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Birthing Plans

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I'm wondering what kind of labor and birthing plans people have. I don't want to start a war on ideologies but just a conversation or sharing experiences, without terrifying people who have never given birth.

This baby is my second. With my first, I wanted to do a natural birth but I ended up with an epidural AND I had a wonderful experience. My daughter was bright, alert, pink, and beautiful. At that point in my life, I was terrified. I was turning into a single mom (with my baby's birth), had to quit my job to move out of state into my parents home since I needed their help, and it was my first labor. So, I think my life circumstances had a lot to do with long labor. I'm glad I got the epidural. Once it was in, I could relax, talk with my sisters, mom, and wonderful friend/birth coach.

But this time, my life is in a whole different spot. I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful daughter, and my life is not turning upside down. We're going to Bradley classes and I'm reading as many stories about medication-free child births as possible. I'm excited about it and have a lot more confidence in myself than I did the first.

So, I'm just wondering, what are you planning? If this is not your first labor and delivery, do you have a different plan than the last time you gave birth?
post #2 of 39
Great idea!

Oh--and way to go on the Bradley classes. Dr. Sears says over 90% of people who complete the Bradley classes go on to have drug-free labors. Wishing you the best of luck!!

This baby is our third (second pregnancy). With my twins, I birthed at a local hospital and actually had a great, great experience. This time I'm going to the same hospital, but I'm hoping to improve the experience. One thing that will be different is I'll be delivering *one* baby, and thankfully he doesn't seem to have the same health concerns as my twin sons. ...that means there will be a lot fewer people waiting in the wings for possible complications.

So, for this one I think I'll take my old birth plan and spiff it up a little. I want very few people in the room when I deliver (dh, the OB, and one or two support nurses), I want to birth in my own laboring room (last time before pushing I had to transfer to a room that could be accessed by emergency teams), and I would like to head home after a day in the hospital. A longer stay was helpful for me last time (great lactation support), but this time I feel like I'll be more comfortable recovering at home.

Last time was drug-free and we went to the hospital after laboring at home for quite a while. I liked doing it that way--those early hours of labor spent just between dh and I were so dear. I liked getting to the hospital, though-- the support nurses there were wonderful, and I needed their help getting through transition.

I'm so excited to see what it's like to birth just one baby....to hold one baby with _both_ arms, to nurse in a cuddled-up position rather than a two-arm sprawl, to push a baby out and have that be IT! This is happy, exciting planning for me. I can't wait to birth this little guy.

Can't wait to hear other people's plans....that's one really fun thing about mothering.com--everyone does it so differently!
post #3 of 39
Please don't throw stones or rocks...or anything else not soft haha...

How terrible is being induced?

I may be considering this as an option- ONLY if certain things happen with my husband's job... I don't know if I can bear not having him there for our first child's birth...
ONLY AND ONLY if his job stuff happens the way it looks like it might will this be something I will be EVEN considering!!!
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
I never thought about how different it would be to take care of twin newborns. I think most people think about diapers and toddlers and messy rooms. What a neat thing to look forward to!
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

Not throwing stones

It's sad that you even have to write, "please don't throw stones..." but it's true, people get crazy over how mothers decide to give birth.

Each of our circumstances is different and we'll each a make a choice that suits us best. It sounds like you're facing a hard choice and I couldn't imagine giving birth without my husband there. I'm already relying on him so much and the baby still has 5 months of brewing.

Are you planning on anything else besides induction--like epidural, water birth, anything like that?
post #6 of 39
I go in tomorrow (for the sonogram!! yay!) and will discuss some options.
I am hoping for natural, but I have requested that an epidural be available in case I wig out.
I will NOT have an episiotomy.

