What were your birth plan ideas/suggestions??

Tiffany - posted on 11/23/2011 ( 85 moms have responded )

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Just was wondering if anyone has had a birth plan? And if so what did it all consist of. My 1st pregnancy went all good but and ended up having a c-section (Dr was impatient) It was not a very great experience and wish I didn't end up getting one. I switched to a midwife and she knows that I want to go for a VBAC and is all for trying to make it happen. I just want to know what anyone put in their birth plans. Thanks so much. I hope to get some feed back.

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Merry - posted on 11/27/2011

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Tiffany,statistically speaking, home birth is safer then hospital births for low risk births. Many of the complications moms face in hospitals are caused by the hospital.

Home birth isn't risky, it's just a choice to be considered when trying to choose the safest birth place.

birth isn't a disease, and many times, mom is fully capable of birthing her baby herself with a competent midwife attending. Home births always have back up emergency plans because complications aren't always avoidable but midwives do most of their work in preventative stuff. Preventing complications instead of causing them and then fixing them like some drs do.

Basically, home birth is a valid and safe option. It's not risier or scarier then any other birth, it's just something to consider if you are low risk and want a natural normal birth.

Merry - posted on 11/27/2011

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If a dr laughs at your birth plan then get a new dr. That means they have a 'system' in mind and they always do it the same way, they make the choices, they don't look to you for the decisions.
A good dr or midwife will acknowledge that this is your birth and you should be a deciding factor in all choices. They shouldn't be making choices without asking you unless its an emergency.
When drs get into a 'when this happens I usually.......' attitude then that means you aren't in control, the dr is.

Sherri - posted on 11/23/2011

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Honestly birth plans lead to a lot of disappointment as the majority of them never happen the way you plan out.

Tiffany - posted on 11/27/2011

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Get the baby out in the safest way possible, preferably in a hospital where they are equipped for an emergency with either you or the baby. I've never understood why people would risk it to give birth at home. You just never know what could happen and having medical professionals prepared to assist is the only option in my eyes.

Crystal - posted on 11/27/2011

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I had a birth plan that included no pain meds, no episiotomy, & I wanted to push on my hands & knees or squatting. Luckily, I was prepared for things not to go my way. My son was stuck so my dr had me on the bed so he could turn him which didn't work, so they had to do an episiotomy & use the vacuum. But after a 4 hour labor that included an hour of pushing, I had a healthy baby boy & that's all that really matters!

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NJ - posted on 12/05/2011

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It was for the nurses who were going from baby to baby. I would hope that they were washing their hands between babies, but I don't know. I gathered that it was an HIV and blood products type quarantine that they would have had her under if we had not let them wash her.

NJ - posted on 12/05/2011

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The thing I remember about my birth plan is that most of it did not go as planned. Making the plans on a day when I was not in pain meant changing things when I was dealing with pain. Things worked out well enough that I did not need a c-section, but I would have been fine with that if that was what the doc decided. Basically, my labor lasted a little over 24 hours but because all along the way I was "making progress" the doc relied on my coaches to keep me going with the pushing. At the last minute, I developed pre-eclampsia and had to be put on magnesium sulfate. That resulted in contractions that were shorter and much farther apart. We were waiting about 8 to 10 minutes between pushes, so my baby wound up stuck in the birth canal for a fairly long time, but we had a fetal monitor on so they knew the baby was not too stressed.

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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Lucky! Lol Eric's labor was 32 hours long. Yeah that sucked. Thankfully fiernas was 4 hours but it was from 6-10pm so no visitors til morning.

Epidurals suck too.made me feel so weird and my legs were floppy and I couldn't move them. Sort of claustrophobic. And my back ached for days and then on and off it would tweak for months.
Not worth it,well, in that moment it was worth it since I had been laboring 24 hours but in retrospect. Not worth it

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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No not sore but I never ever had an epidural so that could be why. Also my labors are super quick my last one was a total of 4 hrs. First contraction at 9:45 ish am and he was born at 2:07pm. So I certainly was not tired or anything. Plus I had visitors within an hour of his birth till visiting hours were over at 8pm. So I wanted to be presentable.

