Posts Tagged ‘informed decision making’

Pregnancy Week 35: Writing My Birth Plan

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Pregnancy Week 35: Writing My Birth PlanFive weeks to go. Yesterday, I took a tour of my hospital and got to see the rooms where my son will be born. It’s getting real, ladies. With my daughter, I didn’t write a birth plan. I didn’t really have a lot of strong opinions and I was just eager to have her. This time around, I am trying to be more educated and prepared, just in case. A birth plan is basically a written document that guides you through making educated decisions about your labor and delivery, and also tells your medical team your preferences for labor.

Here are some things I am including in my birth plan.

Labor Preferences

Do you want to be able to walk around, move, and be in different positions while laboring? How much, if any, pain medication do you want? How often do you want to be checked during labor? One question I hadn’t even considered is, do I want to see baby as he greets the world for the first time. For me, I am planning on an epidural during my labor. I am definitely going to opt for minimal cervical checks this time, however. Who do you want in the room with you as you labor? We will not have any family or friends at the hospital with us. Many women find relaxing music, dim lights, and even few distractions optimal. Whatever you want your nurses or providers to know about your labor preferences should be included here.

Postpartum Preferences

Do you want to hold baby right away after he or she is born? I do! Do you prefer for baby’s bathing to be delayed? Don’t worry about cleaning him off–just give me my sweet son and let me put his skin against mine. That’s my plan. Many moms bank baby’s cord blood. While this isn’t in my plan, I do think it’s a great idea. It’s a good idea to include your preferences about breastfeeding or formula feeding. I do not want my son to be introduced to any artificial nipples while in the hospital. No pacifiers, no bottles. We are planning for my son to be circumcised in the hospital, so this should also be included in the birth plan. I would like my husband to cut baby’s umbilical cord.

Many websites and hospitals provide birth plan worksheets to make the process of writing the birth plan easier for you. While you are pregnant, there are so many things to do, so don’t stress over a birth plan. Just get your thoughts together, write them down, and discuss them at one of your doctor visits. I plan on doing this in the next few weeks. Five weeks will pass before I know it!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way from Northeast Indiana. She is so excited to meet her little boy in 5 weeks!