I’d done a lot of reading on writing birth plans. Some couples loved having them because it saved them time rather than having to re-explain preferences to new staff when the nurses did a shift change, and it provided a quick and easy guide for their caregivers to refer to. Others felt like it was a reminder of disappointment when things did not go according to how they had planned.
I decided to write a birth plan, but called it “What we hope for” instead. This title is as much for me as it is for the hospital. I need to keep in mind that although there are things that I want or want to avoid, I need to be open minded and flexible when it comes to labour and delivery. I don’t want to have a strict plan because chances are, that’s just not going to happen. All that matters in the end is that we have a happy and healthy baby at the end of it all.
Here is a copy of our birth plan:
WHAT WE HOPE FOR – Our Birth Plan
[Tasha and M]
Due Date: Sept 2
Doctor – XXXXXX
Personal note: I’d like to give natural birth a go, but am open to medical interventions if needed. The pain medication I am most ok with is Entonox. The ones I would most want to avoid are any that may affect breastfeeding. I’d really like ideas and support for non-medical ways to manage pain. I’d like to know when we’re nearing the “point of no return” for an epidural so I can decide at that time if I think I can make it without one.
- I’d like M to be my main support person, who will stay with me as much as possible
- If needed, my mother may switch off with him to give him a break
- I prefer not to have my labour augmented as long as my baby and I are fine. If needed, I’d like to start with natural methods before going to medication.
- I’d like to spend the first stage of labour walking, sitting up or on a birthing ball, in the tub or in the shower.
- I’d like to eat, drink or have ice chips to stay hydrated and keep my energy up. If possible, I’d prefer not to have an IV.
- I’d like to push squatting or other gravity-helpful positions when I have the urge, not with coaching.
- I would like to use perineal massage, warm compresses and positioning first before performing an episiotomy. I’d rather risk a small tear, but if an episiotomy is necessary, please use local anaesthesia.
- I hope to have a vaginal delivery and would like to try as many options as possible to avoid a c-section.
- I’d like to have baby on my chest, skin to skin, immediately after birth so we can breastfeed, and continue to breastfeed on demand
- M would like to cut the umbilical cord
- Please don’t offer formula or soothers to the baby, I plan to breastfeed exclusively
- M will give baby its first bath
- If needed, M will accompany the baby to the NICU