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So last night was our last night of the hospital childbirth classes. The speaker was the superviser of the nursery and a friend of ours (she's goes to church with us and has taken care of DH and all his neices and nephews and our son when they were born.
My birth plan has been signed and approved by my OB and I was feeling really great about it. I felt he understood me and was going to work with me. I felt really confident about my birth. He did warn me about some of the nurses might give me a problem but I figured I have the doctor's okay and his rules.
However last night she ruined it for me. I wanted a nurse's opinion on how the nurses would react to my birth plan and if they would give me a problem about it. She started out saying how not to worry about it, they are real good about it, she couldn't consider herself a good nurse if she went against my birth plan. But as she kept talking (she's kind of a rambler and it can be difficult to really get her point), she started saying things like she won't let my plans endanger the baby, she rarely sees births go as planned (she said it as if plans were worthless), to be careful not to back myself into a corner. Its all in the way you present yourself is another thing she kept saying.

I guess I think she was trying to warn me that my plan was useless and they'll do whatever they want but she didn't want to saying it out right. I told her she'll get my birth plan up on the floor next week and then she can talk to me about it if need be.

I just don't really know what to think now! I wish I could talk to my doctor but I feel silly calling him for this and I won't get to see him for another 3 weeks because he's going to be at a conference at my next appt and I have to see his colleague.
I'm going to talk to DH and ask him to kinda clear up what she was trying to say. We may review my birth plan (need to anyway). If need be I'll type up another plan. This would be the 3rd!

This has me stressing.
 

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I'm sorry that you are feeling so stressed...I know it's frightening to think that you might not get the support you need. On the bright side, you still have time to either figure out a plan to implement your birth plan, or to fill in the gaps in your support network.

As a doula, I will say that it is very rare to have an ob who spends any time at all in the labor room. Sometimes they're in and out (esp during the day) but I've also attended many, many labors where the first time anyone sees the ob is after mom has started pushing. When your ob isn't there, the nursing staff is in charge and they often go by "standard orders."

You may get a nurse who wants to support you--or you may get a nurse who has her own ideas about how your labor should go. It would be difficult for anyone to really guess what might happen.

Do you have a doula? If you do, you can talk to her about her advocacy skills. Ask her what she has done in the past when the nursing staff has made suggestions that weren't in keeping with her client's birth plan. If you don't have a doula, you might want to think about inviting one to your birth. A doula can really take the pressure off your husband--especially in regards to advocating for your wishes and helping you communicate with the nursing staff.

Another option would be to think about what might be problematic and come up with some strategies for each situation. Of course this might require your husband to be fairly assertive...the two of you will have to figure out how comfortable he will be with that role.

Best of luck, mama.
 

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From what you say I don't think she was saying a plan is useless, it seems more like she was trying to convey that as a nurse she's respectful of the plan while cautioning you that things don't always go according to plan, ya know? Sometimes the women who've spent the most time planning all the details of their birth are the ones who are most unhappy with they way the birth turns out should things happen differently, and I bet she's seen that. Maybe she was trying to say with that corner thing, consider what you might want in a variety of circumstances that might come up since birth can't actually be controlled. When she says, as a nurse, she won't let plans endanger the baby, I expect her to mean that although, for example, you want no seperation for the baby, she'd throw that out the window if the baby was in respiratory distress and needed to go straight to the NICU, know what I mean? Not that, all things being good, she'd seperate you from the baby. That's my take anyhow, you'd have gotten a fairer impression from actually listening to her. And the part where it's how you present yourselves? Yeah, I think that's important with nurses - if you're confrontative and belligerant, they're going to regard you a lot differently than if you are polite and reasonable. Most things a woman is asking for on a birth plan *are* reasonable under most circumstances. Give them the implicit assurance that you're reasonable enough to see when they're not, I think may have been her message. Good luck with your birthing - nurses really do make the hospital experience. Your friend's overall message really seemed to be that your wishes would be respected wherever they can be, and I hope your birth is lovely. And keep in mind that if you get a nurse who isn't respecting you, request a new one. You don't have to tolerate one you're not meshing with.
 

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IME nurses hate birth plans, they like to manage moms and feel they are the real power beind the hospital (and it's typically true).

Just because they don't like your birthplan, or you, or whatever doen't mean you just fold and say it's useless....it's your baby and they'll need to be reminded of that. And, you could get lucky and get that gem of a nurse that is a real protector of moms and babies and the sancitity of it all.

Bring a doula and remember that it's OK to fight for what you want. You're a mommmy now, get used to fighting for your child. Birth is great practice for the rest of your life


Wanted to add a reminder that your birth and your baby BELONG to you. It doen't matter if you are on the freaking moon giving birth...MOM is still the boss. People aren't simply "allowed" to do things to you in birth or anywhere else, you still have to give permission.

Yes, they WILL act and speak as if things with be A, B and C. "Mrs. S we're going to take your baby now for blah blah blah." You simply say No and that's the end of it. There will be no seperation IF you get up on your feet or knees to give birth and take that baby out of your own body with your own hands. Sitting with your knees up to your ears is a position in which you are basically helpless and others will then have access to your provate parts and your baby while you'll be struggling to reach or say "no, don't cut me/take my baby/whatever".

