You definitely need a birth plan if you are planning a natural birth, a planned Cesarean, or if there are particular things you know you want that may not be the norm for your birthplace. You need to make it clear to the staff and you need to talk about it with your doctor or midwife in advance.
Have you ever heard the acronym K.I.S.S.? Keep it simple sweetheart!
You need a birth plan to give to the busy hospital or birth center staff. The nursing staff is usually very busy taking care of more than one laboring mom at a time. You definitely need a birth plan if you are planning a natural birth, or if there are particular things you know you want that may not be the norm for your birthplace. You need to make it clear to the staff and you need to talk about it with your doctor or midwife in advance.
Here are some important points to remember:
You birth plan is just that…A PLAN. The definition of a plan, in this case, is a well thought out, and written program or procedure in order to achieve a particular outcome.
BUT…a birth plan isn’t written in stone, nor is it a binding legal document.
And you can count on one thing, and one thing only, when it comes to labor and birth-THE UNEXPECTED!
So envision your intention and goals for your ideal birth, write them down, hope for the best, but plan to be flexible. If things don’t go as planned, don’t abandon the entire birth plan, just make whatever adjustments you need to get back on the road to your goals.
Make sure you have at least three copies of your birth plan:
1. One copy signed by your doctor and placed in your file at the office
2. Another signed copy to take with you when you pre-register at your hospital or birth center
3. Another signed copy to hand to your care providers when you arrive at your birth place in case they misplaced the one you gave when you pre-registered. Feel free to bring more copies of your birth plan to hand out in case there is a staff change while you are still in labor.
Keep in mind these categories in your birth plan:
· Comfort techniques
· Pain management
· People present
· Positions for 1st stage Fetal monitoring
· Interventions: ie: medications for pain relief, augmentation of labor,
· Whether you want to continue to eat and drink
· Music playing or not
· Cervical checks
· Positions for second stage
· Care of perineum
· Cord cutting
· Placenta birth
· Cesarean section
· Contact with baby and after care
There are many resources on line for birth plans. Just make sure to start writing your birth plan by the beginning of your 7th month. You should have already started a childbirth class by then. If you haven’t it is NEVER too late to start. Good luck and have a wonderful, joyful birth day!