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I see that you have a birth plan…

Annabelle, the day after her birth.
Clearly happy with the way things went ;)
When talking about birth, the subject of birth plans comes up frequently. Several friends have requested to see mine, so I thought I would post it here.
I have heard very different opinions on birth plans: some think they’re wonderful, others think they’re patronizing. I can definitely say, however, that writing a birth plan and discussing it in advance with my support team was the single most important thing I did in preparing for Annabelle’s birth.

My plan was a bit, well, different as compared to the way most women at the Naval Hospital birth, but it was so well received. I shared it with the doctors during my third trimester, asked their thoughts, and they signed off on it. Talking it over in advance was very helpful, because some of the things I wanted were so different from the ‘standard of care’ and having time to discuss them and explain why I wanted them when the pressure was off made Annabelle’s birth day totally stress-free. Everyone knew where I stood, and knew that the doctors were comfortable with it, so there was no debate. Every person who came into my room introduced themselves by saying, “I’m so and so, and I’ve read your birth plan.” I can’t say enough how glad I am that I wrote and shared it. Anyway, on to the plan!

__________________________

Birth Preferences

First of all, we would like to thank you for being a part of our and our baby’s birthing experience. We are aware that childbirth is unpredictable and every birth is different, therefore some of our preferences may have to change during this important process. We welcome open communication about any necessary changes in our ideal plan that will help to facilitate a safer, more healthy birth.

Early Labor and Transition
  • Dim lights, soft voices, and minimal interruption
  • Only intermittent fetal monitoring
  • Freedom to move, stand, walk, and change position for the laboring mother
  • No IV
  • Minimal cervical exams
  • No artificial rupture or stripping of membranes prior to or during labor
  • No offers of pain relief drugs – we know they are available and will ask if needed
  • Mother will wear her own gown
  • Mother will have water, juice, and broth to maintain energy as needed during labor
  • No episiotomy
Second Stage
  • Mother-directed pushing in any position that is comfortable
  • No episiotomy
  • No use of a bulb-syringe unless there are clear indications that it is necessary
  • No ointment in baby’s eyes
  • Baby placed immediately to mother’s chest and left undisturbed until breastfeeding has been successful
  • Delayed clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord
Third Stage
  • No cord traction or other artificial methods to stimulate birth of the placenta
  • No pitocin
    ____________________
    Did you have a birth plan? How was it received? Would, or will you do things the same way in the future?

2 Responses to I see that you have a birth plan…

  • Annicles says:

    I had a birth plan for number 1 – and planned to give birth in a birthing centre. The plan was written into my ante-natal notes and every professional I came into contact with read them. However, when it came to actually giving birth my body had a very different idea to me about how it should all go! With number 2 and 3 I simply wrote that I wanted as natural as possible with as little intervention as possible and skin to skin as soo as the baby was born. Due to the complications after no. 1 (a haemmorage after the third stage was completed, while I was having a shower) I had no choice but to have an IV line and syntometrine for the third stage for the other 2. The hardest was the first, she was a 2 day labour and ventouse delivery, the others got easier and less stressful each time. They were also, mercifully, intervention free other than the sytometrine.
    Plans are good for helping you and the people attending you to think about what you would ideally like but I would never write a long one again because it was the refusal to have syntometrine that led to the haemorrage. I didn't know that a ventouse delivery meant I should have help with the third stage and no-one registered that a change would be necessary.

  • melissa joanne says:

    Thanks for your comment, Anna. Birth is definitely unpredictable and it's important to be flexible and willing to change plans if necessary. I'm so sorry to hear that you dealt with hemorrhage, but it sounds like you recovered well and went on to make the decisions that were best for you!

  • melissa says:

    Thanks for your comment, Anna. Birth is definitely unpredictable and it's important to be flexible and willing to change plans if necessary. I'm so sorry to hear that you dealt with hemorrhage, but it sounds like you recovered well and went on to make the decisions that were best for you!

  • nerdmafia says:

    your annabelle's day 2 photo is priceless! her head is soooo perfect! adorable. and thanks for sharing your birth plan.

  • melissa joanne says:

    I definitely thought she was pretty perfect on that day, and every day following! Thank you!

  • melissa says:

    I definitely thought she was pretty perfect on that day, and every day following! Thank you!

  • nerdmafia says:

    your annabelle's day 2 photo is priceless! her head is soooo perfect! adorable. and thanks for sharing your birth plan.

  • Annicles says:

    I had a birth plan for number 1 – and planned to give birth in a birthing centre. The plan was written into my ante-natal notes and every professional I came into contact with read them. However, when it came to actually giving birth my body had a very different idea to me about how it should all go! With number 2 and 3 I simply wrote that I wanted as natural as possible with as little intervention as possible and skin to skin as soo as the baby was born. Due to the complications after no. 1 (a haemmorage after the third stage was completed, while I was having a shower) I had no choice but to have an IV line and syntometrine for the third stage for the other 2. The hardest was the first, she was a 2 day labour and ventouse delivery, the others got easier and less stressful each time. They were also, mercifully, intervention free other than the sytometrine.
    Plans are good for helping you and the people attending you to think about what you would ideally like but I would never write a long one again because it was the refusal to have syntometrine that led to the haemorrage. I didn't know that a ventouse delivery meant I should have help with the third stage and no-one registered that a change would be necessary.

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