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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Oh and I worea gown I brought from home with Eric's birth. I didn't want the hospital ones either. So I said nope, I'm wearing this one and they were like, uh, ok. :)

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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Aren't you sore? After both I feel like my downstairs is swollen five times it's size and my muscles ache. I can't sit upright or it hurts. After Eric it took hours for the epidural to wear of and even then I had gone over a day without eating or sleeping so I was sooo tired and weak. After fia it was bedtime as soon as she was born so I only got 4 hours of sleep before Eric woke me up and that whole day I just didn't feel like showering.
I just laced around all day and tried to relax.
I wish I was more mobile after birth but I just didn't feel like getting out of a pajamas! I think I finally put on real clothes like 3-4 days after each es birth!

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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Well each to their own I just wanted to be clean and dressed and moving around etc. I hate being tied down afterwards and I refuse to wear hospital gowns so I want to give birth, shower and get my own clothes back on usually with in an hour or so of giving birth. Then I can finally relax with my baby and family.

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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Yeah, idk, Eric was pretty clean at birth! He had no nasty stuff or even blood. Fierna was born into the water so that cleaned her off pretty well. I didn't shower after eithers birth for a day. :-/ is that gross? Lol I just got wiped down with wet towels.

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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Personally I prefer it I held mine immediately after birth for awhile, breastfed but then I wanted a shower and wanted a clean baby too. So I went for a shower, my babies went for a bath, to get weighed and measured and then I had them back with me within 20mins.

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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I think that's true Sherri, I know Eric was bathed at 5 hours after birth, before I even got to hold or feed him.
So stupid. They told me to wash off all the stuff that smelled like me before eye got to be reunited with me.
Oh well. Live and learn.

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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I am pretty certain within a few hours of birth in a hospital all babies are bathed. I know ever single one of mine were for certain and then they told us to just sponge bath everyday until the umbilical cord fell off.

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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What?!?! What other babies was she going to be touching! What is hazardous about vernix?
It's normal baby stuff.
Contamination from what?
Wow. That makesno sense. I've never heard of baby's needing to be washed off at birth. My daughter was a month old before I gave her a bath.

NJ - posted on 12/05/2011

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I included that I did not want the vernix removed from our baby's skin right after birth; it wound up that they would have had to isolate her and use hazardous materials protocols to keep the other babies safe from any possible contamination, so I relented and let them wash her off.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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I didn't have a plan because i knew the hospital was into natural birth. If they had been into shoving drugs into people and did epidurals I would have made stipulations for what was to go on.

Merry - posted on 12/02/2011

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But that's why some moms have plans. We believe hospital policies are sometimes dangerous to mom or baby. We plan for healthy mom and baby but the plans get extensive when we learn that the standerd of care isn't always the healthiest for us or our baby's.

Natalie - posted on 12/01/2011

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I've had 3 babies and my plan was pretty much the same: Just go with it and remember the ultimate goal of healthy baby & healthy mum.

Kaurina - posted on 11/30/2011

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A birth plan is not always necessary, although it is useful as a communication tool and also the process of thinking about and clarifying what you want can be invaluable. You can't just copy someone else's birth plan because every woman is different in what they find important to them. Some women are totally happy with sections are some are disappointed.

It's awesome that you know what you want and are committed enough to seek out a midwife. Good for you! The most important factor in helping you have a VBAC is finding a caregiver, whether it is a doctor or a midwife, who has lots of experience successfully supporting VBACs.

Another very important factor is feeling clear yourself about what you want and why, and educating yourself on the evidence to support your preferences.
For example, many doctors are not comfortable with VBAC's because of the small risk of uterine rupture. If you understand the evidence based research, you can dispel your fears because overwhelmingly the evidence states that VBAC is safer than another section. There are far more risks associated with sections than VBACs. Uterine rupture occurs in less than 1% of vbacs, and of those, they tend to mainly occur only when pitocin (artificial oxytocin) or cervadil (prostaglandin) is administered because they can cause unnaturally strong contractions.

The third factor to increase your chances of having a VBAC is to hire a doula. At my first birth, I made the mistake of thinking I didn't need a doula because I had a midwife, but what I found was that the role of a doula and a midwife, although overlapping, are quite different.

Research shows that having a doula can reduce cesarean rates by 50%, as well as reduce the need for epidurals, instrumental deliveries, inductions etc. A doula provides continuous support, while a midwife may have other clients to attend to. Doulas provide emotional, physical and informational support. The doula goes to your home before you go to the hospital. This in itself helps moms stay home longer so they don't show up at the hospital too early. The reality is that when you get to the hospital, you are on the clock. We don't live in utopia. Doctors have other patients, hospital beds may be full etc. If a mom is in labor too long, there may be a lot of pressure to speed things up, whether or not there is a medical reason for it. And some women are glad to speed things up, but some are not. This is where knowing yourself is important and communicating with your caregiver about what's important to you. There are many grey areas in labor where there is room for negotiation.

