“What is a birth plan and how do I plan one?”
In my earlier posts I talked about it being imperative to have a birth plan for any birth whether it be at home or at the hospital or a birthing center. A birth plan is simply your desires about your birth and answers of how one should respond to anything which may occur during your labor and delivery. You can also include a grocery list and routine for your household and the other children if you have other children. A birth plan will help you be at ease as well as everyone else. I know in my first birth plan, I was certain to include information on where things were located in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. My husband and his mom were going to be doing some of the things around the house, and I wanted to make sure they knew where things were.
Things to Include in the Birth Plan:
- Any health problems you have had in the past.
- Experiences with previous labors whether positive or negative.
- Include which tests you will accept during pregnancy and those you want to decline.
- Desires and expectations of midwife and yourself as well as anyone else who will attend the birth.
- A list of phone numbers if there is an emergency.
- Include answers to what you would like to happen if…
For example: The midwife may want to break your water or give you an herbal supplement. You may be willing to have these interventions or you may only be willing to have these interventions if an emergency arises.
- Include directions to the nearest hospital in case you need to transport.
- Include instructions for babysitters and other caretakers whether caring for your children or your home.
- Include things you want or do not want to happen during labor. For instance, our first birth, we wanted ONLY the midwife and the nurse assistant NO ONE else! I made it very clear! I also DID NOT want any pain medication or to be transported to the hospital (unless emergency). I was willing to try anything the midwife suggested and endure the pain to keep from doing these things. My first labor was 38 hours!
- Include how you want the baby handled after birth. For instance, do you want to try to catch the baby yourself? Do you want to cut the umbilical cord or your husband? Do you want the baby immediately upon birth or is it okay for the midwife or your husband to have him/her first? If you are being surprised by the gender of your baby, do you want your midwife or someone else to tell you or do you want to find out for yourself.
- Make a list of procedures you will accept after birth and those which are unacceptable (Vitamin K shot, eye drops, PKU test, etc.).
- Do you want a birth certificate and social security number?
- Who will attend your birth?
- What do you want to eat during and after birth?
- What position do you want to give birth? (squatting, back, side, water birth, etc.)
- You can include anything which is of importance to you! I have only listed a few things to include.
- Below are some websites with Birth Plan forms for you to use for free! (I do not endorse any of these websites! You may or may not agree with the information which is on them. Use your own judgment!")
**I am not a doctor or a midwife. I am sharing my thoughts and experiences on homebirth. Please do not take my opinions as medical advice! See your doctor or midwife with any concerns.**