Whats a Birth Plan and Why Do I Need One?

A birth plan is guide of detailed information which allows your OBGYN, Midwife, Doula.. to understand the type of birth you are “hoping” to try and achieve.  I say “hoping” because at the end of the day anything can happen and some things may be out of your control and therefore not go according to your plan.  At the end of the day this is just a guide not a written in stone type of plan but you can learn a lot from having a birth plan.

Why do I need a birth plan?

I cant speak for everyone but for me it helped me to focus on what it was that I wanted and didn’t want.  It helped me to put everything down on to paper and when it came time to explain to my Dr. what I was hoping for it was all clear in black and white and we could go through and discuss each point step by step.  It also helped me focus my attention in my last trimester on a “task” rather than waiting for something to happen and staring at my due date on a calender.  I personally like to have everything clearly written and noted down it gives me some sense of feeling I have some sort of control.

Below is a copy of what my birth plan this pregnancy looked like (I had a birth plan in all 3 pregnancies).  If you have any questions re. why I may have mentioned a certain point etc.. plz comment below and I will be more than happy to share my reasons 🙂

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Dear Dr.

My husband and I have chosen you as the people we want to attend us when our baby is born.  We have chosen a hypnobirthing method of quiet, relaxed, natural and active birth.  From everything we have heard from others we truly believe that you will do your utmost to help us attain our wish for a joyous, memorable and most satisfying natural active birth.

The information below is a copy of our birth plan.  My husband and I have given careful consideration to each specific request in the plan and we feel it represents our wishes at this time.  We realize as that as labour begins we may choose to change a few things and wish to feel free to do so.  We understand that these choices presume a normal pregnancy and birth.  Should a situation arise that constitutes medical emergency please know that you will have our complete cooperation after we have had an opportunity to discuss the medical need and assess the situation.

Please attach this to my prenatal record and make it available to all physicians/staff who may be attending the birth should you not be attending us.

For Hospital Admission

  • To decline routine IV (intravenous) prep upon admission
  • To use natural means of induction moving to artificial induction only for a medical urgency
  • If necessary to initiate labour, only a minimum of Pitocin drip to be used
  • Pitocin drip to be removed once uterus is naturally contracting
  • To return home until labour progresses further if less than 4cm dialated
  • To have dim lighting in labour room and drawn curtains
  • Do not want to be administered an enema
  • To have my husband, mother and birthing partner (if available) available with me during labour
  • To have no telephone calls relayed to room or use of telephone in room
  • To bring a tape and player for background sound

During First Stage of Labour

  • To have quiet room, dim lights
  • To have husband/birthing partner/mother labour support person present at all times
  • To be able to take nutritional snacks if labour is prolonged
  • To have fluids to sip on including herbal teas
  • To have ice chips to cool the mouth
  • To have freedom of choice to walk and move and to adopt whatever positions are most comfortable, using the floor, cushions, chair as well as bed during labour and delivery
  • To allow labour to take its natural course
  • To be fully apprised and consulted before the introduction of any medical procedure or intervention
  • To have access to shower prior to rupture of membrane
  • To seek permission before rupture of membrane

During Birth

  • To assume birthing position of choice that will facilitate delivery using gravity and maximizing the space through pelvic outlet to avoid episiotomy unless necessary
  • To use birthing stool, bed, floor squatting, semi squatting, all fours, positions
  • To have perineal massage with oil and to have hot compresses to avoid episiotomy

Following Birthing

  • To have immediate skin to skin contact with baby placed on my stomach.
  • To have father present with me in the operating theatre in the event of a c section
  • To have the cord attached for as long as possible To allow 30-40mins for natural placenta delivery –and I want to see the placenta once it comes out.
  • To have baby brought to breast to assist natural delivery of placenta

For Baby

  • To have vitamin k administered orally not through injection
  • To have baby brought immediately to me
  • To have foot print made in the baby’s birth book
  • To exclusively breastfeed –no formula or water or bottle feeding
  • To delay/omit (if not needed) use of erythromycin/nitrate eye drops to allow optimal sight binding as it blurs the vision – as I understand it is required if mother has STD (gonnorehea) – which I do not have so if given the option would like to opt not to have the drops administered.

We thank you in advance for your support and kind cooperation with our choices.  We know you join us in looking forward to a beautiful birth and celebration of this new life.

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