My hopeful birth plan

11:53 AM

We plan to have our baby at home. The following is our plan for our baby’s birth, preferably in water. We understand that labor can have many variables and just as many unexpected outcomes. We are prepared to 'take it as it comes', changing our decisions along the way. We also understand that a home birth is not for everyone and just like hospital births, can carry risks, some that you can not prepare for. In the event of transferring to hospital due to emergencies, we look for guidance from our midwife, and we ask that she take on the role of our advocate.

My Birth Plan:

If there is any research I should be aware of, I would like details as far in advance as possible.

I would like my husband, my mother-in-law and my midwives to be present.

I would like my privacy and dignity to be respected at all times.

I would like my husband to be able to join me in the pool if I so choose OR I may wish to remain on my own in the pool with my birth supporters outside the pool.

I wish to have music of my choice playing or absolute silence – no white noise machines.

I wish to have talking going on amongst ourselves and not on the subject of birth, pain or labor, unless it is asked for or is necessary.

I would like to have the lighting dimmed or off to suit my needs.

I would like to remain as active as possible, finding the best positions for myself and changing these as I wish.

I would like to try and rest between contractions wherever and whenever possible.

I would like monitoring of my progress and of the baby to be kept at a minimum unless there is cause for concern.

I would like any proposed intervention e.g. breaking waters, acceleration, to be explained and discussed first and ideally to be kept to a minimum.

I would like to have suggestions on how to reduce or overcome the discomfort I am experiencing.

I do not want to use the word “pain” in the description of what is occurring or am feeling.

I would like to use massage AND/OR move around AND/OR bathe and be given lots of support to help with this.

I would like to use the water birth pool at any stage of labor.

I plan to use any position to help ease my discomfort. I may ask support from my husband in order to do so.

Advice will be welcome, and I am open to considering other pain relief options, such as homeopathy, if necessary.

In transition, when I am overcome with self doubt, I would like reassurance in the following ways:

- Remind me, that we are at the transition point, that this short period, although the most difficult and uncomfortable, has an end.

- Remind me, that when I say “I can’t do this anymore”, “this is too much”, or anything signifying my fears and doubts that after this peak, if I can just get over this wall – our son will soon be born, that I CAN do this, that my body is made to do this.

- However, I do not want a cheery cheerleader.

I would like to deliver my baby in water but if I feel uncomfortable, I wish to exit the pool and deliver elsewhere.

I would like to find my own comfortable position for pushing.

I wish to know when the head is crowning.

I wish to feel the baby’s head AND/OR see it in a mirror.

I will appreciate advice and guidance at this time to guard against too quick a delivery giving the perineum time to fan out thus (hopefully) preventing a tear.

I do not wish to have an episiotomy unless it is absolutely necessary.

I hope to avoid tears and will appreciate support to adopt positions to minimize them.

If one occurs I would prefer not to be stitched unless it is essential to healing.

We plan to take photographs AND/OR video of the birth.

Once the baby is delivered, I wish for immediate skin on skin contact.

I wish to breastfeed my baby as soon as it is possible and necessary, guidance on this is welcomed.

I wish to deliver the placenta naturally.

I wish the cord to remain attached until it stops pulsating.

I would like my husband to cut the cord.

We would like to be consulted if our baby needs to go to special care/hospital.

I would like the communication between my birth team to always be open and free from worry or doubt, whenever possible. I want my birth team to be comfortable with each other and help in my comfort.

To my midwives:

I would like to be informed and be able to discuss all eventualities as they arise. Please share any concerns with us as soon as they arise. It will help us to know the answers to these questions:

1. What is wrong?
2. What do you suggest and why?
3. What would be the possible outcomes with and without this intervention?
4. How much time do we have to make a decision?
5. Are there any other courses of action open to us?

We will be guided by balanced and informative advice.

I trust in my birth team to have the health of the baby & the health of the mother to be the only priority.

If absolutely necessary, I will transfer to the hospital and would like my husband and the midwives to be there with me.

In the event of a hospital transfer, I do not want to feel discouraged or promote the feeling of failure of a natural home birth.

Should a medical problem arise, we expect both the problem, and any required procedural changes to be discussed with us.

We may withdraw any of our requests at any time before or during labor. If any of our plans cannot be carried out at the hospital for reasons of policy and procedure we wish to be informed of this ahead of time.

In case of emergencies or hospital transfer -

· No medications will be administered without prior consent of the mother, or in the event of her incapacity, her midwife. This request excludes none and specifically includes oxytocics, analgesics, barbiturates and tranquillizers.

· No intravenous fluids will be given without prior permission or good medical reason as determined by the parents and the physician in consultation.

· There will be no routine fetal monitoring, either internal or external. Frequent listening to the fetal heart is expected. A Doppler may be used if desired.

· The father and midwife will stay throughout labor and birth, even in the event of a cesarean section.

· The mother will walk during labor and will be assisted by staff in assuming whatever position is most comfortable during labor and birth. She will not be arbitrarily confined to bed during labor. If the birth is happening away from the bed, say in the shower, I do not wish to be moved from this position.

· There will be no episiotomy without medical reason. The parents or nursing staff may apply warm, wet cloths to the area around the vagina prior to delivery.

· The parents will be the first to touch the baby's head. The father may catch the baby.

· We do not give permission for students, hospital house staff, or other non-essential personnel to be in the room during labor and birth. If a training midwife is allocated to work with the midwife looking after me this is acceptable.

· The room will be warm and the lights dimmed. Excessive noise will be avoided and people present at the moment of birth will speak very softly.

· The baby will have skin on skin contact with the mother after being delivered. A blanket will cover the baby. The baby may be nursed within minutes of birth. In the event of a cesarean section, the Father shall have skin on skin contact with the baby.

· The cord will not be clamped or cut until it has stopped pulsating, unless it must be cut to complete the birth of the baby.

· The 3rd stage of labor is not to be rushed, but is to proceed at its own pace. The use of oxytocic drugs and manual removal of the placenta is to be reserved for true medical emergencies. I will look to my midwife for her opinion of the hospital’s call of true emergencies.

· Any medication, vitamins or other supplements shall not be given to the baby without prior consent and explanation of reasons to provide them.

· The baby is not to be washed immediately. Blood and meconium will be gently wiped off.

· All care of the baby is to take place while the mother is present. The baby is not to be taken to the nursery unaccompanied. Either the mother or father must always be present.

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