If you do decide to hire a doula, find one who connects with you and listens to your needs. Besides having three kids, I am also a doula and prenatal teacher. I also do birth plan consultations to help moms create plans that are individualized. You can contact me through www.PrenatalJourney.ca or find another doula who is local to you.

Have a great day, and have a wonderful birth!

GINA - posted on 11/30/2011

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JUST KIDDING. MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN PREEMIE. I HAD A VBAC AFTER CESAEREAN AND I HAD HI RISK PREGNANCY. WITH PRE ECLAMPSIA. MY SON WAS VAGINAL BIRTH. ALMOST HAD ANOTHER CSECTION DUE TO PLACENTA PREVIA ALMOST.

Clare - posted on 11/29/2011

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Hi Tiffany I had a birth plan and everything went well my baby turned ,but did not go completely in the birth cannel .my water broke like normal I was in labour for 14 hours coz I really wanted to give normal birth , I was only dilated 5 centimeters and that was after 13 hours ,so my doctor spoke to me and advised that we have to go to theatre ,we went to theatre and we found out that the cord was around baby’s neck ,I was happy that baby was healthy but was a bit traumatizes coz I had read up on normal birth but nothing on c sections so it took a while for me to get use to it the fact that baby was born via c section and that was my first child , we are still deciding if we want a second one ,coz of the lack of sleep lol , but if we do have a second one I was also thinking about a V Bac ,but my doctor also advised that it could be complicated as with a section they cut through a lot of skin so it could tear ,the stitches. So this is just my feedback ,look out for others ,

Jennifer - posted on 11/29/2011

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i misspoke as I should have said the odds are not in your favor. I am glad your friends got their vbacs.

Tracy - posted on 11/29/2011

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If you were traveling to the opposite coast, wouldn't you make a plan even though you no control over the airlines or the weather or the hotels ... or much of anything else? You have to be willing to be flexible because things are not predictable, but it's still important to research your options!

What's most important in writing a birth plan is writing it -- looking into each and every option and making a choice so that IF the birth is going the way you want it to, everyone knows what you want each step of the way.

There are some guidelines (Birth Preference Tips) and sample birth plans (Sample Birth Plan) on my website at www.bestdoulas.com/handouts.htm as well as a letter you can print and mail to your hospital to let them know your preferences (The Letters Project).

Daniell - posted on 11/29/2011

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long story short, my first pregnancy wasn't "normal" from the get go. Had to have an emergency c-section b/c my sons head got stuck on my pubic bone. He had a really, really large head. Fast forward to child #2. I wanted a vbac, but was told by obgyn's that it has more risks and i should have another c-section. I refused, stating that I know I could deliver a baby vbac. Went into labor 10 days before my due date and successfully delivered a baby girl vaginally. People can have a vbac, it just depends on the reasons why you had a c-section in the first place, and if the second baby is ever in any danger.

Sherri - posted on 11/29/2011

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Not true Jennifer you can certainly get a VBAC from an ob and know a few people who actually have.

Jennifer - posted on 11/29/2011

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Have a home birth and hire a midwife and doula and most likely you will get the birth you are looking for or what the baby needs. You wont get a VBAC from an ob, sadly,

Tanna - posted on 11/29/2011

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I have had 3 babies. Each time I had a birth plan, even if it was just mental. Each time, something totally different happened. Even though I didn't follow it, having a birth plan made me feel like I was going into child birth with some form of preparation. Good luck Tiffany.

Claudia - posted on 11/29/2011

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By the way! I was thankful for having my babies in a hospital. If weren't for the pain killers including the epidural, I would not make it!!!! The pain when the head comes out is beyond anything that you can imagine! If weren't for my husband crying after the head came out, I would not have the strength to deliever...

Cara - posted on 11/29/2011

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I am pregnant with my sixth child. I have done had a wide range of experiences from forceps, pit, episiotomy, epidural, hospital to my last- an amazing home water birth with a great labor partner and wonderful midwife. No drugs, no internal checks, free to move drink, eat, and labour. I've never had a written birth plan but I would highly recommend it if your giving birth in a hospital. Some places will make you fight tooth and nail if you go against the norm...pit, epidural, monitors, checks, flat on back, etc. I say EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE! Find a care provider that will listen to what you want. Birth happens on its timeline.

