As you enter the final trimester of your pregnancy you will hear more and more about birth plans. If you are having your first child, this may sound like the mysterious key to a joyful birthing experience. Women to Women in Hollywood FL offers OB/GYN services to the community here, offering services to English, Spanish, and Russian speakers. One important part of what we do is educate women about their options. This week we will focus on birth plans.
What is Birth Plan?
A birth plan is a list of your preferences for your labor and delivery. This can include general items like what kind of music you’d like to what positions you want to try to deliver your baby in to specifics on what type of interventions you would prefer use or to avoid.
It’s a Guideline
It is important to remember that a birth plan should be a list of preferences. It can be easy to make the mistake that what you put in your birth plan is what will definitely happen in the L&D department at the hospital, or during your home birth. You need to trust your nurses and doctors and know that they have the safety of your baby, as well as your health, as their priorities. A situation may arise where safety wins out over preference. One example of this is when the father wants to cut the umbilical cord, but it is wrapped around the baby’s neck and needs to be cut as quickly as possible so that it does not harm the baby.
How you go through labor can be shaped by your preferences.
- What music, lighting, scents, and who is with your can all be under your control in most labors.
- Find out ahead of time what the hospital policies are regarding fetal monitoring, midwives, or doulas.
- Do you prefer to use natural induction methods? Or is Pitocin okay?
- Do you want an epidural?
- Do you have other pain control methods you’d like to use?
- What are your feelings about an episiotomy?
- Do you want to deliver in water?
- Do you have a preference for your delivery position?
- Do you want / not want photographs or videos to be taken of the delivery?
After the Birth
- When will the umbilical cord be cut? It is not uncommon to leave the cord uncut for a few minutes.
- Who will cut the umbilical cord? Does the father want to cut it to participate in the birth?
- What will happen to the cord? Some people save it in a stem cell bank.
- Do you want it dark and quiet in the room?
- Do you want to try to nurse the baby immediately?
- Do you want the placenta to be preserved for you?
- If there is a problem with the baby, is it important to you for your partner to be with the baby at all times?
These are just a few of the items that a birth plan can contain. One of the greatest things about making your birth plan is it gives you a chance to research and educate yourself about all the options that a woman has during labor and delivery. If you have questions about your labor and delivery, call Women to Women today for an appointment.