Those are the major things I have really decided... (of course, if this thing happens with my dh's job- then this might change slightly... I still need to weigh,, whats worse, dh not being there or being induced....)
post #7 of 39
I don't know! I'm nervous! Things are complicated by me probably moving to another state at 8 or 9 months along, and my husband not being here most of the time. I wish I could just stay put but then he might miss it if he can't get home in time. I don't have the guts to go for a home birth for the first so I hope to find a birthing center when I move. If I can't, I hope to find a progressive hospital. And since I'm moving, I'm reluctant to start CB classes, because I might have to move in the middle of it, and reluctant to start going to LLL meetings, because I might move any day.......

So anyway, plan is to find a birthing center and give natural birth a try.
post #8 of 39
post #9 of 39
If you think you need to be induced...well, you know what's right for you...but PLEASE keep in mind...pitocin IS evil & makes contractions HURT LIKE ...I dunno what!! It's NOT "normal" labor!! I did that 2X...wish I hadn't - screwed it all up, needed c-sections.

You'll figure it out though & do what's best.
post #10 of 39
Originally Posted by kellykins
Please don't throw stones or rocks...or anything else not soft haha...

How terrible is being induced?

I may be considering this as an option- ONLY if certain things happen with my husband's job... I don't know if I can bear not having him there for our first child's birth...
ONLY AND ONLY if his job stuff happens the way it looks like it might will this be something I will be EVEN considering!!!
How about getting a birth doula? That's what one of my friend's did for a similar reason of her husband working this seasonal job and possibly not making it back in time (which he did, by like a few hours, whew). She said the doula was absolutely wonderful and helped her relax a lot.

Induction can do a lot of harm, especially if hte baby is not ready to come out. I hope you do lots of research for both sides of the issue before too much more time passes.
post #11 of 39


I've imagined it a few different ways. As hopefully most of you know, I am doing an instinctual pregnancy and birth (otherwise known as unassisted or Do-It-Yourself), so I will be at home, hopefully, LOL.

I see myself labouring in bed on my side in a very still, restful state for the earlier parts of labor. Sometimes I see myself staying this way until pushing phase, when I get on hands and knees and push babe out.

Othertimes, I see myself doing the restful beginning then moving to the big comfy bathroom and resting in the tub with hot water as needed. Having a cooler box with Red Raspberry Leaf tea, small snacks, water, etc, nearby so I can eat and snack as needed. Using my exercise ball to rock on or over.

If hubby is asleep, then I let him sleep. Either waking him up before I push the babe out ( HONEEEEY! BABY COMING!) or just getting him after baby and placenta are out.

I feel most comfortable laboring alone. It was nice having him there during transition when I did belly dancing while holding onto him and saying a mantra of a deep and breathy "I love you." over and over with him repeating it back. It was also equally nice being alone near the end of transition.

We're doing a lotus birth, so baby will not be separated from the cord & placenta until it falls off naturally. We also don't plan on letting anyone know that baby is born for the first 3 days.. maybe longer. We just want to bond a lot at first.

Anyway, my ideas and hopes for this birth.
post #12 of 39
I had an induction with #1 but it didn't take. I was technically a "failed induction" but b/c I threatened to sue my OB if he couldn't prove that a c-section was necessary to save my baby's life. My cousin just (2 weeks ago) had an induction with #4, it took fine and she did it drug free. You need to do your research and make the best decision for you. I can say that my pain with #1 was much worse than with #2 but I can't say for certain if that was the induction or the fact that hospitals terrify me.
post #13 of 39
Now for the plan this time. We're planning our 2nd home waterbirth. I felt very let down with my first so with the second, DH and I spent some time focusing on what I needed from him. It was mostly Dh and I last time, I spent most of my labor standing up or hanging from DH. I prefer for it to be jsut DH and I, I tend to get overstimulated and he did a great job last time of helping me stay focused. I hope to get in the water a bit earlier this time.
post #14 of 39
As a former doula, I am greatly in favor of birth plans. We have not yet written ours, but as it happens, it will just be a backup plan to have on hand to give to the resident should we have to transport to the hospital (we are planning a homebirth).

