Pregnancy App Article: "Planning ahead: Your birth plan"

Week 30
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Planning ahead
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Your birth plan
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Like all good stories, your birth plan needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Whether it’s just a few ideas, or a full-length exposition of your hopes and fears, here’s our handy crib sheet to help you formulate your own birth plan.

Beginning – labour
  • Write a sentence or two summarising your approach to the birth, for example: ‘I would like to have a birth with no drugs’; ‘I do not want an epidural’; or ‘I would like a Caesarean’ (obviously you would need to mention this particular one before you are in the labour suite). 
  • Who do you want to be with you? Your partner? Your mum? The helpful lady in the corner shop? And do you mind students witnessing part of your birth or labour?
  • Monitoring: do you want, or would you mind, continual foetal monitoring or would you prefer occasional monitoring with a doppler (a hand-held sensor) or similar?
  • Location: of course home births need to be discussed well in advance, but do you want to try to labour in water?
  • Pain relief: do you feel strongly about certain types of pain relief? Do you want to see if they have a mobile epidural? Do you want gas and air? Have you had problems in the past with any of the drugs used? Do you want to carry on with just a TENS machine for help for as long as possible?
  • Speeding things up: would you like to avoid artificial rupture of the membranes? Or a Pitocin drip?

Middle – birth
  • Birthing positions: what birthing positions do you think you might prefer? What would you like to avoid?
  • Do you want an episiotomy or would you rather avoid one? Would you rather avoid tearing?

End – immediately after the birth
  • Would you like the baby to be delivered straight onto you, or would you prefer the baby to be cleaned up first?
  • Do you want the baby to be wrapped separately, or would you prefer skin-to-skin contact?
  • Who do you want to cut the cord? Do you have any preferences about when the cord is cut? Are you donating cord blood?
  • Do you have strong feelings about the delivery of the placenta? Would you be happy for a managed third stage (an injection to hurry it up), or do you want to try for natural delivery?
  • Feeding: if you are breastfeeding your baby, would you like the midwives to help you with this?
  • Stitches: what pain relief would you like if you need stitches?
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I never wrote it down, it was just in my head... Home birth. Scream lots. Gas and air If needed/possible. Baby born. - It went to plan.
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I had plans of a lovely calm home birth, no drugs, just hypnobirthing and a water pool. In the event I was induced and just went with the flow. I get that a birth plan can be useful if you can't communicate for whatever reason, but I don't think I'll bother making one next time.
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