One of the things that I initially had no clue about during my first pregnancy was making a Birth Plan. I had asked my mommy friends about it and my good friend Tintin, who was pregnant with her second baby already, sent me a sample. It was the format that I followed for my Birth Plan with Audrey, but made it more tailor suited for me.
For Natalie, my second baby, I decided to research further because my Birth Plan would be a bit more different. I found this one by Katie Kimball who shared her Bradley Method Birth Plan online at:
I used it as my new guide and added what was applicable for the VBAC birth that I wanted. Here is a sample of the Birth Plan that I prepared.
Birth Plan – YOUR NAME
Due Date: ________________________________
Patient of: ________________________________
Scheduled to deliver at: _____________________________________________________
Thank you for your cooperation in helping us have a natural, unmedicated childbirth insofar as that is safe and viable for mom and baby. I am trying for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean and would appreciate all the help and support that I can get.
Upon arrival, we request:
- For my husband to be in the room with me during labor.
- I would like to be free to walk around during labor.
- I wish to be able to move around and change position at will throughout labor.
- I would like to be able to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.
- I would like my husband to be able to give me ice chips and be ready with a cold wash cloth as labor progresses and gets stronger.
- I want to manage my pain through breathing techniques and massage if possible.
- Allow freedom of movement as much as possible when it shows that baby is doing well through the external fetal monitor.
- Internal exams done extremely infrequently/only when absolutely necessary by the same person if possible
- We'd like to discuss antibiotic use during labor before anything is done
- Please refrain from injecting anything else through the IV without informing or consulting us and our doctor
**If mother and baby are doing well, we prefer to:
- Avoid artificial induction at all times, including
- waiting 12 hours+ if water breaks at onset of labor
- going past estimated due date
- not break the bag of waters artificially
- Use natural induction techniques first if necessary to induce or speed up labor
- Use the lowest dose of Pitocin possible if artificial induction is absolutely necessary
- Have an undefined, unhurried time to labor - even if in a latent phase/dilation not increasing
General labor procedures:
- Please do not suggest medication unless we insist or ask for it already
- Allow Mom to eat/snack and drink if my doctor allows this as well
- We would like much freedom to move about, try many positions and use a Pilates ball or the shower if it will help with the management of labor pains
- Please do not offer pain medication. I would like to have a standard epidural only upon request.
- Unless totally and absolutely necessary or unsafe for mom and baby, I would like to avoid a repeat Cesarean.
- I would like my husband present at all times if my baby requires a Cesarean delivery.
- I would like to have immediate contact with my baby if she is in good health, and have her latch on to me and breastfeed if possible.
- I wish to have a spinal epidural for anesthesia.
- Please note that I have a history of asthma and a previous C-section administration of anesthesia caused an attack in the operating room.
- Also, my previous recovery after the surgery took more than 2 hours and I had consistent vomiting every 15-20 minutes.
- I would prefer a bikini cut for the C-section.
We would prefer:
- To be free of time limits on pushing, to try many positions for as long as it is still safe for mom and baby
- Perineal support with warm washcloth; naturally slow down pushing to allow perineum to stretch
- If necessary, the smallest episiotomy cut if possible while pushing the baby out, and with our doctor’s approval; If this is not at all possible, we would like to go with what our doctor thinks would be best for the situation.
- If I am successful in delivering the baby out naturally and unmedicated, local anesthesia for the episiotomy is definitely welcome.
- I would like my husband and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.
We would like to:
- Hold the baby immediately after birth on mom’s stomach/chest; have her latch on and breastfeed ASAP
- Wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsing (mostly) before it is cut if possible
- If possible, deliver the placenta unassisted and avoid Pitocin after birth.
- Drink cold/iced orange juice to replace fluids and raise blood sugar, potassium levels.
- Have all newborn procedures done in the room and delayed until after feeding.
- I do not wish to have any bottles given to my baby (including glucose water or plain water).
o Please avoid all artificial nipples (bottles, pacifiers) at all times.
- Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
- If my baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, my husband or some other person I designate will accompany my baby at all times.
- We would like to request for the baby to room in with us if Mom is able to recover quickly and in good condition to take care of the baby.
We would like:
- To bring our ipod to play music if necessary to help with labor and relaxation.
- Lights dimmed in birthing room during labor.
- To bring our own camera/s to take photos during labor and birth.
- Husband and wife together at all times; no other family/visitors present at labor and birth
- I would like my husband to be able to stay and sleep in my room.
o I would like my immediate family to be able to visit me and the baby in our room later on.
Even though hospitals don't always follow your birth plan to a T, it is always good to have one. It serves as your personal guide as to how you want your birth experience to be and helps you set your goals way before the big day. This is important because you don't want to make major decisions when you are already there at the hospital and about to give birth. The last thing you want to happen is make a hurried decision that you will regret later on.
A wise thing to do is prepare a birth plan a few months before your due date and discuss it with your doctor so that you can make the necessary adjustments if needed. This will help you get ready not just physically but emotionally.
Be sure to prepare at least 2 copies when you finally pack up your hospital bag so you can hand one over to the nurses at the Birthing Center when you arrive and keep another in your bag just in case ;)