A quick blog about creating a birth plan in five steps minus the overwhelm.
I’m of the opinion that birth plans/preferences are worth your time and my hope is that this will help you. Even if this is your first, 2nd etc babe.
Right, first of all…
I’m just putting it out there – not everything is listed, this is a starting point to prevent you from entering into overwhemtown!!
I would recommend keeping your birth plan clear & easy to read – – > checkout step five which will help you actually write or make one.
If you’d prefer to listen – Tune in here!
Start with who will be present at your birth, your partner, any siblings, family members, friends, doula, pets etc.
Then where would you like to give birth – At home, Hospital or Midwife-led Unit – – > or even in a tent? (p.s, if you’re planning on giving birth anywhere unusual, Get in Touch!)
Next, what pain relief methods will you be using?
Natural & Medical mix of both – – > are you open to suggestions?
Then briefly mention previous births
Add any allergies you have or health issues
Mention (if you’re comfortable too) if you have suffered any sexual trauma in the past
List your labour and birth preferences this could be things like:
I want freedom of movement
I would like birthing positions suggested to me
I want a quiet space to birth in (I once attended a home birth where my client added no talking at all in the birth space)
I want limited vaginal examinations or none at all
Don’t tell me to push
I would like encouragement to breathe my baby out
No one to touch me other than my partner
I/We want to find out the sex of my baby with my partner
I want to catch my baby or my partner or midwife to catch baby
Don’t break my waters
Happy to have fetal monitoring (what options of fetal monitoring is there?)
I do not want baby wiped clean
How & where would you like to birth your placenta – Naturally or medically assisted?
Are you keeping your placenta?
Delay cord-cutting for X amount of time
Partner or someone special to cut the cord
Immediate skin to skin
I/We want some undisturbed time after birth
I plan to breast or bottle-feed
Vitamin k administered orally, via injection or no vitamin K (research this, I’ll link a book by Dr Sarah Wickham called Vitamin k and the newborn to check out)
We want to wait an hour before our baby is weighed
I/We are happy to have student midwives present (I had some at mine, experience is vital to their midwifery studies – but if you’re not happy that’s cool too).
For ways to make your post-partum easier, I suggest listing to Episode 3 of The Adventures of a Birth Photographer
Remember that birth is unpredictable and different every time. Be prepared in case things don’t go to plan.
On your birth plan have a section that says:
In the events of an emergency that requires a c-section (belly birth) I would like the following:
Drapes down or transparent if possible
Delay cord clamping
Immediate skin to skin
Your partner or doula with you
To discover the sex of the babe yourselves
See or keep my placenta
That all recommended procedures be explained including risks and benefits so that I and my partner are able to make an informed choice.
Lastly, Step 5
This is more of a guide to actually writing or making a birth plan
Focus on what feels right and what is most important to you and your partner – start there!
Keep it clear and concise – bullets points are great and are easy and quick to read or break it down into stages. Avoid big bulky paragraphs.
Get informed and educate yourself about your preferences and birth terminology.
Consider investing in a birth course, read books, listen to podcasts, watch birth videos & look at birth images.
Ask questions if you’re unsure of anything
Discuss your birth plan with your midwife during your appointments and check-ups
Make a copy for yourselves + one to go in your medical notes and a copy for your doula so everyone knows your wishes.
If birthing at home blue-tac it to the wall.
Consider making a visual birth plan instead. There are loads of free visual birth plans online or visit Pinterest and Etsy for some ideas or you could get really creative buy a pinboard and make your own then photograph it so you can send copies!
If you do make your own I would love to see it!!
Make time to do your birth plan with your partner.
Share it with your doula and support team.
And that’s it,
That’s my birth plan in five steps minus the overwhelm – My hope is that this helped you or has promoted you to start making a birth plan and to educated yourself.
Let me know how you get on!
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