Friday, September 10, 2010

Birth Plans


I know many women feel that birth plans are not useful or just set you up for every complication there is to occur. Being addicted to theBump.com's pregnancy message boards, I read every reason under the sun, as to why you should not do one.

"You can't control labor, so why create a birth plan", was a favorite.

And I can kind of see why for some women that a birth plan doesn't seem very necessary, especially when having an epidural. But I personally think you still should do one. There is more to a birth plan than pain management.

Birth plans should be short and sweet. One page highlighting what is important to you.
I could have typed out my views on every single potential procedure or intervention, but that would have been overkill. No nurse or Dr. wants to read that. Let alone have the time!

Since the desire for a natural birth is not the norm, I feel having the birth plan helped me achieve my goal. When we arrived at the hospital, we didn't need to discuss anything. David just handed our nurse our birth plan. Our nurse did what she needed to get me admitted and get things going and then left us alone! No one came in and asked me if I wanted pain medication. I wasn't checked "every hour", to see how far I had progressed, unless I specifically asked.

After Ivy was born, we had a long discussion with our nurse. She had a lot of questions for me, like did I take any childbirth classes. Why yes I did, Bradley Method! She also told me that she really liked it when moms came in with birth plans. She said that it helped her know exactly our views and what we desired. So birth plans are good. If anything it hopefully helps you become knowledgeable about the different types interventions.


I knew I wanted a natural birth, but how do I put that on paper?

I found it extremely helpful reading others woman's birth plans. I will admit I did some C&P'ing of those that I read when I wrote my own. Many thanks to lovely ladies on theBump: Natural Birth board!

Since, they shared I will too:


Birth Plan


Mother to Be: Robyn
Husband: David
Doula: Mandi
Practitioner: Dr. Smith

We are pleased to be working with the nurses and physicians at Community Hospital for our birth. We are looking forward to a low-intervention birth, but understand that there may be situations in which our choices may not be possible. In striving for this, we request the following:

We want to be informed of any procedures in advance and to be allowed the chance to give informed consent.


• First Stage:

Please don’t offer any pain medications, unless I ask for it.

We request intermittent fetal monitoring and limit the number of internal exams.

We desire the freedom to walk around and change positions during labor.

Heplock administered instead of an IV.


• Second Stage:

I would like to try “mother-directed pushing”, once I feel the urge to push.

I do not want an episiotomy and would prefer to be allowed to tear naturally.


• After Birth:

I wish for immediate skin-to-skin contact and to breastfeed. Please delay all evaluations and medications to the baby, till after we have had a chance to bond.

We want to allow the cord to stop pulsating completely before it is cut. My husband David, is to be given the option to cut the cord.

Delivery of placenta: Spontaneous or encouraged with breast feeding. No routine pitocin.

Please do not give our baby formula, glucose, plain water, a pacifier or bottle.

• Complications & C-Section:


We would like to avoid a Cesarean unless absolutely necessary for the immediate safety of our baby. Should our doctor feel that a Cesarean has become truly necessary, we would like the reason(s) to be clearly explained to us, and we should be included in the decision making process.

I would like to have the surgery explained to me as it happens and to have the baby given to my husband immediately after the birth prior to any evaluations, treatments, baths, etc.



Hopefully this helpful to someone out there!

4 comments on "Birth Plans"

Diana on September 11, 2010 at 7:54 AM said...

I saved it for when the time comes. Thank you for sharing!

James and Kresta on September 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM said...

Thanks for posting this. I never realized that there's so much to consider and inform the doctors about. I copied this and saved it on my hard drive, just in case someday I can actually fill one out. I hope you are enjoying mommyhood! Ivy is adorable!!!

Bekah on September 15, 2010 at 6:43 AM said...

um yeah, I debated the birth plan and then decided I didnt think the doctor would actually read it.

I told my awesome nurse everything I wanted, like...Matt is going to cut the cord.

Who cut the cord? The Dr. Im still kind of pissed about that. Next time...BIRTH PLAN. I dont know that the Dr. would have honored it anyway, but I could have tried. Aggghhh.

Robyn on September 15, 2010 at 8:37 AM said...

Bekah - I don't think my Dr ever read mine. I never showed it to her prior because I knew she did not agree with our plan for a natural birth. Mine was more for the hospital staff.

She also told me that the hospital did not allow intermittent fetal monitoring and then when we got there my nurse had no problems with doing intermittent instead of continuous!

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