I decided to write a blog sharing my birth plan. I realize this is a risky move, because as we all know, plans do not always go that way. However, that’s my disclaimer. I KNOW that… I lived that! My first birth was NOT according to my plan at all. But I am a firm believer in research and knowing what you want and WHY. The purpose of a hospital birth plan isn’t to “plan the way things will go”. It’s to let the staff know what your views are on birth, and how you feel about the standard care there. If things have to change because of unforseen circumstances, that’s ok.
That being said, here is my birth plan. I’m going to toss in a ton of link if you want to research more. I will go step-by-step through my plan with brief explanations of why we made each choice. I say “we” because it is very important to me that Scott is in line with my plan and knows why I want each thing. Scott was my biggest advocate and protector while I was in labor with Matthew. He questioned every suggestion or intervention that was made. He stood up for me when I couldn’t speak. I think that’s the number one thing anyone needs in the delivery room – a support system. And that doesn’t mean just someone who “agrees with what you want”… because I was begging for a c-section. Scott did not give in. He knew that was an emotional response to a hard situation. Instead of giving in, he kept reminding me of our plan, of our desires, of the choices we made beforehand for our baby and my body. He was my hero.
Birth Plan for Jennifer Rippey – birth of Charlotte Claire – EDD June 29th
Thank you so much for being part of the birth of our daughter. We appreciate you so much! During our birth, my husband Scott and I will also be joined by our doula. We kindly request no other visitors in the room unless directly expressed by me first.
It is important for me to remind you that I have gestational diabetes and would like to be allowed to snack or drink to keep my blood sugar regulated. I also have marginal insertion of the cord and under no circumstance should my cord be pulled on. Thank you! Both of these things I have not yet “announced” in a public forum like Facebook or my blog before… mostly because I didn’t want to cause worry or get unsolicited advice. Both of the these things are very mild and are not a health concern at this point to me or the baby. However, because they can be, I wanted to remind my health care providers that I have them.
I am planning a natural and low intervention birth. We would like the room to remain a calm and peaceful environment and appreciate your help with that.
– I would prefer a hep-lock only, and no IV unless it becomes necessary. I don’t want to be attached to an IV pole because it limits what I can do. I agree to the Hep Lock (just the part they tape to your hand) in case of an emergency or if I need fluids.
– I would prefer to labor in my own clothes. I will change to a gown if needed. Hospital gowns! Blah. So uncomfortable. 🙂 I had a great gown from Pretty Pushers last time and plan to use it again.
– Please limit the number of vaginal checks that occur. Vaginal checks can increase the chance of infection, and can also have unexpected side effects like accidental (or unconsented) breaking of water. Also, I got really discouraged last time with “still at 4”. I will likely have two checks – one when I check in and one when I am ready to push.
– I would not like artificial rupture of membranes. I believe water should break on it’s own, even if that means baby will be born in the caul.
– Please do not offer me pain medication. I will ask if I would like it. (This is self-explanatory, yes?)
– I do not want artificial augmentation and prefer natural approach if I have trouble progressing. I HATE pitocin. I’m still not happy I got it the last time, and I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t finally ask for it. It’s such a dangerous drug. You can read the “adverse reactions” section here and see if you think the benefits are worth the risks. Sometimes they are, I know. I’m not judging. But in a perfect world, I would not use it.
– I would like to have intermittent fetal monitoring. Not only does constant fetal monitoring limit your movement (which is not helpful during labor) but it has been shown that having constant monitoring can increase your risk of unnecessary interventions, including c-section. I get monitored for 10 min once every hour.
– I would like to labor while walking, moving, showering and using the birth ball. Moving is essential for a healthy and productive natural birth. Our bodies were made to get babies out, if baby isn’t engaging, you aren’t dilating or contractions stop, it’s a good choice to switch activities and move around. Shower/bath is good for relaxing, which when you’re relaxed your body can allow labor to progress. I loved laboring in the shower at the hospital.
– I would like to have access to a squat bar. Squatting is one the best positions for pushing/delivering because it shortens the birth canal and gets you upright so that you’re tail bone is not blocking the baby’s decent. Our nurse had never seen anyone squat before and was amazed at how quickly I progressed once I got upright. She said she would recommend it from now on!
– I would like to push when I am ready, and prefer not to be guided or coached. Coached pushing (when the nurse counts for you) is not the body’s natural way of pushing. Your body know how to push and your uterus does a lot of the work for you. Having an epidural can inhibit this natural response so I agreed to coached pushing last time. This time I would like my body to guide me.
– I would prefer tearing to an episiotomy. Please do not cut without my consent. Local anesthetic is okay for repairs. An episiotmy is much more difficult to heal from and a lot of times, doctors can make a bigger cut than would have torn any way.
– I would like to avoid forceps or vacuum assistance. Obviously, I don’t want the help unless it’s an emergency.
– Please do not assist with placental delivery. I’d like to let it happen on its own. DO NOT PULL CORD. Pitocin for afterbirth ONLY if heavy bleeding. Most hospitals will push on your belly or pull the cord to quicken delivery of the placenta. It’s not necessary, it does come out on it’s own.
– Please DO NOT clamp cord until the cord has stopped pulsing. My husband does not want to cut the cord. We choose delayed cord clamping because we believe that the cord blood/placenta blood has very important cells that should be in the baby’s body. There is a lot of great information on why, please research it.
– I would like immediate skin to skin contact and I would like to nurse immediately. Skin to skin contact is important to bonding and nursing relationship. Our hospital is certified “Baby Friendly” so they do this automatically, however some hospitals take babies and clean/swaddle them immediately. Also, vernix (the white stuff they are born with) is very good for their skin. You don’t need to wash it off, just rub it in!
– If any immediate procedures are needed, please do them on my chest. Weighing/measuring and all that stuff can wait. I need to hold my baby!
– We decline to have Hep B shot, Vitamin K shot and eye drops. I will sign the waiver. The antibiotic eye drops (for STDs) are California State Law, so I have to sign a waiver to decline them. I decline them because I do not have STDs and I think that using antibiotics as a preventitive measure for something that’s not a risk is not healthy. I decline the Hep B shot because I also do not have exposure to Hep B and therefore do not think my newborn needs to have it. Hep B is spread through bodily fluids. The Vitamin K is for clotting, it’s a preventive measure in case of a traumtic birth or the very small risk of a bleeding condition. I recently read an article that sums up my thoughts on it pretty well. I just don’t believe God designed a faulty system.
– I am exclusively breastfeeding, baby should not be given formula, sugar water or a pacifier.
– Please do not take baby from me, if it becomes medically necessary my husband will accompany her.
– I will be taking my placenta home, my husband or doula will take it. Please do not take it to the lab for pathology testing. This is another thing I’m hesitant to share because it’s pretty “weird”. And I admit it, it’s weird. I will be having my placenta encapsulated. A woman will come to my home, dehyrdate it, grind it into a fine powder and fill capsules with it. I will take them, like vitamins. The main reason is that there is some merit to the hormones helping with postpartum depression… and after what we went through last time, I’m willing to try anything. I also hate anti-depressents and will be elated to not have to take any, especially while nursing.
If there is any reason to change our preferences, please discuss them and ask for our consent before making any decisions – unless it is a life or death situation for mom or baby. We will not refuse treatment if it is necessary to keep mom or baby alive, this is just our ideal plan. In the instance that I am unable to make a decision, my husband is able to voice our opinion. In the event of an emergency c-section, please adhere to the newborn procedures stated above. This is just my little disclaimer… so they know I’m not willing to risk anyone’s life over my preferences. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!