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Birth Plan?
Do you have one?

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#1 BeccaBoo88

Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:26 AM

Hey ladies,

I just hit 30 weeks today, and my app has in its to-do section - 'Write up your birth plan'

I am wondering, has anyone done this yet? Have you done it for a previous pregnancy?
Did you stick to it? What did you include?

I am a little stuck and I LOVE lists and plans so would like to have one, but not sure where to start! I found some templates online, but they don't really suit my needs, so not sure if I need one at all??

#2 BBV

Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

I haven't done one yet but would like to. I'm waiting for our antenatal classes, which will hopefully equip us with an example or a better idea about choices we need to make. My friend shared hers with me which was very useful.

#3 zackcat

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

I haven't done one! Not sure what goes in one or the format really?

I'm doing the CalmBirth course in 2 weeks time, so maybe that will help me know what to put in it.

#4 BeccaBoo88

Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

Ah, good idea BBV! My classes start this afternoon. I am hoping to learn more then!

#5 Emmaleee

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

I probably wont have a very formal birth plan as i knid of think that however it happens it happens- I am however a little scared of the thought of an epidural. We've had 2 of our classes (one was breastfeeding), got another 2 to go. The breastfeeding one was especailly good, it gave me some ideas to start thinking about, things like wether DH wants to cut the cord, who we will want to visit straight after the birth (we'll probably say only grandparents for the first 24-48 hours so we dont get inundated with nieces and nephews etc), who does baby's first bath, skin-on-skin time, etc.... not so much about the actual labour but other things we would like around the time.

#6 lozoodle

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

No I don't have a plan as such, and never have.

I have preferences though.

Just little things such as I'd like to use no drugs
Who I'd like in the room
Who I'd like to cut the cord
At what point I'm willing to have visitors

I tend to go with the flow, but its good to have a few firm ideas in mind of the sort of things you want. I'm hesitant to write a full on plan because things wont always go to plan and I think that can cause unnecessary stress and disapointment.

#7 redmum77

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

I think we have a thread on this from a little while ago - and can I suggest now that we ask for only our due in group members to post? So it doesn't get out of hand! Sounds silly maybe but it can be a point of disagreement.

The birth centre I'm in gave me a birth plan form to fill in, with all the basics and important bits, so that's good. I personally think they are very helpful, even if it's just the process of thinking things through rather than demanding one course of action when there are so many unknowns.

Check out that old thread original.gif

#8 DomesticDivinity

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:05 PM

I'm not doing one.

The only thing that I would write on one would be "give birth to healthy baby" - I just think there is far too much that you cannot control and if you go into it thinking that you can control every aspect you may be setting your self up for failure.

#9 WithSprinkles

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

I wrote one with my OB and found it to be very useful for when it actually came time to give birth. I wrote things like:

Birth partner's name
Would prefer to have limited monitoring if medically possible to allow me to move around.
Would like tp use natural pain relief methods such as bath/shower, massage, different positions. Would prefer to labour without medications but will request gas and/or epidural if needed.
Would prefer to avoid an episidiotomy unless medically indicated for baby or natural tearing is likely to result in a worse outcome.
Would like local anasthetic if stitching is required.
Would prefer for baby to be given directly to me for skin to skin time after birth before weighing etc (if I am not medically stable would prefer partner to be given baby).
If an emergency C-section is necessary, I would prefer a screen to be in place so I cannot see myself being cut open. Would prefer partner to be given baby directly after birth.

ETA: sorry I should have read where this was posted!! Didn't realize it was a DIG

Edited by VanillaIcecream, 14 January 2013 - 12:23 PM.

#10 Cloria

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

I don't have one but I do have a vague plan to make one.

Here's a question - what are people planning on DOING with it when you get to the hospital? Hand it to someone? Stick it somewhere? Read it out to someone?