I have the feeling I might succumb to an epidural were I to be in the hospital, so being at home is just another safeguard against that for me. =)
post #15 of 39
I'm reading Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a modern midwife right now, and just finished reading this: Peggy recommends her patients to write their birth plans in as much detail as they wish and then...burn them! She says this helps them to liberate themselves from too much expectation in the face of something so unpredictable as birth. Interesting.

I was really focused on my expectations last time, and still feel a little miffed that it didn't happen exactly as I wanted, despite the fact that I was fine, and the baby was fine, and I am so grateful that things turned out so well (despite a turd of a doctor). So this time, I think I'll take Peggy's advice--but only after sharing the full details with midwife and DH!

Here's the basics of what I'd like: labor at home with family/friends until near end first stage, go to hospital, ease into the labor tub for an hour or so through transition, and then birth a healthy baby in some semi-upright position. I'd LOVE to catch the babe myself, or have DH do it, but that's a real dreamy-eyed wish.
post #16 of 39
I am also reading a really interesting book on birthing: Birthing From Within. This is my first, so part of my journey has just been recognizing how much anxiety will play a part in the birthing process for me. I am a very anxious person when I don't know what to expect, so I am trying to find peace in expecting nothing. What I do know is that it will be primal, painful, scary, amazing and unexplainable and that if I want the best birth experience the ONE thing I need to remember is to have confidence in myself and my decisions in the whole process. This can be hard to do in a hospital setting where you feel anything but confident in your own bodily functions which is why I would like to labor as long as possible at home.

post #17 of 39
Originally Posted by Kam
I'm reading Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a modern midwife
This is a wonderful book. Very inspiring, and I would recommend it to everyone. It just might change your plans for you.
post #18 of 39
You work in a hospital, too, right? What did you think of the descriptions of her hospital? Seemed similar to Japanese hospitals, where the nurses secretly cheer the natural birthers, but not in front of the doctors. Harumph. Maybe we should have a book discussion thread? I'm sure many of us are reading up a storm. Birthing From Within is next on my list!
post #19 of 39
Birthing from Within AND Baby Catcher are both excellent books . . .

My "plans" are pretty fluid; I am trying to keep it to "preferences", so that I will be open-minded when labor actually starts--especially since I've never done this before!

DH and I are planning a homebirth with a few people in attendance (midwife, midwife's assistant, best friend, massage therapist friend); we might even add another person or two to the group once labor has actually started and I find out how I will deal with the contractions. (DH's cousin, who is a dear friend, might be interested in witnessing a birth; his god-sister has already volunteered as well if we find we want another person there.) I am aware that I MAY feel differently once labor starts and prefer to labor in solitude; however, my "vision" of birth has always been of a big, sprawling group with a festive, family party atmosphere.

Other than that, I am hoping for:
-laboring in water (maybe birthing there, depending on how I feel once pushing starts)
-minimal cervical checks (unless I really feel like I MUST know where I'm at, dilation-wise; at this point I think that too many checks will feel like pressure to perform, and would rather just listen to my body until I feel the urge to push)
-no coaching during the pushing phase (I want to avoid being told to push and instead be allowed to push only when my body tells me to, in an attempt to avoid tearing)

That's about all I have in mind right now, but I look forward to hearing from more mamas on this thread and maybe getting some more ideas!
post #20 of 39
I'm planning a VBAC, according to the following:

The Roche Family Birth Plan - Baby #4 (VBAC)
Name: Analisa Roche
Midwife or OB: Dr. Yolanda Lawson
Pediatrician: Dr. Daniel Moulton
Professional Labor Assistant:
Birth Center or Hospital: Baylor
Approximate Due Date: 03/06/2006
Personal Statement:
We understand that birth can be unpredictable. We are presenting this birth plan to encourage dialogue and to help us achieve a safe and satisfying birth. Our baby's health and well being is of utmost importance to us. We look forward to working with you, and appreciate your cooperation in helping our family to achieve our personal birthing goals.

