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Writing a birth plan

(112 Posts)
Izzy82 Sun 10-Aug-14 18:17:04

This is probably a stupid question but I'm 38 weeks pregnant and have no idea how to go about writing a birth plan.
the midwife has never mentioned writing one and my next appointment with her isn't for another fortnight so there is a chance I'll have given birth before then.
So a) where do I write it
B) what do I put on it
C) what do I do with it once it's written
D) does anyone have one I could look at

Thank you

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Tue 12-Aug-14 13:32:35

Squizita- I totally agree with you about a balanced view. I had DC2 and 3 at home. And after a rubbish first birth read Ina May as a way of balancing my feelings about that and putting them in perspective. Not because I believed that all births go smoothly.

Actually what was rubbish about my first birth wasn't forceps (ok, those aren't ideal, but the registrar was kind and compassionate and it was fine). What was hard is that I had a very long and very intense latent stage, and was treated like a silly girl who wasn't coping with minor discomfort (I can confirm from my later, unmedicated birth that the pain I was feeling at that point was as bad as it got. I literally wanted to march back to hospital and tell the patronising "some of us have low pain thresholds" mw that she had been talking bollocks). I had been sold the idea that I could just distract myself through that latent bit. And that, by the time the pain got really bad, I would have pain relief options. To basically be told first "stay at home and stop whining" and then "stay in that room, lie on your back for some monitoring and stop whining" was really tough and I was pretty traumatised afterwards.

So I can imagine how, if you have believed that the whole of birth is going to be find if only you do the prep, it could seriously damage your mental health.

squizita Tue 12-Aug-14 14:13:02

Multiple a slang term used for women who have and strongly advocate a very natural birth. Used nicely, its kudos to them. They're tough women who have done amazingly.

However with a different tone its those women who smugly tell others their births weren't as "good" and what they should/shouldn't do with their bodies. Before the usual MN hands-in-the-air 'these women don't exist' ... Try being lower middle class in posh west London... Plenty such stories/comments for the NHS chav with her medical pregnancy if you wander into the wrong clique of mummies at the wrong time.
But half the time I wonder are they even telling the truth.

Redling Tue 12-Aug-14 14:25:39

penguins I know there are things that we can influence and that DH can be of help to communicate for me. My point was more that as first time parents how are we supposed to know when we are being assertive and when we are needlessly delaying the inevitable and causing more problems? I agree with what you say about the pressure of feeling that I should have 'learned' to give birth by now, that we should always know when something is necessary and when there are other options, but that is a big ask on my DH in what will be a fraught situation even if things went routinely. I don't know how I'll cope with the pain, and I don't know how I'll know or how I'll if something suggested to me isn't necessary as I imagine I'll just want the baby out as soon as possible and will try anything. I just feel pressured sometimes by the 'you know your own body better than a doctor' idea of childbirth.

MultipleMama Tue 12-Aug-14 14:31:40


I do believe in natural births to a point but I wouldn't ever go as far as saying that one is better than the other, or that women should feel less for themselves for not doing it. A mother has no right to judge another on what is best, only the labouring mother knows what's best in her situation. I think people go overboard and start preaching. I think labour can be various spouts of pain but even I don't believe it can be pain-free (not without drugs at least grin).

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Tue 12-Aug-14 14:34:03

Ah, I understand what you meant. I think the BRAINS acronym is quite good for that:

Nothing (i.e what happens if you wait?)

MrsMarigold Tue 12-Aug-14 14:42:16

Mine was literally as follows:

If I call for drugs and an epidural I mean get them fast.
Vitamin K injection for the baby.
If a c-section was necessary do it fast.
Blood transfusion if required.

