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This is for all the mommy's, doulas, nurses, and medical professional's out here on Bloop.
I'm looking to write a birth plan, what are some recommendations for the writing? I know a few things I want to be in it, but I can't seem to organize my thoughts in a formal matter on this. I know I want to use different birthing positions, and do not wish to deliver on my back. I do want when the contractions are strongest to be in the tub in my room with only Shelby & I in there. I do not mind if they come and check me every now and then, I just do not feel comfortable with someone I don't know seeing me in massive pain. I can be quite mean.
I know I want my son to be put directly on my chest after birth,unless in any even he's not breathing, there is meconieum in his lungs/ in my placenta or colored correctly. I do not want him to have the Vitamin K shot directly after birth, I have a clotting disorder I want him tested for before they give him that shot. My condition is irritated by Vitamin K and causes me to clot more rapidly (so far its caused two DVT's and a Pulmonary Emboli in both of my lungs. That of which I had a filter put in my Vena Cava.) I want him to stay in my room at all times and I want all proceedures done with either Shelby or I at his side (including circumcision. Ouch.) I do not want them giving him any supplements through a bottle or anything other than my nipple. I want him to be able to latch properly and be a booby baby. I'm worried I'm forgetting very important things. I'm willing to take any advice and recommendations into thought. More than likely to put them into my plan. :)
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when are you due? Do you have time to start a running list of things you do or do not want? If you do I would start with that and then turn it into something organized.
The most important thing to remember is that no birth ever goes according to anyone's plans. You have to be ready for something to change and have a "back up" if possible. I had an air tight birth plan for my youngest daughter's delivery starting from the time I went into labor to the time I was released. But nothing went as expected. Mainly due to one complication after another that no one saw coming. I was heart broken by things not being how I wanted and how I planned.
I am not saying don't make a plan - I think they are wonderful things. Many of my friends have said that it made their L&D time so much easier and satisfying. I'm just saying be prepared incase things don't go the way you hope.
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oh! And it is never too early to start making your preferences and decisions known to your OB (provided you see the same one each time) most if they are aware of your choices will make note of it in your records for you incase they are not the ones who deliver you
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I'm due in less than a month, and I'm prepared mentally for something to go wrong. I know that I am high risk and more than likely something will be off. I'm having a hep-lock instead of an epidural because I can't have one physically. I've told them about that. I'm guessing that I want Shelby to cut the cord when it stops pulsating. Not until then.
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I would recommend getting a doula - or getting a doula in training. They're a huge help.
A big thing is to have people who support your wishes. If you want to labor naturally and have no pain meds, don't have someone who thinks you're unable to labor/birth without medications.. educate your partner on your wishes and why -- so that he'll be able to support your desires as well.
Always remember whenever they suggest an intervention (breaking water, putting in a monitor, etc) that you are allowed to ask for a few minutes to think about it (it never fails they ask that crap when you're in hard labor in the middle of a contraction) and that you CAN say no.. they cannot force you to do anything you don't want to do.
Another good thing that I advise is to talk to your doctor(s) about ALL of this before hand so you know what their thoughts/opinions are on it and you know what to expect from them.
A birth plan is a good plan but it's exactly that - a plan. It expresses your wishes and that's great, but keep it short & sweet. Put your most important things on it and elaborate in bold/underline/italics and red color.. if it's more than 1 pg long they probably won't read it thoroughly.
Another thing re: circumcision and any possibility of a clotting disorder.. I would hold off. It doesn't take much blood loss for an infant to suffer serious complications. Personally, I wouldn't take the risk for a purely cosmetic surgery if it were me.
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I didn't have a birth plan for the first time round except "No epidural" because I have a fear of spinal anaesthesia. I should have had a BIT MORE of a plan as I ended up going through the basics while pushing my son out after a remarkably speedy first stage. Anyway, the most important things are:
Anything you absolutely do not want, and reasons (phobias etc). For instance, if you only want female practitioners to carry out internal exams.
Your preferred pain relief, if any
Whether you want the baby delivered onto you or cleaned up and then passed over
Who is to cut the cord
Feeding method - if you're breastfeeding, it's quite important to feed the baby asap after delivery. They will latch the baby on for you.
Whether you want a managed or natural third stage. Mansged means they give you an injection of syntometrine to force contractions, natural means you do it yourself. I had a managed third stage because I'm high risk for postpartum haemorrhage. I will have a managed third stage again with this baby. If there's no medical reason to have one, don't feel obliged though.
That's the most important stuff. Anything else will require your written consent, so you will have a chance to think about it. There's no point being too specific because every labour and birth is different. Some women are most comfortable labouring on their back (but it's not very common, I was comfiest on my knees, which is standard). Be prepared for labour to be absolutely NOTHING like you anticipated!
Things can happen at a moment's notice, so educate yourself and your partner NOW about interventions: artificial membrane rupture, various methods of induction, ventouse, forceps and caesarean delivery. If they're gabbing off the reasons why whilst proferring a consent form, you might feel utterly bewildered. Less so, if you learn about them now. Be aware that any chemical pain relief can slow labour right down.
The only thing I can see a problem is that when the contractions are strongest is just before you go into transition and start to need to push, so you will need to be checked out at some point when you're in MUCH (and likely continuous) PAIN. They will keep an eye on your baby's heartbeat throughout with a handheld doppler, and also do you obs (BP, temperature and pulse) which can be BLOODY ANNOYING mid-contraction, but it's very important to keep an eye on you and the baby's welfare throughout.
If the baby's not breathing, he or she will be rescuscitated as a matter of priority, then given to you.
I'm due April 11th. Having a homebirth, so it should be quite different to my first birth!
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I love birth plans. Instead of rambling incoherently (I'm tired and 36 week pregnant myself!), I'll leave you a link to my doula blog in which I share my thoughts on the matter:
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Obviously there are things that have to be in there given your high risk status/medical reasons... I'd consider these at the top of your list of priorities.
As for other things... my only suggestion is that labour and birth can be unpredictable at the best of times. Birth plans that are too detailed and basically depict an 'ideal' birth are fine, but it doesn't always work out that way. Not implying that your not aware of that at all, but it can be heartbreaking when things don't go exactly to plan. I had high hopes for my first labour/delivery and nothing happened as I wanted it to and it was really upsetting. With my 2nd I didn't rule anything out and just went with the flow (very minimal birth plan) - and I was much happier with that labour and wasn't at all disappointed.
Oh... but more important than letting your midwife/doctor read your birth plan is letting your birthing partner read your birth plan, when your in pain, the last thing you feel like doing is arguing with a doctor about things... best to prepare the birthing partner to do all the arguing for you - makes them feel useful too!