My Birth Plan
Updated: Mar 20, 2020
I haven’t heard as much hype about birth plans in the last few years. I remember when birth plans were much more commonly discussed a few years ago. I am someone that has very clear ideas about what they want, and don’t want, and my nursing background gives me a unique insight into the hospital experience. The combination of those two factors have helped me to shape what I think is a flexible birth plan.
Now, if there’s one thing I know about the hospital it is to expect the unexpected. So for me, I would prefer a vaginal birth, that being said, I have no hesitation to having a C-section. When it comes to the method of delivery, the only thing that I care about is getting baby out….a healthy baby out. I did choose an OB as opposed to a midwife, which was at the recommendation of my family physician. I have been seeing him for the last 12 years, and he is the most trustworthy healthcare professional I’ve ever met, so it felt like an easy decision. I am open to having a midwife for future children, but for the first, my husband, doctor and I all agreed on an OB. My other request is having a floral hospital gown and Sex and The City episodes downloaded. This might sound silly, but I really believe in distraction, I am also going to have my favourite songs downloaded, including some favourites from my wedding. Well, the hospital gown is just helping me add my own personal touches to the experience as a whole.
As for pain medication. YES, PLEASE. Now, I am no stranger to pain, I suffer from chronic migraines, which luckily have improved since being pregnant. I do have techniques that I have developed over the years to deflect pain. That being said, I simply would like to make the birth as easy as possible. I know, this might get a lot of controversy, and that’s ok, I am very much open to discussion. My brother-in-law is quick to let me know about the complications of an epidural, which I do know, being a nurse. As much as possible I am hoping to make the experience as peaceful as possible for my husband, little Turkey (the baby), and myself.
Other details…well I want to delay cord cutting a few minutes and preferably postponing baby’s bath. Also, no baby kisses…sorry family, but no need for any baby’s to catch RSV. Lastly, immediate skin to skin contact for either mom or dad, however it flows easiest.
Other considerations when creating a birth plan:
1) Preferences before birth: Who do you want in the delivery room? Do you want to being able to walk around during contractions? Be able to try different birthing positions or equipment? What kind of environment are you looking for… ie. lighting, music…? Do you want a tub birth? Do you want to eat or drink during labour? Are you ok with a video or camera?
2) Labour and Delivery Preferences: The type of birth do you prefer (keep in mind, an emergency C-section may be the only solution). Willingness to have an epidural and/or exploring other pain medication alternatives. Willingness to have electronic fetal monitoring (either internal or external), using IVs, or catheters, having oxytocin to encourage contractions, and are you okay with interventions such as forceps or a vacuum to assist the baby coming out of the birth canal.
3) Newborn care preferences: Much to consider here. Do you want to breastfeed immediately, do you want skin-to-skin, when do you want to cut the cord, who do you want to cut the cord, do you want to bank the baby’s cord blood, do you want to save the placenta?
I made a laundry list of questions, not with the intent of overwhelming an expectant mother, but to simply raise awareness. You have 9 months to research all of these topics. For me my plan is very simple, and that is intentional. I don’t want to get caught up worried about small details that take away from the experience with my new little family unit. This is a moment we’ll remember forever and I just can’t wait to bring our little Turkey into the world.