BIRTH PLAN: Many expecting women hear this term nowadays, but what exactly is it?
A birth plan is a document that lets your medical / birthing team know your preferences for things like how to manage labor pain. Keep in mind that you can’t control every aspect of labor and delivery, and you’ll need to stay flexible in case something comes up that requires your birth team to depart from your plan (definition from babycenter.com).
Basically, it’s a list of how you want/prefer your birth to be, and after crafting it, you need to talk it out with your health care provider (OB-Gyne/ Midwife).
I crafted my birth plan with the help of my doula, Chiqui Brosas’ childbirth preparation class, and my sister’s plan. Of course I am aware that not everything may go as planned, especially if the baby is in distress. But creating a plan personally helped me identify what I really want and was forced (for my own good) to research more on birth and after-delivery procedures. Also, I believe this would be VERY HELPFUL for the people around you on the day of your labor and delivery (It sure was for me! My OB made sure it was followed!). Make sure you talk it out with your health provider, come to agreeable terms, produce copies for you, your health care provider, your birthing team (nurses), and your doula (if you have one), and have your health provider sign them.
NOTE: As the term suggests, the document should go according to your preferences. You don’t have to follow mine. I highly suggest that you research on your own and write according to what is acceptable to you. The purpose of my sharing is simply to serve as a guideline or a sample. Goodluck, mommies and daddies!
Birth Preferences/ Plan:
Name: Paula Peralejo-Fernandez
Estimated Due Date: October 21, 2016
Doctor’s Name: Dra. Catherine Howard
Others attending birth: Carlo Fernandez (husband), Irina Otmakhova (doula)
We have learned that unmedicated / natural childbirth is best for both mother and child. As first time parents-to-be, we are very much excited and of course want only the best for our son, Pablo.
We are glad that _____ (our hospital), Dra. Howard, our obstetrician, as well as the birthing team of nurses are supportive of natural childbirth.
I am very determined to succeed in our plan of an unmedicated labor and natural birth in the Lamaze Room and therefore request the following considerations from my birthing team:
- I would prefer a limited number of people entering and exiting the room (as few as possible).
- I prefer an all-female team throughout labor and birth (including the Chief Resident).
- I would like to maintain a calm and happy environment with my husband, my doula, and my doctor as they serve as the main providers of labor support.
- I prefer dim lights, room temperature not chilled, and music on all throughout labor.
- I prefer to labor and birth without any medication or drugs unless medically indicated.
- I prefer to have an undefined, unhurried type of labor – even if in a latent phase/ dilation is not increasing as long as my baby and I are doing well.
- I prefer to move around freely during labor with lights dim and music on.
- I would like to use a variety of positions, exercises and natural measures like meditation, massage, breathing, balance ball, homeopathic remedies and heat/cold to help cope.
- I prefer no I.V. but will consent to a Hep lock if necessary (ice chips with salt preferred to prevent dehydration).
- I would like to be able to eat and drink as needed during labor.
- I would like to discuss antibiotic use during labor before anything is done. Antibiotic to be used only if ruptured bag of water.
- I prefer external fetal monitoring to be done by Doppler machine at regular intervals (not continuous).
- I prefer to avoid catheterization.
- I prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum and preference to only be examined by my doctor only.
- I prefer push in whatever position feels most comfortable at the time.
- I prefer NO medication to augment/ hasten labor. Kindly refrain from offering me any pain medication (e.g. Demerol). We will request if I wish to have it.
- If mother and baby are doing well, I prefer to avoid artificial induction including waiting 12+ hours if water breaks and no contractions immediately follow.
- If labor augmentation becomes necessary, we would like to try natural methods first including: nipple stimulation, walking, herbs, homeopathic remedies etc.
- I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless reasons are discusses with us first and we have consented.
- I prefer NO episiotomy unless absolutely required for baby’s safety and would like perineal support, or hot compresses to help avoid a tear if needed. I would rather tear if it poses no risk for the baby.
- Should I really need to have an episiotomy, I prefer a median over mediolateral episiotomy.
- If necessary, I prefer the smallest episiotomy cut while pushing the baby out.
- If I am successful in delivering the baby naturally and unmedicated, local anesthesia for the episiotomy is welcome.
- I would like to try a mother-directed breathing before being told to push in a certain way.
- I would like to push in whatever position feels comfortable.
- I prefer that no vacuum or forceps are used unless baby is in distress.
- I prefer to try all a natural options before considering a c-section and will only consent to c-section for imminent medical reason.
- I would like my husband and my doula present at all times if my baby requires a Caesarean delivery.
- I would like my doctor to perform vaginal swabbing for the transfer of microbiome to my child. I know that this is important as this serves as the very first immunization of my child.
- I wish to have a spinal block for anesthesia.
- I prefer a horizontal/bikini cut so I can try VBAC later on.
- I prefer to be conscious and that the father and doula remain present during the whole procedure, and that we are provided the opportunity to establish skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding as soon as baby is born.
- I would like to have at least a double layer of sutures.
- I would prefer the Department of Health’s UNANG YAKAP Protocol to be followed.
- Please refrain from making loud noises once my baby is out. I would prefer a quieter, calmer environment for my baby.
- Please place baby immediately on my chest and leave baby there as indicated by the UNANG YAKAP method (skin-to-skin contact).
- I prefer expectant management of the third stage (delivery of the placenta) with the cord staying attached to the baby unless baby has tight nuchal cordthat needs to be cut.
- I prefer not to have the whole placenta treated with formaldehyde as I am planning to have it encapsulated.
- I would like my husband to cut the cord/burn the cord only after at least one hour after birth.
- I would like to have skin to skin with baby while being stitched (if needed) and breastfeed as soon as possible unless baby is in distress.
- I would like delay all newborn procedures for a moment until I have had a chance to bond and breastfeed my baby.
- If my baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband will accompany my baby at all times.
- I would rather my baby be given a bath at least 24 hours after birth.
- I would like my baby’s tests done only after he has had skin-to-skin contact with both me and my husband.
|We have chosen to decline the ff:||We will consent to the ff:|
|· Eye ointment
· Hep B Vaccine
|· Vitamin K shot
· PKU test
· Hearing test
· Heart screen
· Necessary emergency treatment
- My baby will be exclusively breastfed. Please do not offer pacifier, sugar water, plain water, or formula.
- Should you need to feed my baby, please refrain from using a bottle and use a cup instead.
- I would like to request for assistance from the hospital’s lactation nurses.
- I wish for my baby to remain in my room 24/7 and will accompany baby to any testing.
- I would prefer to leave the hospital as soon as possible after birth and circumcision of my baby.
We will of course be flexible with the points raised if a complication arises. We trust that you will inform us if any problems/ complications come up so that we can discuss the choices to be made and come up with a new plan.
Since this is a special event in our lives, we are sincerely hoping and banking on your support to accommodate our requests. We are confident that with our doctor’s expertise and the help and encouragement of my birthing team, our goal of a normal, natural birth will proceed as planned.