You can prevent most problems in birth, and those you can't *such as an unforseen 1/1million) emergency you can't do anything about anyways, so let it go and simply TRUST Birth.
 

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I'm sorry to say I have to agree with Rockies5. If I were you I'd call your doctor. It's not silly. And if he's behind you with the birth plan, he has the authority to make sure the nurses respect it. It's sad you have to rely on him for that, but you take what support you can get and make the most of it, you know?

Quote:
When she says, as a nurse, she won't let plans endanger the baby, I expect her to mean that although, for example, you want no seperation for the baby, she'd throw that out the window if the baby was in respiratory distress and needed to go straight to the NICU, know what I mean?
I'm sure that she was rambling and not really thinking about the implications of what she was saying, but this would be piss me off. As if I, as the laboring mother, would put my birth plan over the needs of my baby anyway?
:

It's too bad that you can't personally choose and develop a relationship with every single person that will be attending your birth. That's IMO one of the biggest things wrong with the institutional model of birth, this notion that the all people employed by the hospital are appropriate caregivers for each patient, and that it doesn't matter if the mom is surrounded by strangers during her birth.
 

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I birthed in a hospital with a mw and we went over my birth plan ahead of time and honestly the nurses in the L&D were very accustomed to natural birthing mothers, birth plans and have been cited as a 'mother friendly' hospital. I didn't feel like any of the nurses blatantly ignored my birth plan, but believe me, it wasn't followed. I am a nursing student and one thing that many patients don't know is that even though the birth plan is placed in the chart, the chart is left at the nursing station, it isn't taken into the room with you. So even if you specify clearly what you want the likelihood of the nurses remembering it all is very slim. Basically the only thing I remember then knowing is that I wanted to birth naturally. When the baby was born I didn't get to hold the baby (they felt she was 'in distress'
: I felt very differently but it isn't something you even have a chance to argue) they cut the cord immediately, administred shots and meds that I had specified I did not want her to have, and many other specifications.

I considered a hospital birth again this time but really had to rule it out, mostly for this reason. I felt ignored, even though it wasn't on purpose. As prepared as I was and even though my mw said she supported my plan it really can fly out the window and a lot can happen before you even have the opportunity to object.

My advice would be to be very kind and gracious towards the nurses (believe me, this is a big deal.) Even if you disagree with the nurse present it in a firm but kind manner. Also, you don't have to be in 'battle' mode the whole time but if I had it to do over again I would have paid a lot more attention to every thing they were doing and asked more questions. I was flat on my back with dd half way across the room. DH went over her but I guess he didn't think to ask the nurses what/why they were doing certain things and I think he wasn't thinking about our birth plan. You might make sure dh knows the birth plan by heart, especially the part after birth because he will be the one who can see what is happening and question any changes before it's too late.

Hope that helps a little, good luck!
 

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I don't think she was trying to scare you or let you know your birth plan "wont work", but like pp said...I think she has probably seen how little a birth plan might actually apply to a specific birth.

For me (as a mama and a doula) a birth plan is a wonderful tool to help parents explore their feelings on specific aspects of birth and infant care, a tool to start discussion with partners and care providers, a way to consider all sorts of possibilities (even those that you never expect...like what would you do if you needed a c/s? or your babe had to go to the NICU? Things that aren't happy to think about but which are a heck of a lot easier to discuss BEFORE they happen rather than in the stress of the moment).

But I also know that writing a birth plan doesn't mean that your birth will follow that plan exactly...and it's important to stay flexible and open to new information. It's one reason birth plans ARE so important...they force you to consider all sorts of things before labor begins so you (with the help of your partner and doula) can deal with any surprises as they come up during your birth.

Yes, it's important to have a short/sweet/clear plan that you share with everyone! Find out what is routine in your birth place and make sure that everyone knows where your desires don't match that routine. The nurses aren't "out to get you" but if they have familiar routines then they may not stop and think...so your plan is a guide for your partner and doula to help you remind the staff of your needs. I think your friend was just rambling on about how life doesn't always follow plans.

But then...you were there and could judge tone of voice/facial info so...

I hope you have the birth of your dreams!
 

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I think a birth plan is worth absolutely nothing if you don't have the right people supporting you.

The staff where my son was born ignored my birth plan in its entirety, minus the part about no circumcision, thank god. The rest of it, it was the complete opposite.

What Rockie said is 100% true. It just wish I hadn't learned it the hard way.

The bottom line is you ARE the boss and you can say NO. I very much regret not doing this for my son's birth. I was the good little patient, sugary sweet and compliant. I could not vocalize what I wanted even though it was right there in my birth plan. Both my husband and I thought surely staff would not do anything against our wishes unless it was a life or death situation, but that wasn't the case. And it didn't get me anywhere but seriously depressed afterwards.

So know that there is a chance that staff won't give a rat's butt what your birth plan says, in which case you will have to have someone literally guarding you and your child to make sure it is followed.
 
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