7.13.2012

My Birth Plan

Let me start this off by saying that the idea of a birth "plan" (to me) is more of a wish list than an actual plan.  The only true "plan" is to get the baby out safely... everything else is just details.  That said, every expectant mama has certain thoughts and hopes with regard to how their ideal birthing experience (pre, during and post delivery) would take place.  After much thought and discussion with my OB, I decided to put some of my wants/wishes in writing in the form of a birth plan.  Luckily, the hospital I plan to deliver at is very much into family bonding so it was not necessary for me to include many of my desires (rooming in, procedures in room, husband remains in room) for post-delivery.

The entire "plan", of course is subject to change depending on the condition of mama and/or baby and I think it's important to understand, for anyone writing a birth plan, that the "plan" can go flying out the window in the blink of an eye... but as long as baby and mama are healthy, that's what truly matters.

It is also important, if writing a birth plan, to try to think about the "what-ifs" and alternate scenarios (for example... many mamas planning on a natural delivery do not give second thought to a c-section... but emergencies happen and it's nice to have given it some thought ahead of time.  Your wishes may or may not be able to be accommodated, but if you don't have anything thought out ahead... you stand no chance of seeing your wishes carried through.)  Remember... it never hurts to ask, but in the heat of the moment you may not think to ask.  Having things written out ahead of time will help communicate your desires to your medical team.

Without further ado, here is my ideal birth "plan"... I guess we'll see in a few weeks whether or not this plan works out.

Ideally, I would like to have a medication free, natural birth.  I realize that this may not be possible and am willing to accept any medical intervention necessary to ensure the safe delivery of my baby- My husband and I would like to be part of the decision making process as much as possible.  

Below are a few requests that I would like, if at all possible, to be accommodated:

-          Movement:
o   I would prefer to be able to walk, change positions, move, bounce on a ball, etc. for as long as possible.
o    I would prefer not to be confined to the bed until/unless absolutely necessary.

-          Monitoring:
o   I would prefer intermittent monitoring (vs continuous).  I would like to be able to get in/out of shower or bath, walk the halls, change positions, bounce on a ball, etc.
o   I would like to avoid an internal monitor, if possible, but understand this may be medically necessary dependent on circumstances.

-          Medication:
o   I would prefer to attempt a medication-free labor and birth.  However, I trust my medical team and if they feel it is in my/baby’s best interest (ex. delayed progress and expected long labor), I welcome suggestions for pain meds and/or epidural.
o   If medication becomes necessary or suggested, I would prefer to start with medications that will allow me to continue to walk, change positions, etc.

-          Episiotomy:
o   I would prefer to avoid an episiotomy, if at all possible.
o   I have been doing Kegel exercises and perineal massage and would like to continue these during labor.
o   I would like coaching on when to push and when not to push to attempt to avoid a tear.

-          Delivery:
o   I would like coaching on when to push and when not to push.
o   My husband and I have elected to not find out the gender of the baby until birth.  It would mean the world to us if Kevin was the first one to announce “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl”.  Please ensure that he is able to see the gender of the baby immediately after delivery, as I will be anxiously awaiting his announcement.  J

-          After delivery:
o   I would like the baby placed on my chest immediately after delivery.  No need to clean. 
o   I do plan to breast feed and would like to be able to nurse my baby as soon as he/she is ready.

-          Umbilical Cord:
o   I would prefer to do delayed cord clamping/cutting.  I would like to have the cord remain attached until after delivery of the placenta or until the cord stops pulsating.
o   When it is time to cut the cord, my husband, Kevin would like to be the one to cut it.

-          C-Section:
o   I would like to avoid a c-section, if at all possible, but if one becomes necessary,
§  I would like my husband to be present in the room.
§  I would like to remain awake, with the curtain lowered.
§  I would like the baby to be given to Kevin as soon as possible.
§  I would like to see the baby and nurse as soon as possible.