Linda - posted on 11/29/2011

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With my first I had a 5 page double spaced set of instructions with very specific directives: I will nurse, baby stays with me, want meds, no nursery.
I didn't have anything written for my twins because I talked to my doctor alot. But it does help. My advise keep it simple, there are lots of online formats that will give you a general outline of what you want to include.
See with my first, I don't remember the hospital paying attention to my 'birth plan'. So your best bet would be to have your husband, or mom, or best friend be an advocate for you and what your wants are.
No doctor should force you into a c-sect if you don't want it. They tried to do it with my first, hence the 42 hours of labor. Talk to the doctor before hand and make sure the hospital is aware of your wishes before you go into labor.

Leslie - posted on 11/29/2011

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I knew that for my first baby I wanted to see if I could handle natural childbirth. About 5 hours into labor, I realized that I needed something to help me relax so that labor would progress, so I opted for an epidural. The plan was just to see if I could do it. With my second baby, I knew that I wanted the epidural again, but things went way too quickly and I wasn't able to get the epidural and only 3 hours in labor, I had my second baby girl naturally. We are on baby number three now. I know what both are like and know that I can handle natural childbirth, but am still going to go with an epidural. Even though I know I can and have done natural childbirth, I was much more comfortable with the epidural. :)

Dana - posted on 11/29/2011

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My birth plan was this: enjoy the process of getting my baby into the world, however that process plays out. It gave me room to change gears if the midwife needed to make a decision quickly regarding my baby's safety. I DID incorporate who I wanted there with me, that if my baby was born healthy (they were, thank goodness) that I wanted them on my chest, skin-to-skin for as long as they would allow. I wanted to try to nurse right away - which worked with 2 of my children but not the 3rd. Honestly, plans rarely go as we would like but I think it's a good idea to envision the process and have an opinion about your body, your baby and the birth - knowing that you have to trust your midwife or doctor to make the final call. Women have been birthing for thousands of years and you need to trust your body, embrace the contractions as "surges" that will bring your baby out of your belly and into your arms. You'll do great! Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 11/29/2011

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Have you thought about a water birth? I had one four monthsvago with my third and it was the best experience. No pain relief required, I would recommend it.

Karin - posted on 11/28/2011

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we opted for a home water birth, because 11 years ago that was our cheapest option, and thats about as far as my birth plan went. all the classes we'd taken, the breathing we learned meant nothing in labour. My daughter was born in my bed (not the bath), I had two midwives, and a gynae & ambulance on standby in case I needed to get to the hospital. And it all worked out beautifully. By not having much of a plan, just a vague generalisation, I didnt have to worry too much about a specific set of rules, so everything was much easier. My labout was short and relatively easy. The only thing I would change was the painkiller. I was given a shot of pethedine, which was awful. As a painkiller it was ineffectual, but it made me very dopy between contractions, so that I felt like I was not an active participant. However, it did wear off very quickly as the labour progressed. Think about what you want, and try to adhere to that, but dont be set on it, things change very quickly. Good luck.

Leanne - posted on 11/28/2011

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check out what to expect when you are expecting website. They have a template and questions to answer that helps you think through some things. We used theirs and specificed who was to be in the room, what we were and werent comfortable with, how decisions were made, etc. It helped alot and I had a great experience. I think a lot of it also depends on your choice of dr and having someone you trust, a partner to advocate for you etc. I also had a doula which was awesome!

Kimberly - posted on 11/28/2011

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Things never go as planned! Especially in childbirth. Have an idea of what you want, but just know....it might not happen. That way....you won't be disappointed.

Sherri - posted on 11/28/2011

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Well I am so thankful my births were how I wanted in a hospital with an OB if not my oldest would not be here today. I would never chance a homebirth for the unexpected things that can happen.

Becky - posted on 11/28/2011

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Totaly disagree. A birth plan lets the Dr know YOU are the client! Otherwise, just as with any sales person who works on commission, Dr's will often push unnecessary meds and procedures on a mom who is in to much pain to care. Why is the c section rate in the U.S. s high? FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!

