Monday, January 10, 2011

Browsing Birth Plans

Let me insert a disclaimer here: I know that a birth plan is just a plan, is just a wish list, is the ideal and not a guarantee, but it's really helpful for one who is sorta grossed out and intimidated by hospitals and who is also a list maker to methodically go through some of these issues. It's also interesting that I didn't even know many of these choices existed, say, even six months ago.

Another disclaimer: I have heard this strange and really surprising rumor that labor and delivery hurt. I also know that literally billions of women have given birth without medicine, even women today who have some really great options in pain relief. I'm not a paranoid, conspiracy-theory, New Age mom who thinks drugs and male doctors are the devil and that my baby would be permanently damaged from an epidural. I don't see any convincing evidence of that. I'm just hoping for a different experience. That's all.

Last disclaimer: this list includes the words "vaginal" and "nipple" which do not make me uncomfortable but might make you. It's also a very long list... so you may want to skim... or not read at all. Honestly, I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in my birth plan in the first place, but oh well, here it is anyway.

  • 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 will be bringing my own music to play during labor.
  • I would like the environment to be kept as quiet as possible.
  • I would prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
  • I do not want an IV unless I become dehydrated.
  • I would like to wear contact lenses or glasses at all times when conscious.
  • I do not wish to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is required by the condition of Bradly.
  • I do not want an internal monitor unless Bradly has shown some sign of distress.
Labor Augmentation/Induction
  • I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.
  • I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods (walking, nipple stimulation) before Pitocin is administered.
Anesthesia/Pain Medication
  • I realize that many pain medications exist. I'll ask for them if I need them.
  • I'd like to be able to use the shower if necessary.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a Cesarean.
  • If my primary care provider determines that a Cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to obtain a second opinion from another physician if time allows.
  • If a Cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to be fully informed and to participate in the decision-making process.
  • I would like Carter Wooten present at all times if Bradly requires a Cesarean delivery.
  • If Bradly is not in distress, Bradly should be given to Carter Wooten immediately after birth.
  • I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for Bradly's safety.
  • I am hoping to protect the perineum. I am practicing ahead of time by squatting, doing Kegel exercises and perineal massage.
  • I would appreciate guidance in when to push and when to stop pushing so the perineum can stretch.
  • If possible, I would like to use perineal massage to help avoid the need for an episiotomy.
  • I would like a local anesthetic to repair a tear or an episiotomy.
  • I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting.
  • I would like Carter Wooten and/or nurses to support me and my legs as necessary during the pushing stage.
  • I would like to try to deliver in a squatting position, using Carter Wooten or a squatting bar for support.
  • Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming Bradly is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase.
  • I do not want any assisted delivery methods such as forceps or vacuum extraction used.
  • I would appreciate having the room lights turned low for the actual delivery.
  • I would appreciate having the room as quiet as possible when Bradly is born.
  • I would like to have Bradly placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.
Immediately After Delivery
  • I would like to have Carter Wooten cut the cord.
  • I would prefer that the umbilical cord stop pulsating before it is cut.
  • I would like to hold Bradly while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made.
  • I would like to hold Bradly for at least 1 hour before (he/she) is photographed, examined, etc.
  • I would like to have Bradly evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • I plan to keep Bradly near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of Bradly can be done with Bradly on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation.
  • If Bradly must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, Carter Wooten or some other person I designate will accompany Bradly at all times.
  • I would prefer to hold Bradly rather than have (him/her) placed under heat lamps.
  • I do not want a routine injection of Pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta.
  • I would like to delay the eye medication for Bradly until a couple hours after birth.
  • After the birth, I would prefer to be given a few moments of privacy to urinate on my own before being catheterized.
  • I would like a private room, if available.
  • Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
  • I would like to have Bradly "room in" and be with me at all times.
  • I plan to breastfeed Bradly and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth.
  • Unless medically necessary, I do not wish to have any bottles given to Bradly (including glucose water or plain water).
  • I do not want Bradly to be given a pacifier.
  • I would like to meet with a lactation consultant.
  • I would like to take still photographs during labor and the birth.


Navelgazing Midwife said...

So, I've been known to critique birth plans... am rather merciless, actually. I would love to have a crack at yours. ;)

When I'm done, you'll have an exquisitely short and to the point birth plan that won't make the nurses laugh or roll their eyes at you. You deserve to have a great birth plan... and birth.

Beth Wooten said...

Thanks. I have already talked all these things over with my own midwife. I know not to take in a 5 page birth plan. This is a first draft that includes every detail and from which we'll condense and edit to a product that clearly and most effectively communicates our wishes. Also, the nurses' opinions of me are not my primary concern.

NavelgazingMidwife said...

Good deal. Great you have a midwife!

(Might still "critique" it, but use it as a first-draft sort of example.)

Have a great birth; will be watching. :)

Beth Wooten said...

I used the interactive tool on to produce the draft of my birth plan. You can direct your critique to their website.

Carter said...

boom! roasted...

Jennifer said...

Kendrick and I "boom roast" all the time! Thanks for the hearty laugh. :)