#11 ~shannon~

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

Definitely planning one at the moment. I am trying for a VBAC water birth using hypnotherapy techniques. I have birthed naturally before, so I know I can do it, and since this will probably be my last child, I am aiming for all of the following:

I want no monitors strapped to me... Doppler will do.
No drugs, no internals unless there is an emergency.
I want no cord clamping until pulse has stopped. DH will cut cord once pulsating has stopped.
I want no IV prep (this was done at my first birth and was unnecessary and painful).
I want my own music, low lighting, food and opportunity to move around at will.
I want no phone calls, only messages relayed to my DH.
I want labour to take its natural course without references to "moving things along".
To be free to use the breathing techniques through all stages of labour, and therefore request minimal noise, staff and interventions.
To be allowed in the bath or shower for pain relief.
To be allowed to birth in the bath if all is normal, recieve baby myself or with DHs assistance, followed by skin on skin with baby.
To assume birthing position of choice.
No injection to bring on placenta birth... breast feed baby to bring this on naturally.
Delay cleaning or rubbing off of vernix on baby.

Fortunately I am going to a hospital that is happy to go along with almost all of these requests. Birthing in the bath may be my biggest hurdle as they don't always have the staff on that are qualified to assist with water birth so we will just have to wait and see.

Cloria, you take it with you to appointments leading up to the birth, so you can discuss everything fully with your care providers. Then make sure you have a copy when you go into labour to show the midwife and/or ob. Make sure your birth partner understands it all as they will be your advocate... During much of labour it is hard to speak and make rational decisions, so your birth partner speaks for you.

#12 *Katey*

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE (Cloria @ 14/01/2013, 01:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't have one but I do have a vague plan to make one.

Here's a question - what are people planning on DOING with it when you get to the hospital? Hand it to someone? Stick it somewhere? Read it out to someone?

With my particular hospital, they suggest handing it in to the admissions desk when you arrive.

Also, giving your OB (if you have one) a copy before your due date, possibly just in one of your routine appointments.

If you're doing one, I'd also pop a copy in your hospital bag so it's there in your room with you.

Edited by *Katey*, 14 January 2013 - 01:58 PM.

#13 Cloria

Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

Is IV prep standard? I recall wondering this before but had forgotten about it until shannon mentioned it.

For those that have been through labour before - did you find internals to be counter productive? Or was it something that didn't bother you at the time? Thinking about it now it doesn't seem conducive to a calm, relaxed environment and therefore good birth but I do realise feelings on this sort of thing can change in the heat of labour.

#14 redmum77

Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

Cloria, I had one internal in each pregnancy/labour and that was to check how far along I was when I came into the hospital. It was so painful to be on my back! But I trusted the midwives that they would only do them if really needed, and they were super quick.

Th birth plan is discussed before the birth and in your file hopefully. Plus put on the door, and copies for any shift change staff. But that's for the really critical stuff, like for me that I don't want to have anyone else attach the baby or go on about feeding who I don't already know straight after the birth. Emotional issues etc.

#15 Alxeen

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

QUOTE (Cloria @ 14/01/2013, 02:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't have one but I do have a vague plan to make one.

Here's a question - what are people planning on DOING with it when you get to the hospital? Hand it to someone? Stick it somewhere? Read it out to someone?

Good question! Obviously your main care provider will have a copy before D-day. Personally I plan to stick mine on the wall of the hospital room. It probably won't be read as if there's anything to be conveyed I'm sure my DH and doula can to that if I'm not able to, but I figure it would be better on the wall than in my bag.

IV can be routine depending on care provider, who's on at the time and things they might be thinking during the labour. Personally I don't want a saline drip (an IV with nothing in it except salty water), as it pumps you up with fluid and pumps baby up too. Then baby is weighed and has an exaggerated birth weight, then a few days later baby weighs less and you're told it's because you're not feeding properly, when actually they've just lost their excess fluid. Obviously if you have an epidural or syntocin you will have excess fluid through the IV anyway....but I don't want an IV for the sake of an IV.