Crysta - posted on 11/28/2011

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With the way I have laid out my birth plan with my second, due in the next three weeks or so. I have mostly stated on how I want to approach certain situations should they come up, since I am planning on a completely natural labor and birth I have included in my plan that it is not ok to talk about any kind of drugs for pain management unless I either ask for it, or it becomes a health concern like if I am undable to get my body to relax and control my blood pressure through the contractions. I understand things happen, but I also think it is the way that the medical staff can sometimes approach these situations that makes it so scarey and that we feel like they are not giving us the option of going different routes.

Merry - posted on 11/27/2011

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Oh and midwives are 'medical professionals prepared to assist' :):)

Claudia - posted on 11/27/2011

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I planned on having my aunt, niece and mom in law in the bedroom, but took me 25 hours on labor and when it was time, I just wanted my husband with me, and he told everyone to leave. Plans change., for the second, I just went with the flow... :)

Laurie - posted on 11/26/2011

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each of my 3 labors were different & by the time #3 was born, I figured whatever happen was OK as long as he was healthy. My Mom-in law has been a OB nurse for 30+ years & kinda quitely laughs whenever a Mom-to-be hands her a birth plan cause it never goes the way the parents hope it will. Best advice is be flexible. Plan, but don't be too upset if it doesn't go the way you planned. The important thing is that wonderful baby. The way he/she is born isn't as important as a healthy baby.
Best of luck,
Laurie

Alexandra - posted on 11/26/2011

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you know what to give birth is by now. I think a birth plan should include things to make you confortable and let it be a good time for you and your baby. (music, lights, whatever you feel it is important for you to enjoy at the moment). However, remember it is a plan. Nothing else, just a plan. Like so many other plans in life, it might not be going the way you planned at all. Having that in mind, go ahead and make the plan, haha.

Tiffany - posted on 11/26/2011

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Thanks so much Laurelai for that :) With my 1st I just went with what the doctor suggested and wish I didn't. I think things could have gone a lot different if I had the knowledge. With my next one I know more now and what I would like. I know things wont go "as planned" but I know what's best for me and my baby. Thanks again :)

Merry - posted on 11/26/2011

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I was more disappointed about not knowing enough to say no to things I didn't want then I was disapointed about the plan not going the way I want.
I feel like if I'm fully knowledgeable about all the things that could happen I'll be able to make good decisions for myself and not have to rely on the dr to decide what's best for me.
There was many things I didn't know about my first time and once I learned about it all I realized I disagreed with the choices my obgyn made for me.
So second one I knew exactly what I wanted and even though some of the things didn't happen the way I wanted, I was happy because I knew why I couldn't have those things and I knew it was the best choice.

Merry - posted on 11/26/2011

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I'm a 'natural birthing mama' so I plan
Home birth,
Eat and drink in labor
no medications
No cervical checks until I want to push
No IV
Dim lights
My kids accessible to me
Husband with me at all costs
No continuous monitoring
Use the birth tub
Minimal talking
Push as I feel
No holding my breath
No 'push ten seconds'
Pushing upright preferably in the tub
Catch my baby with the midwife
Hold baby right away
Don't clamp the cord
Don't cut the cord
Don't suction or rub hard unless needed
Baby stays on me until first feed
Cut cord when placenta is delivered.
No vit k shot if birth went normally
No eye ointment
No hepatitis shot
No bottles or pacifiers
Baby sleeps with me
Let me sleep! No waking me up for crap.
Hence the home brith lol
I'm not the 'norm' but I do strive for a 'normal' ie 'natural' birth
Research research research and then research more! Don't take your drs word as law, they're only human and sometimes they don't know all the latest stuff or they could be biased by drug companies
And in the end, a healthy baby is the only thing that really matters, all the stuff that makes it a good experience can go right out the door if anyone is not handling it well.
I'd rather an emergency c section then a dead baby but if all goes well I do want a good birth experience to gently bring my baby into the world

Christine - posted on 11/26/2011

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i did have a birth plan but it was flexible - im happy to say i stuck to mine, but it depends what you want to put on yours. i only did one for my first child, i never bothered for my second.

Kristil - posted on 11/26/2011

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LOL. I have six kids and had them all vagninally. I had an epidural with one of them. If I had half a brain I would have done that with all of them, but oh well. My plans were basically this...go to the hospital, think lots of bad words while writhing in pain, push baby out, have doctor try to sew the vagina back to normal.

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