developing a birth plan

Erin - posted on 03/08/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am hoping for a natural birth and would like to write up a birth plan to include some of my hopes / requests for the birth. I know that not everything may be able to go as smoothly as I hope but I'm thinking at least having a plan will help staff and my support people know what I'd like to achieve.

I'm wondering if there's any advice out there from other moms who have created a birth plan. Either thing you included, how you approached hospital staff with your birth plan, or anything I may be over-looking. Thanks, any advice is really appreciated!

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Alex - posted on 03/09/2010

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I went to several differnet websites and looked at their examples and i typed one up according to that..... I havent been able to tell anyone about it yet though because my appointment is this thursday. anyways best of luck.

Allison - posted on 03/09/2010

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Good luck - it is a WONDERFUL experience!!! The best thing you can do is to be informed; read stories about natural birth, talk to your doctor a LOT about their rates of interventions, and things you can do at home and hospital to lower the chances you'll need interventions. Your best bet is to choose a Dr who has the lowest rates of interventions and highest rates of natural births, if possible, so ask a lot of questions!

Laboring at home as long as possible is one thing you can do, since sometimes labor "stalls out" when you reach the hospital due to stress, discomfort, etc. (it's your "fight or flight" response kicking in). So staying calm and relaxed is also important :) If your labor slows down, they may want to induce, which increases your need for pain relief and sometimes c-section.

Some other things to research are constant electronic fetal monitoring (the "belly band), IV fluids for you, laboring positions (NOT laying down is usually the best and least painful !!!), and natural pain relief techniques (relaxation, massage, movement - certain positions really help).

I had an OB for 7 months of my first pregnancy, but then gave birth at home with a midwife (with no drugs available), so I didn't have to give my birth plan to anyone in the end, since the midwife stayed through the entire birth. But, I think you'll get the best response if you approach Dr. and staff with the mindset that you (like them) want to do what is the least risky and safest for you and your baby, which is (according to the World Health Organization) only having pain relief, induction and other interventions when they are truly medically necessary. I gave birth in a squatting position (my mom was holding me up), it took over an hour, and the pushing part was painful, but after each ~1 minute of pushing I got ~5 minute "breaks" with NO pain! (My baby was almost 10 pounds and I cannot imagine laying down for that part.) Hope that helps! I still talk to my OB about natural birth and hospital practices, and read a LOT about hospital birth, too :) Knowledge is the key to informed consent!

Denise - posted on 03/09/2010

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Things to ask for if you want them....No IV so you can walk around and get in the tub while you are in labor, if you will consider being induced or not ( I had to be induced with my daughter and it sucked....I wanted to go all natural but the pain was to much because I didn't get a break between contractions and they were super strong), if you want drugs or not, a birthing ball, if you can have a water birth (ask), bring tennis ball for counter presser on back, a focal point object, bring music if you want it, dim lights if you want them, a mirror in your room so you can see the crowning stage( so cool!!), One thing my dr. let me do is pull my daughter the rest of the way out, it was amazing. Then if you are breastfeeding solely, tell them NOT to feed your baby, tell them no pacifiers if you don't want your baby to use them ( which no paci if recommended if you are going to solely breastfeed), if you want your baby to stay in your room with you all the time or not. Just some of the things to ask for. I have to make a appointment with the hospital this month to come in and let them know my birthplan and what not...soo you should see if your hospital does that, that way you already have your birthplan taken care of before you go to labor and deliver!!! Just some thoughts hope all goes well for everyone!

Stevie - posted on 03/08/2010

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I used the same website to make mine and I plan on taking it to my next doctors visit and having her check it over since she is one of the on call obstetricians at the hospital I will be giving birth in and will be able to tell me if it sounds reasonable, good luck!

Ashley - posted on 03/08/2010

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you can go to birthplan.com and create one and print it out. Dont leave out any details at all! And be sure to go over it with your doctor and have her right down specific things you want her to remember. Your right about some things being inevitable, and you may change your mind at the last minute, so you can at least ask for the anesthesiologist to be on call for you. Also take anything that will make you more comfortable during labor like, lollipops or hard candy, since you can't eat! Good luck and I hope you have a wonderful experience!

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