When you sit down to actually write your birth plan, reality settles in and quickly! You begin to realize that you actually have to give birth to this baby and one way or another this kid is coming out! So building a birth plan can be comforting in this time where so much is unknown. So in the hopes that I can help any moms out there feel more in control of their births, I have put together a few of the most important things I think all new moms and families should take into account when building their birth “plan”.
The Birth “Plan” Rules
Rule #1: Its more like a wish list. When it comes to birth, there is never a plan or rules for that matter! Every birth is different and there is no controlling what is going to happen and when. But there is no harm in creating options and having birth goals. And it is also comforting to have some form of a plan in place. So read on further for a list of “rules” to help you write your birth plan!
Rule #2: Epidural or no epidural? This is a very important question! If you want the epidural, there are a few things to remember: epidural means no walking around and you will be confined to your bed until you deliver that baby. Epidurals are also known to slow down your labour and may increase your chances of a C-section in the long run but this isn’t always the case. The positive side is that you will be pain-free and mostly comfortable. If you decide to take the natural birth route and choose not to take the epidural, you have many options available to you. You can walk, relax on the birth ball, soak in the tub or have a hot shower. No one says you have to decide that now but it is nice to know the pain relief is available if you want it.
Rule #3: Comfort measures. It is so beneficial to know ahead of time all of the options available to help make yourself more comfortable. Walking really helps to get labour progressing and some ideas also include a shower or bathtub (most hospital rooms are equipped with either o) A Birth ball, for rocking and opening up your pelvis. Maybe a peanut ball? Lay on your side with the peanut ball between your legs. This is a nice way to get some rest but allowing your pelvis to stay open so baby can move down into your pelvis freely.
Rule #4: Atmosphere/Environment. I don’t think people realize how important and beneficial the right atmosphere can be for a labouring mother. Bright lights and a sterile environment can literally stop a progressing labour in its tracks. Interrupting a labouring mom with questions and strange people in and out of her room is also not helpful. So it is important to dim the lights, play soft music (make a playlist ahead of time) You could even upbeat music (depending on your flavour) Keeping the space safe and peaceful can speed a labour up dramatically. Nothing is more important than keeping mom settled and safe, so your birth plan should always cover the environment.
Rule #5: Pick your people! Who do you want in the labour room with you? It’s so important to pick people who bring you up and don’t drag you down. I always suggest to parents to plan ahead and plan your support team. Believe me when I say, the more peaceful and calm you can make your birth space, the better. If you feel like there are people waiting for you to have your baby, you may feel rushed and it can really hinder the birthing process. So I like to suggest that maybe a month or 2 before your due date, get the family together and set up the guidelines for your birth. If you don’t want any family present, just let them know that you will call them when labour starts but not to come to the hospital until you are ready. Surprisingly enough, most families are totally okay with this.
Remember, this is your birth! You get to choose how you want to birth your baby. Do it for yourself and your partner and not for anyone else.
I truly feel that these 5 main points can help to create a great wish list for your birth. And always remember to keep in mind that life doesn’t always go according to plan and that’s okay but building a solid foundation is key!
Happy Birth plan building!