I know, I know, I am not pregnant yet so what’s the deal with thinking about birth already? Well, honestly you can never really be too prepared and since this is going to be my last pregnancy and last labor/birth experience, I am hoping to make it memorable, positive and with no regrets.
For me, it helps that I have been through full-term labor and birth three times already. While every one has certainly been different, I have learned how well I cope, what things helped me along the way and approximately know how my body reacts and with all that, I know what I prefer to happen and what I prefer doesn’t happen.
There are some people who would say I am silly for making a birth plan. They may roll their eyes at me thinking that I am not going to be able to predict how things will go and I’m just setting myself up for disappointment if things don’t ‘go my way’. I think precisely that’s why we all need a birth plan, it forces us to think about it, for ourselves and research all the options we have and not just go by what our doctor wants. Sure, there are some situations that may arise (like an emergency c-section etc.) that can be out of your control, but if spend some time thinking about that before labor starts you have a better chance of getting the birth you want — even with extenuating circumstances.
Click through to read 8 important things I will be putting on my birth plan:
No Induction Earlier Than 38.5 Weeks 1 of 8Not something many have to put on their birth plan, but for us we do. I have to be induced due to medication I need to be on (can't go into labor while on the meds). I don't want pregnancy to be stopped too early, and can't risk going into labor on my own. This is my compromise spot, but would like to be later if my cervix isn't changing much.
Photo credit: IV Bag on Shutterstock
Epidural for Pain Relief 2 of 8Only if i ask for it, and only if they can give me a 'walking epidural'. Since I have fully induced labors, they have been known to be more painful and contractions can last a while until the right speed of induction is found. I like the walking epidural much more because I can still feel and use my legs.
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No Breaking the Water 3 of 8I know it's a good way to induce labor, but for me I just found it to increase the intensity while being induced, which is already pretty intense. I prefer to wait until it happens on it's own, with a note saying if labor needs to be sped up (for baby distress) then I can consent, but will be asked.
Photo credit: Pregnant holding stomach on Shutterstock
NO Episiotomy 4 of 8Never. Ever! I had a big one with my first child plus tearing. It was terrible to recover from, I had complications from it and surgery after. I naturally tore with my other children (thanks to a fast deliveries where the doctors were not present) and the recovery was so much easier.
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No Controlled Pushing 5 of 8I did this with my first child - was told I was 10cm dilated and should start pushing. I hate it. With the next 2 full-term births, I didn't push. I let the contractions do their job when it was time with some help from me (when you can't NOT push) and it was so much easier.
Photo credit: Pregnant in hospital on Shutterstock
Husband Will Announce Gender & Cut the Cord 6 of 8We don't want to find out the gender until birth, and with our last child my husband announced that we had a girl. It was a sweet moment. We also want him to cut the cord (unless baby is in distress and needs revival like our first child), but only when the cord stops pulsing. Babe is also to be placed on my chest right away (again, as long as babe is not in danger).
Photo credit: Umbilical cord on Shutterstock
No Formula for Baby 7 of 8Yes, I have to write this in the birth plan,. Thankfully at our hospital we have to sign a waiver if we are going to use formula and have to bring our own, but just in case, I have it written down that baby is not to receive any. I can pump if NICU is needed and if not, we plan to breastfeed.
Photo credit: Newborn first latch on Shutterstock
Baby is NOT to be alone. 8 of 8I have it written that baby is to always be with me, my husband or my mother. S/he is not to leave from us for any reason.
Photo credit: Newborn baby on Shutterstock
By making a birth plan you increase your chances that you will not get unnecessary medical interventions. It kind of forces you to think about what you want and don’t want. As long as you’re reasonable and look at different possible scenarios, it can set you up for the perfect birth (yes, even if it’s not your ideal) and leave you feeling in control, which you should be.
Photo credit: modified from photostock