Someone told me if you want something be insistent and make a big racket so they can't ignore you. Good advice imho.

couldbeanyone Tue 12-Aug-14 14:42:24

Tried to see if I could find mine for you OP, but must have deleted it - it went on the front of my notes and was looked at on admission to the MLU. Everything went a bit wrong and ended up with EMCS...however the birthplan was helpful (a) for me in the run up to consider what might happen and how I might deal with it and (b) because it reinforced some of the things that were very important to me. From memory the main points were:

- No pethidine (I was still offered it but in the sense "it says you don't want it are you sure as you might get some sleep" - didn't accept)
- DH to tell me the sex of the baby (this was kept to and in the EMCS baby was held up for us to see for ourselves)
- Want to use birth pool (got it)
- Help me stay active and upright, minimal exams/touching etc (MLU great at this - then transferred to delivery suite and had epidural)

I guess the thing I would want next time is better explanation of what is happening - e.g. I recall my mum (who was birth partner) being extremely cross that they'd shown me some card with the risks of epidural and asked me to consent mid-contraction...could this not have waited a minute?!

MultipleMama Tue 12-Aug-14 14:43:09

Redling - I understand where you're coming from. During my first time I looked up everything, prepared as much as I could and had this wild birth plan on things that I had no actual experience with. I know I didn't want pai relief but that was due to my choosen lifestyle but despite all my research I was still clueless about everything, so how could DH know what I wanted if I didn't. In the end I had an unassisted birth (BBA). I was terrified not of the birth or the contractions etc but because I had no medical proffession who could tell me what was normal and what wasn't and look out for warning signs. I ended up giving birth to a breech baby in the bath with DH going on the very limited information he researched on homebirth and breech baby. So in that respect, I completely understand the point you're trying to make.

Redling Tue 12-Aug-14 15:00:29

* I ended up giving birth to a breech baby in the bath with DH going on the very limited information he researched on homebirth and breech baby.*

shock well that's a hell of a birth! And I imagine must have been utterly terrifying. I want to just feel relaxed and put myself in the hands of people who'll tell me what to do, but I know that I also need to think for myself and make my own choices... It's difficult! Fingers crossed it will all go well and straightforward and I get what I need when I need it. It's all any of us can hope for.

Topseyt Tue 12-Aug-14 15:41:35

I never wrote any birth plans for any of my three babies. I couldn't see the point of planning out something I knew I could neither predict or control. I am the sort of person who can get rather stressed when any plans I make do not work out, so it was just better to go with the flow.

I am very much with those posters who said simply "live baby" and "live mother", and I am not even a health professional. If I had been pushed to give a birth plan then that is what mine would have been, pretty much word for word.

All of my births were totally different. My first one (long, and a difficult ventouse delivery), was certainly not a means to predict how the birth of my second 3 years later (much faster, near textbook labour/delivery, though some high blood pressure in the run-up). My third delivery was nothing like either of them - waters broke 5 weeks early, baby became distressed and could not tolerate any attempt at artificially inducing labour, so I needed an emergency c-section.

MultipleMama Tue 12-Aug-14 17:15:16

It was terrifying especially as DC1 had breathing trouble and kept needing to be touched/stimulated to take a breath while we waited for ambulance however it was one of the most intense, liberating bonding moments DH and I had ever shared. That's why we had a homebirth with DC2 smile

NickyEds Mon 18-Aug-14 16:21:00

Looking back my birthplan was a bit, well silly. "I would prefer not to have an episiotomy", "I would rather avoid being induced", "I want to be free to move". These are all things that all women want. My next one will be shorter and much more specific;
- If I have to be induced on a synto drip I want an epidural beforehand.
- I want a cs before forceps.
- I don't want to go more than an hour without seeing a mw.
-In the late stages it might look like I've gone "into myself" and want quiet.I don't I'm terrified and need you to talk to me.
It's also worth thinking about what you're really like. I sort of got sold the MLU and very limited mw involvement but in reality I wanted to be told how things were going and hated going a long time without seeing my mw.

Squizita- I know the women you're referring to. I spoke to a lady who had had a "textbook NCT" delivery- waterbirth, no drugs, no interventions, no tearing- and said that she'd had that birth because she'd had her heart set on it and was very strong willed hmm. My waters broke and were bloody so I had to labour in hospital. After 24 hours I'd got to contraction every 5-6 minutes but only 4 cm so had to go on a drip to be induced. I've been told that if I'd been "more active, relaxed and positive" during the early phase the drip wouldn't have been necessary. Again-rubbish!!

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