#16 spear_maiden

Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:36 PM

HI ladies

I've filled out the form that is inside my little blue folder and am in the process of adding notes to it when I think of it. I think this coming appt or the next one at my group midwifery sessions is dedicated to discussing birthing preferences.  

We did have a conversation last appt about what it is that the midwives do during labour and they all sound to be very hands off and prefer to encourage natural progression of labour, use of bath/shower for pain relief, will make suggestions for your birth partner to try (eg. massage points etc) if they seem to be stuck for ideas/being ineffectual rather than jump in and direct things, and they mostly do delayed cord clamping after skin on skin, plus 50/50 active management and physiological management of 3rd stage.  If an issue arises, they do active management otherwise they tend to do physiological apparently.  Basically, they all said that if mum and her birth partners appear to be coping well, they'll probably sit quietly in the corner, be calm and do paperwork until needed original.gif .  Anyway, my point is that these were all things I was going to pop in my birth plan, but if that's their standard I guess i'll just tick the appropriate boxes on the form and make sure DH is totally clear on what I want.

Things I've put in the notes so far are basic:
direct quetions to DH
lights down low
encourage me, especially during pushing
Will now put DH to cut cord, and no wiping of baby's skin (thanks for the reminder) and will see if DH would like to "catch" baby
Oh, and please do not offer me medical pain relief (first labour, this happened alot!! along with midwives telling me "oh you're going to need something as you're going to be here for hours!! really encouraging rolleyes.gif ).


Cloria - I had only 2 internals.  One after I'd been monitored for a few hours, and one upon asking for an epidural which at that point I was fully dilated.

#17 LittleSpoon

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

Hey BeccaBoo88,

I have started writing a detailed Birth Plan (list of preferences) that I will go over with my DH, doula and OB.  But I will also do a short list of main points that I will give to the hospital.

My first draft is on this old thread: http://www.essential...owtopic=1029619 ://http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/for...wtopic=1029619

#18 Mozzie1

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:27 PM

I came in here from we are discussing, I hope no one minds wink.gif

My doula gave me a great template for a birth preferences sheet. One page, in landscape, with 4 columns: first stage, transition, second stage, immediately after birth. That way it's simple for anyone to pick up and look at.

Mine just has a few bullet points under each, eg. Don't offer me pain relief, I'll ask if I want it; delayed cord clamping; skin to skin after birth, please give baby to Dad if mum isn't available. Etc....

#19 BeccaBoo88

Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

That's great guys!
I think I was confused about what to put in it - and silly me forgot to ask about it at the classes yesterday.

So, follow on question... I saw someone mention music.. I would like to arrange my own music, do we need to pack our own ipod dock or do some hospitals have them you think? Headphones seem rude! Haha.

DF thinks I'm preparing too much, like a PP said - having a plan invites disappointment. But I really want this.

#20 Cloria

Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

QUOTE (BeccaBoo88 @ 15/01/2013, 12:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DF thinks I'm preparing too much, like a PP said - having a plan invites disappointment. But I really want this.

I know other people have said this too and I personally don't agree - nothing in LIFE is a given so they may as well say never plan for anything because you could be disappointed if it doesn't happen. I think having preferences and planning how you would like the environment (music etc) is a good idea to at least point you in the direction you want to be going. You're never going to get there if you don't try. I think everyone is aware that things might not go to plan and when that happens just take it as it comes.

I've had the same query about the dock/speakers - nevermind rude, I thought headphones might just be annoying?? I was going to ask my midwife at the next appt if they had anything in terms of speakers. NO clue yet what I'm going to put on the playlist... I think I'm going to need a wide variety because who knows what will annoy or calm me on the day.

#21 BeccaBoo88

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

Yeah, music is a big one for me - I guess it's one of the things I can control. It has been after I read a Jodi Picoult book where the main character is a music therapist. I will be doing some research as I was told that hard, fast heavy metal can help with the pushing, but slow, acoustic stuff can make the room calmer during the 'rest' periods. Something to think about at the very least.  

