Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Natural Birth Plan

If you've been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I elected for a natural birth (i.e. no pain meds) with Will. My mom delivered both my sister and I naturally, so it's something I've always wanted to do too.

I had a very easy labor and delivery with Will. I was in active labor at the hospital for about three hours, and he was born after just 25 minutes of pushing. I attribute this to being very fit throughout pregnancy, as well as pure luck.

I don't presume to think that a natural labor is right for everyone, but I have had some people ask me how we wrote our natural birth plan. Our plan is based largely on the Bradley Method, and strives to advocate preferences instead of demands. Our birth plan helps Ben and I know what we're self-advocating for, and ensures our medical team is on the same page. But a plan is just that... a plan. It's a guideline, not a mandate, so we try and be open to the fact that things may need modified in the moment. 

A copy of our birth plan (below) is in my chart, but we will also bring copies with us to the hospital. We give a print copy of the birth plan to our nurse when we're admitted, along with small gift to thank him/her for their involvement in our child's birth (we brought chocolates for the nurses when we had Will).

Baby Girl ***** Birth Plan
Parents: Ben and Samantha *****
Estimated Due Date: April 18, 2013
Physician: Dr. *****
Hospital: *****

We desire a labor and birth that results in a healthy outcome for baby and mother. We would prefer:
    To have a vaginal delivery over cesarean
    To have as few medications and other medical interventions as possible
    To have as much freedom of movement and position as possible during labor, including during the pushing stage
    To use intermittent FHM, ideally only during initial admission. If continuous FHM is deemed medically necessary, we’d prefer to use a portable or wireless fetal heart monitor
    That labor augmentation techniques not be used
    That the membranes not be ruptured artificially
    To allow Sam to push with the urge
    That pain medication is not offered
    To risk a tear to the perineum rather than have an episiotomy
    To allow the placenta to deliver naturally (without cord traction)

If medically possible, we would prefer:
    To hold and bond with our child (skin-to-skin) immediately after birth
    To delay cord clamping and cutting until after the cord has stopped pulsating
    To initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, including in the recovery room in the case of cesarean delivery
    That no eye ointment or eye medication be administered to our child
    To delay standard newborn procedures and tests until after the initial breastfeeding and bonding
    For at least one parent to be present for all medical procedures
    That no bottles, pacifiers, artificial nipples, formula or water be given to our child at any time during our hospital stay without our consent

Above all else, we appreciate your care and expertise. 
Thank you for your role in our child’s birth.

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