about what to expect...ie baby could have a very different idea on the day and my lovely 'plan' might be a complete shambles!
I could never see the point - it was all new to me so how could I possibly know what I wanted?
I had 3 children in 3 different hospitals, 3 completely natural births and not a single birth plan. I just discussed it as I went along.
It isn't like planning other events- the baby hasn't read it and it may be totally unexpected. If you have set ideas then you can be disappointed.
DS had a birth plan so detailed that even the community midwife asked my sources for some info! I even specified the type of cut to be used for an epistiotomy.
He arrived in 7.5 hours, gas and air, water birth, just as planned.
Friend with first baby had similar plans but the baby would have died without major intervention. She had to have major repairs in theatre.
DD had no birth plan as I told the midwife it would be what it would be. She arrived in 5.5 hours, gas and air.
The moral? Like Nike, just do it!
Just write your plan in good time
We did Hypnobirthing with pfb and we wrote the plan with her and typed it up on different coloured paper (so it was easy to find in the pack) and laminated it (in case it got gunk on it!)
Yes they do read it, and they certainly should too. Write it but also be realistic that things may have to change.
I put mine together slowly from about 5months onwards - it was written for a home birth but we ended up in hospital as DS came early.
The midwife did read it, and had no need to discuss anything further with us as I had a pretty straightforward birth in the end.
But bloody hell, re-reading it now it looks a bit PFB! I worded it badly.
It wasn't a rigid plan tho, more like a list of preferences:
The only thing I was 100% sure I didn't want was Pethidine (several anaesthetist friends advised against it's use)
Explain procedures to DH
Not breaking my waters artificially
Wanting to move around during labour
Baby to go straight on my chest
DH to cut cord after it stopped pulsing.
Plus a loads of other paragraphs of guff - I wrote it in a very officey fashion, it didn't need all that long-windedness.
Next time around will be so much simpler!
I didn't write one. I was in slow labour for a week before I went into proper labour. My sweep caused me to bleed so I went to hospital to be assessed and they found my blood pressure to be dangerously high. All of a sudden I was booked in for an induction and strapped to machines being monitored. I went into natural labour before they could induce me but my baby got into distress and I was warned I might have to have a C-Section. I took the midwife's advice and had an epidural as I wasn't dilating and they needed to intervene, firstly with a hormone to try and get me dilating, and then possibly a c-sec if it didnt work. My contractions had been coming every minute for about 4 hours and I was strapped to a bed being monitored so couldn't move, the epidural was a lifesaver. However, I didn't want to not feel anything at all so I asked for a low dose and only topped up every hour. I could still move my legs and feel my contractions. My midwife guided me through everything and I basically did as I was told. Thanks to her, I avoided a C-Section and gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby girl. During the final stages my midwife turned off the main lights and just had wall lights on so it was lovely and dark. She asked if we knew the sex and if daddy wanted to tell me (he did - that was beyond wonderful) and if he wanted to cut the cord, which he did.
I did not know what to expect with labour. I wanted a natural water birth, my complications meant that this was not possible. I just went with the flow and loved my labour experience. I agree with the posters above who say that you should highlight what you do not want, but the rest you can communicate verbally. I very much advise going with the flow as an approach for a first time mum. Research everything before hand, have an idea of what you want, but make your decisions on the day. Good luck, it is brilliant!
The midwife always discussed it with me at every appointment, and asked if there was anything I wanted in it.
After 39 weeks, the only thing was 'I want my partner there'. That was it.
She did ask me a couple of other things during labour that could've gone in it, like did I want the baby to have a vitamin K injection, did I want an injection to help speed up the delivery of the placenta etc.
I decided not to write a very detailed plan because I know that birth is unpredictable and I did not want to be dissapointed if the birth didn't match my 'plan'. I know that women can feel like they have 'failed' if they don't have the natural, drug-free birth they had in their plan. I decided not to have any expectations of what would or wouldn't happen so I would never feel like I failed.
If you definitely DON'T want something (like vaginal examinations) I think it's important to put it in there.
Im 36 weeks with first baby & I asked my midwife on Thursday If I should do one!
Im not sure what to put really, It wont be much.
I just want to get in & get home asap.
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