Your so close to your due date that it feels like the days are creeping by with an ever-growing baby taking up more and more room leaving you feeling tired and super uncomfortable. You have a list of things you still need to get done and making a birth plan is a big one! How do you go about doing this and have one that works best for you and your situation?
I will break it down for you in an easy to follow way so that you have a clear idea of how to go about doing this and make a plan that you are confident works best for you.
Giving birth can be scary so having a plan in place will help to relieve some of the stress on your big day! By making one now this is one last thing you need to worry about and you can concentrate on getting other things ready if they aren’t already.
You may also like this article on The Complete Third Trimester To-Do-List
It’s a good idea to really think about what you want in your plan and how you wish things to go so that there aren’t any surprises along the way. If this isn’t the first time or you already are aware of conditions that may occur such as going for a VBAC, water birth or whatever that may be, make sure to include those conditions when making a birth plan.
Here is an outline that will help you get it all organized: You can download it here along with a checklist:
Making A Birth Plan
Here is a breakdown of what to put in your birth plan and things you need to think about before writing it. You can make a plan that works in different scenarios by putting in what you want if these things should occur.
When you go into labor what would you like to have done when it comes to your comfort, pain, and overall wellbeing during the process. Do you need certain things such as being able to walk around, music, etc.
Think about pain control and if you want an epidural or not (keep in mind some hospitals don’t do epidurals so make sure if you want one that the hospital you will be at will give you one), would you rather labor without for a while or go without completely?
How You Will Labor
Let them know if you want music and quiet with little interruptions, how you want to be monitored by the nursing staff.
Do you need to be walking around or have certain items with you like a labor ball to use, does the hospital provide it, and if so you need to include this in your plan. Will you be having a water birth or want to be in the tube for part of labor?
Let them know what you want to avoid doing unless absolutely necessary such as patocine, epidurals, etc
Who Is In The Room With You
Who do you want to be allowed in the room? When having a baby there is no privacy when it comes to showing everything so if you don’t want everyone to see your stuff you will want to make sure only certain people are allowed and when you want them in there with you.
Food and Drink
Sometimes you are allowed to eat a snack so it is best to say that you would like to eat something while in labor if you want or plan to eat beforehand because it will be a long day for you! I sat down and had a sandwich when I first went into labor. My husband thought it was weird but I told him it will probably be the only thing I eat for a long time.
Also, request water and ice chips to stay hydrated during labor as you get hot and sweaty during the process and need to be hydrated.
What do you want birth to look like? Do you want people with you or just your SO? Write down what your needs are during this time. Plan for things that could happen and what you want to do if these happen.
Unable To Give Birth Way You Want
Plan for what to do if your natural birth plan doesn’t go how you want is a good idea even if you never need it babies don’t always follow the plan and neither do our bodies (good for situations like your baby is turned wrong or is having trouble with his heart or you aren’t dilating far enough) I know we don’t like to think about these things but sometimes they happen even with the best planning and trying for a natural birth.
I know this to be true because my first was breech and they didn’t know for hours and after all the laboring I had a c section which was not the plan. My second I planned for a natural birth and he started having a low heart rate so in order to keep from having to resuscitate a baby we went with the option on my birth plan that if it doesn’t go right and for some reason VBAC cannot happen I will have a c section and so we did.
Keep this in mind for the scenario that might come up and decide beforehand what to do so that you don’t have to figure it out at the hospital!
Use Of Suction or Forceps
Do you want them to use suction or forceps to remove the baby as they are coming out? Sometimes they get stuck and doctors need to know what your wishes are with this. I would do some research on how this is done so that you are making an informed decision about this beforehand.
Some injuries can occur so make sure you know what you are giving the okay to.
Pushing During Delivery
Is your plan to push with your body naturally trying different positions to make it easier. When the baby is crowning do you need a perennial massage or want an episiotomy so you don’t tear.
After giving birth what options do you want, will you do cord blood banking or clamping? If you don’t know what these are, do some research so that you know your options before labor.
You may want to read this article on postpartum bleeding if you are a first-time mom!
Do you want the cord clamped and cut right away or do you want them to wait until it stops pulsing to cut it? Should they save the cord blood and if so what is the plan on that?
Usually, if you are going to save the cord blood you have a plan in place for this already but it is nice to include it in your birth plan so everyone is on the same page!
Will you be breastfeeding or formula feeding? Do you want to start right away?
Do you want a breastfeeding consultant to help you right away so that feedings can go smoother?
Do you want the baby in your arms right after birth or wait for a bit? This also depends on things going smoothly sometimes you won’t be able to hold them right away due to a complication or they want to bathe them first.
Most moms say skin to skin for bonding with baby and help to breastfeed right away.
Bottles or no bottles
If you are formula feeding what kind do you want to go with or try first? Do you want them to give the baby a pacifier?
Do you have a hospital gown that you want to change into or take a shower right after, write this down as well so they know what you need and want to do.
If you are starving which you probably will be, make sure they request food for you as well when you get to your room.
If you want help from the nurse to feed the baby, want the baby in the nursery for a while so you can rest or just need some time at the hospital till you feel ready to go home let them know in your birth plan.
Make sure to include how to care for your baby say they have a procedure scheduled after birth and the wishes you have for that. Circumcision is a common one and is done fairly quickly with this you may want to say if you want a numbing cream put on first or injection so they don’t feel it.
Final Thoughts on Making a Birth Plan
Write everything down that you want and don’t want and make sections for Labor, Birth and Postpartum then put what you do want and what you want to avoid if possible in the appropriate sections.
Be sure to keep it organized, easy to read, and preferably one page long. It makes it easier for them to reference it when they need to so everyone knows your wishes. I would advise that you keep a copy with you as well encase something happens to the one they have or you need to give it to them postpartum for any reason.
It’s better to start making your birth plan now rather than putting it off encase your little one decides it’s time to be welcomed into the world!
Here is an outline that will help you get it all organized: You can download it here and rewrite it on the computer to say what you want on your birth plan:
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