The empowered mother will take it on her own to immerse herself in the hands of doctors and friends/family that are supportive of her wishes to make her pregnancy, labor, birth and postnatal experience as best as possible. This is not an easy task! Husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends all want to lend their help and advise. This advise often will conflict with the mother’s ideal plan. My advise is to thank them for their advise and not go back to them for further discussion and by all means do not have them part of your birth plan!
A written birth plan is an absolute necessity for first time mothers or for mothers who want to have a more natural birth after a less-than-perfect prior birth(s). This birth plan puts into words what the mother and her team wishes and should be given to anyone that the mother chooses.
The birth plan needs to be given to the delivering doctor, midwife or staff that will be involved well in advance of the delivery. All the options can then be discussed and negotiated in advance so no misunderstanding are made. Some doctors and staff will not be 100% compliant with all the requests in your birth plan. By discussing in advance these objections the mother can have a better understanding of what to expect at the delivery and whether they have made a good choice in their birthing team.
Below is a SAMPLE birth plan for an uncomplicated, low risk birth. If you are considered to have a “high risk” pregnancy, your birth plan needs to be tailor made and requires a doctor’s consultation. This sample birth plan is not meant to be copied and used as your own. It needs to be ammended as per the wishes of the mother under the direction and cooperation of her birth team. The birth plan is idealized and will most likely play out differently when the time actually comes to have the baby. Therefore, you need to be not only empowered, but also FLEXIBLE!
If you have any questions about creating your own personalized birth plan you can call me for a consultation at (310) 534-9045.
LABOR STAGE ONE
Informed consent for any variations from normal birth plan
Allow labor to begin when baby chooses no matter what supposed “due date” is.
Go to hospital when contractions are <10 minutes apart (unless otherwise informed)
Camera (still and video plans)
Able to move around or stay in desired position (i.e., not on back) during labor
Able to eat, drink, sleep, urinate as desired
No medication before, during or after birth (only herbs, tinctures, etc.)
No vaginal exams – except in labor to determine dilation/effacement (as few as possible)
Positive words and encouragement only
No episiotomy (perineal massage with oils) or prep (shaving, enema, IV)
Little to no monitoring (fetal/ultrasound) – absolutely no internal fetal monitoring
Mom relax as she knows best (music, dim lights, massage, teas, herbs, heat, etc.)
No intervention if length of labor is less than 36 hours (no ptocin, hormones, rupture of membranes or any other unnatural intervention to promote or speed labor)
Natural Alignment Plateau – not dilating, but contractions still occurring – don’t intervene. Try another position, shower, or relax. Your body, baby may need the extra prep time
Let bag of waters break naturally – no amniotomy
LABOR STAGE TWO AND THREE
Allowed to scream and yell as needed – doesn’t necessarily mean pain, just diaphragm assisting pushing the baby out. Keep the tones low for best results. High-pitched screaming makes you lose control, fatigues (fear-pain cycle)
Only push when have the urge (do “positive” pushing techniques)
For shakes, take orange juice, calories and midwife’s tincture
Don’t rush the pushing of baby (if less than 5 hours) or placenta out
Breathe as taught in Bradley – not Lamaze
Father or coach to cut cord – only AFTER it has stopped pulsating
Sign AMA forms (against medical advice)
No PKU test, Vitamin K injection, Silver Nitrate or antibiotic in eyes, immunization shots
Neonatal tests (APGAR, etc.) should be done in same room in front of mom
Immediate skin to skin contact with baby (don’t bundle baby). Privacy
Immediate nursing (Colostrum, bonding, immunity, uterine contraction – prevent hemorrhage, return to pre-pregnancy size, supply & demand) – no bottle or pacifier during hospital stay.
Baby is not to be taken away from mom at all during hospital stay.
No baby bath (wipe away blood, amniotic fluid. Rub vernix caseosa into skin – don’t remove!)
No incubator, jaundice treatment, circumcision
Go home from hospital ASAP (same day?)