I like the idea of constant monitoring, but didn't think about how that would effect my movement around the room. Hmmm. Lots to think about!

Also, wondering what peoples thoughts are on the pain killers. My mum said to tell them not to ask me, that I will tell them when I want it (PP said something about getting discouraged because of comments) - but DP is a big believer in 'if it helps, why not use it?' Can I have in my plan, direct questions to DP, except in the case of pain relief?

Is there anything people would have changed on their lists after a previous experience?

#22 *Katey*

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

QUOTE (BeccaBoo88 @ 15/01/2013, 12:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, wondering what peoples thoughts are on the pain killers. My mum said to tell them not to ask me, that I will tell them when I want it (PP said something about getting discouraged because of comments) - but DP is a big believer in 'if it helps, why not use it?' Can I have in my plan, direct questions to DP, except in the case of pain relief?

In regards to pain relief, I'm just going to go with the flow on the day. I've never been in labour before, I've never given birth before, so I have no idea how I'll react to the pain, or how well (or badly) I'll handle it. For me, it's not something I can predict and make a decision on before it actually happens.

If I get there and can handle it ok, then I'll go without pain relief. If the nurses or midwives ask me if I want any, and I don't, I'll just say no. If I find I'm not handling it very well and want to be more comfortable, I'll ask for some, or say yes the next time the midwives ask.

I'll just go with whatever I'm feeling on the day. If needed, I'm more than happy to have any kind of pain relief, I'm not opposed to anything. So whatever I have (or don't have) on the day, will just depend on how I'm feeling at the time.

#23 Cloria

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

QUOTE (BeccaBoo88 @ 15/01/2013, 01:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, wondering what peoples thoughts are on the pain killers. My mum said to tell them not to ask me, that I will tell them when I want it (PP said something about getting discouraged because of comments) - but DP is a big believer in 'if it helps, why not use it?' Can I have in my plan, direct questions to DP, except in the case of pain relief?

If this is the way your DP feels then I would suggest that he researches the different pain relievers (you too of course) to know the side effects. The answer to "why not" is in the possible reactions/side effects that you might get. Pain relief doesn't come without any risks and I really think it's important that everyone is aware beforehand because the Dr sure as hell isn't going to give you a rundown on the spot.

If you research beforehand then you can decide for yourself what you are or aren't willing to have. I have spoken to many women who said their ob didn't explain anything when they eg. got an epidural. It's all fine and dandy when it goes to plan but you should know what other possibilities there are.

In regards to the original question, if you think you will ask if you want it then I would put on there not to offer it. I think if you've gotten to the point where you really feel you need it you aren't going to hold off asking anyone.

(I don't mean to be pushy I am just really passionate about making sure people know what they're up for and then making their decision based on that, whatever that decision ends up being)

#24 ~shannon~

Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

I completely agree with Cloria. After learning about all the possible side effects of all of the various forms of pain relief on both me and my baby, I was actually more worried about needing it!
For my first labour, the pain came as a huge shock, but no one suggested I have some pain relief... If they had I may have said yes! I got through it with more natural methods such as the shower, hot towels, massage, etc, and in the moment it actually never occurred to me to ask for anything else. I had prepared in my mind not to ask for pain relief, so I never thought about it until it was all over.

Music helped me a lot, but it was also important to me to have a calm atmosphere when baby arrived. I would never consider fast heavy metal! But then, I am planning on using hypnobirthing techniques, so will be listening to relaxation music most of the time. The hospital I am going to has a sound system set up for each room, so you can bring your own CDs and it will play continuously on a loop, or use the iPod dock.

#25 BeccaBoo88

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:02 AM

Yeah, Katey, I think that's what I want to be like, but like you I have never been in labour so have no idea what will happen at the point of no return!

Thanks for the tip Cloria. We will be going through pain relief in our ante natal classes, but will definitely do my own research.

I love how supportive my DP is, but sometimes he thinks I research too much and ask too many questions. I do tend to go a little over board but preparation is key! original.gif

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