* I expect, and trust, that my practitioner will seek my opinion, and that of my partner, on all issues that may affect my birth experience or that deviate from this plan.
* If the baby and I are fine, and if I go past my estimated due date, I would like to wait until I go into labor naturally.
* If my water breaks at the onset of labor and there are no signs of infection, I would ideally like to wait at least 24 hours before induction is considered.
* If my baby is overdue, prior to induction, I would like to try the following techniques first (with the guidance and supervision of my doctor or midwife):
o Breast stimulation
o Sex (assuming waters have not broken)
o Herbs(cohosh)

First Stage, Phase I - Latent Labor:

* Upon entering my hospital or birth center, it is crucial for me that I will not be separated from my partner(s) at any point during labor or birth.
* While I understand and can appreciate the need for training and teaching, I may prefer not to have residents or students walking in and out during my labor and delivery. Please respect my wishes as I state them while laboring and delivering.
* Ideally, I would like my environment to:
o have dimmed lights
o to have voices respectfully lowered
o to be at a cool temperature
* I would like the hospital or birthing staff to know that I may have my own personal style to birthing -- from walking, moaning, or grunting. I would be grateful for the personal space to do this comfortably without feeling hushed or rushed.
* Upon being admitted, I would like to avoid a routine enema.
* I am uncomfortable having my pubic area shaven unless it becomes medically necessary to do so. Please explain such a procedure beforehand.

First Stage, Phase II - Active Labor - Getting to 10 cm:

* I would like to keep internal vaginal exams to a minimum.
* I understand that I will be working REALLY hard. Therefore:
o If hospital rules do not allow food, I would like to insist on access to clear fluids, like water, Recharge®, Gatorade®, and/or ice-chips.
* If an IV prep becomes necessary I would like a heparin/saline lock to be considered. A heparin/saline lock is ....
* Since mobility is important to me, I would like Intermittent Monitoring (ACOG Standards), using:
o External electronic monitor
* My birth partner and I would like to take a few moments to privately discuss my pain-relief options before a decision is made.
o Ideally, I'd like a drug-free birth. Only offer medications if I ask.
* I would like the opportunity to try non-medical, non-invasive pain-relief methods. Some therapies I feel would be useful for me include:
o Massage
o Guided relaxation
o Water (shower/bath)
o If bath or shower, I would like my partner to join me.
o Change in position
o Hot/cold therapy
o Acupressure
* Ideally, I would like to be allowed freedom of movement -- to walk, rock, use the bathroom and move as my body dictates.
* I am interested in having access to certain birthing equipment. If available, I would like to use:
o Birthing stool
o Birthing pool/tub

First Stage, Phase III - Transition:

* I understand that transition is unpredictable. I may throw-up, my water may break if has not already, and/or I may expel other bodily fluids. I am appreciative of help that reduces my anxieties and my sense of vulnerability.
* At this point, my body may be most sensitive. If I am feeling that my support person's or staff member's voice and/or touch feels too much, I will indicate so.


* I have the following coaching preferences:
o I do not want to be coached how or when to push. When I am fully dilated, I trust my body's instincts to push my baby out naturally.
* As long as it is clear that my baby's heart tones are good and that she/he is receiving sufficient oxygen, I would like to be free of time limits on pushing. It is important to me to allow my body to operate in its natural rhythm and time-table.
* If my doctor or midwife feels that pushing may not be progressing efficiently, I would like to be reminded that sometimes changing positions helps. Because I may be very internally-focused, I would like to be encouraged to try one or more of the following delivery positions:
o Squatting
o Side-lying position
o Standing upright
o Hands and knees on floor
o Kneeling, resting arms on bed/chair
o Semi-reclining on bed, knees pressed to chest with support person behind me, providing counter-pressure
o Whatever feels right in the moment

Vaginal Delivery:

* Ideally, I would like to avoid an episiotomy. To that end, I would like my practitioner or birth partner to support me with:
o warm compresses applied to my perineum
o sterile olive oil to massage and stretch my perineum
o encouragement to breath with my urge push, allowing me to move with the flow and force of my uterus.
* I would like local anesthesia for repairs (stitches).
* I would like to be given the option to view my baby's entry into the world by using a mirror.
* I would like to catch my baby, or have my partner catch the baby, as he or she descends.
* I would like for my baby to hear our voices first.
* I would like my baby to be placed on my abdomen immediately following the birth.
* If warming is necessary, please allow baby to be warmed on my abdomen, covered by blankets.

