Birth plan(14 Posts)
Hi everyone , just wondered how many of you had a birth plan written out? I'm 36 weeks pregnant and have thought about my birth plan but I don't really know what to include in it and also don't want to get too set on one as I know things can change
I'd start putting pen to paper now tbh as things can pretty much happen from now onwards ... although if it's your first don't be surprised if you go over your due date - due dates are really only an educated guess!
You can always make changes to your plan later if you want to. Start with the things you feel most strongly about and then work from there.
I didn’t have one with my first, mainly because I had no idea what to put and I thought it was pointless as ‘anything could happen’ I was also under the impression that it probably wouldn’t get read either.
I had a vague idea that I would like to try and labour in the birthing pool, and only wanted gas an air (birthing centre so epidural wouldn’t have been an option anyway) but was happy to see how I got on.
In the event the midwives never bothered asking about either the birthing pool or pain relief and was pretty much left to my own devices for the 4 hours I was at the birthing centre. By the time I asked about either I was crowning (I’m pretty sure they forgot about me despite being the only patient there at the time!) and it was too late for the pool and I only got gas and air for the last 20 minutes of giving birth. It was a very straightforward birth but I definitely would have preferred to have been in the pool and had pain relief at bit sooner!
This time round I’m writing it down and giving DP very clear instructions that the pool is to be filled as soon as I get there
Basically you don’t have to be really prescriptive but if you have any vague preferences put them down and make sure your birthing partner is aware of them and willing to advocate for you.
I didn't do one for ds1 because he was born at 37 weeks, I was admitted at 36 weeks and hadn't thought about it by then. This time I started it at 35 weeks but only completed it before I was admitted again at 39ish weeks, I then gave it to a midwife who put it in my file and all relevant staff read it. It's also good to think of it as preferences rather than a plan. I had a csection again this time so all my vbac stuff could've been ignored but the theatre staff diligently read it, and all of my section preferences were met.
Birth plan is only really useful for the yes/no stuff, like sudemetrin (sp?) and vitamin k. They will ask for your consent but it's definitely useful to have written down and have the conversation with your birthing partner. My birth plan was very flexible, as you don't really have control over what can happen. The only thing I wanted that I got was only having gas and air although I was asking for an epidural and just didn't have time.
I didn't do one first time as was went into labour at 35+5. I can't be arsed this time, I'll just go with the flow and see what I want to do at the time.
I didn't have one 1st time and won't have one this time. Midwife already asked about vit K etc anyway.
My suggestion would be to try not to think of a birth plan as 'the plan for how things could go that I don't want to get too attached to because what if it doesn't work out?' That's not the point of a birth plan. It's a care plan you establish with your midwives or doctors. It lays out your care needs and gives them information they need to manage your care so they don't have to bother you to ask 10,000 questions when you're in labour. It can also help your partner to make decisions if, god forbid, you weren't well enough to make those decisions for yourself.
I hate being interrupted in labour. I like to be left alone to get on with it. So I put everything in my birth plan about how I would be doing things and any specific wishes I had for my care, like what things I knew would help me for the midwives to do, my pain relief plans, how I wanted the 3rd stage managed, vitamin K, the fact that we didn't know what we were having and wanted to look ourselves (rather than having it be announced to us), what sort of breastfeeding support I wanted after, etc. It was incredibly helpful to have all that written down. The midwives just sat and read it quietly and then left me to it. They only interrupted me when they needed to clarify anything and were really respectful of our wishes. It made for a lovely, relaxing birth.
It's not a guarantee that things will 'go to plan' but that's not why you write one. Actually, I think what's most important to include is what you want done in terms of your care if things don't go to plan. I had a home birth with my first, but I spent a lot of time being very detailed about my wishes if I needed to transfer into hospital and c-section plans if I needed one. That way I could make a difficult situation as relaxed and stress-free as possible. It made a huge difference I think and I could also just get on with it and not be thinking in the moment about things I needed to remember to mention to them. The midwives shared it amongst the team at their staff meeting when I was 36 weeks so everyone knew me and knew what to expect if they were on call for me.
I personally used the NHS birth plan page as a guide and then just added in anything extra that mattered to me, like about not wanting to be told the sex, breastfeeding support, the relaxation techniques I would be using, etc.
Have a vague idea of what you want to happen, be fully prepared to throw it all out of the window.
I wanted full drug intervention and to be numb from head to toe... I've not had time for even paracetamol to kick in!
Also if in doubt, just ask what is medically the best and safest practice for me and the baby and we'll go with that.
First time around I followed some online template and wrote it all out. Total waste of time and set my expectations very high as to how my birth would go.
This time I have no intention of writing a plan. It’s just going to say, yes please to vit K, no thanks to the injection to deliver the placenta (unless I’ve already had loads of interventions), is like delayed cord clamping and no pethadine please. I don’t think they actually read or take any notice of what you write so my advice is to keep it simple and to brief your birth partner very well what you’d like in terms of pain relief etc as they’ll be your most useful person in helping you get what you want.
I have 2 things in my birth plan.
1) anti emetics asap and 2) my mother isn't allowed anywhere near me
The midwife discussed vitamin k so that's in my notes already
I was lucky that my mum is a midwife (although was NOT my birth partner! ) so could talk it through with her, then I also talked it through with my own midwife at one of my appointments. I very much took it as preferences, rather than being written in stone, but found that the midwives in the hosp paid very close attention to it, even reminding me of things I'd written at times, and the midwife also told the doctor that I'd requested no forceps, when I was at the point where I'd have agreed to anything just to get the baby out!
I also found it a useful process in terms of the fact that I learned terms that I wasn't sure of, and considered possibilities that I hadn't considered before, iykwim? Plus I discussed it all with my partner, so he had a clearer idea what would be happening and what I wanted.
Thank you everyone for all your replies , was very helpful reading all of your advice and experiences
Didn't have a birth plan at all for first baby as I had no idea how labour would be for me
Second time I am going to be very clear that if possible, I want to labour on all fours or squatting and NOT on my back!
That is literally my only request!!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.