If Complications Lead to a Cesarean Delivery:

* Please keep communication open. If, at all possible, please wait for my express consent, or that of my partner, before initiating any procedure.
* It is important to me that my partner(s) be present with me at all times during the birth.
* Ideally, I would like to remain awake and aware, avoiding general anesthesia if possible.
* Please discuss anesthesia options with me.
* Please use a low-transverse incision on my uterus and abdomen.
* Since I have had a cesarean, please use the same incision, if possible.
* I would like the screen to be lowered, or be able to use a mirror, so I can witness my baby's entrance into the world.
* Please leave at least one of my hands free so I may touch my baby when he or she is born.
* Assuming the baby is well, I would like to hold my baby on my chest and/or nurse my baby as soon as possible.
* I would like the opportunity to see and/or photograph my placenta.
* Please remove my IV and catheter as soon as possible following my baby's birth.
* Please discuss options for postpartum medication, if needed, with me.
* Please provide me with nutritious food and drink as soon as possible.


* Ideally, I would like to deliver the placenta unassisted -- without Pitocin, uterine massage or cord traction. If a procedure is necessary, please explain it to me.
* I would like the opportunity to see the placenta. I understand that the placenta has been my baby's life support system, providing him or her with daily nutrients, warmth and eliminating his or her wastes. Assuming both baby and I are well after the delivery, I would like the opportunity to see the placenta. If possible, I would like my doctor or midwife to show me the maternal and the fetus' sides.
* I would like my partner to have an opportunity to take a picture of the placenta.

Suction and Cord Care:

* I would like my baby not to be suctioned unless medically necessary.
* In my ideal world, my healthy baby will be immediately placed on my chest. If this is the case, he or she will be above the placenta and I would therefore like to wait until the cord stops pulsating before it is clamped and cut.

Eyedrops, Vitamin K and other Procedures:

* I understand that it is routine to administer antibiotic drops or ointment, such as erythromycin, to newborn baby's eyes to protect against gonorrhea and chlamydia, as well as other more common bacterial infections.
o I prefer not to have my baby undergo this treatment at all.
* I understand that in the United States, it is routine procedure to give newborns a one-time injection of vitamin K.
o I would like vitamin K to be given to my newborn.
* Ideally, with either a vaginal or cesarean birth, I would like to postpone routine newborn procedures until I have had a chance to bond with my baby.
* I would like to have any additional newborn procedures thoroughly explained to us.
* I would like for my birth partner(s) or me to be present during all newborn procedures.
* I would like to postpone any immunizations until a later time.

Bathing and Circumcision:

* I prefer that the baby be gently wiped down to remove fluids, and wrapped in a receiving blanket. Please do not bathe, to allow my baby's natural vernix to continue to soften and protect skin.
* If the baby is a boy,
o please do not circumcise.

Rooming-In and Feeding:

* My preference for in-hospital infant care is:
o Full rooming in -- no separation.
* Please do not offer my baby the following:
o Formula
o Sugar water
o Artificial nipples
* My feeding preference is:
o to breastfeed exclusively.
* I would like the assistance of a lactation consultant to help me with nursing.
* I would like my older children to visit with my newborn and me as soon as possible.

Sick Baby and Postpartum Care:

* If my baby is not well, I would like to:
o accompany my baby, or have my partner accompany the baby if transported to another facility.
o breastfeed, or provide my expressed milk for my baby.
o have unlimited visitation for my partner and myself.
o hold, rock and care for my baby, if possible.
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