When I was pregnant I became obsessed with finding out everything I could about my pregnancy, my baby and all the options I could have when I was going to deliver her. I was set on having a drug-free, natural birth but besides that I didn’t know much else.
The best book I read to help me decide I wanted a natural birth and to learn more about it was Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (Kindle edition). If you are interested in having your baby in a natural way this book is a MUST. Also, The Business of Being Born (Buy DVD or watch it on Netflix for free) made me aware of many unnecessary procedures that are being performed during labor. Both of these are great resources to help you become informed and make the best decision for you and you baby…or, like in my case, a great starting point for more research.
After many months of reading, researching and looking for the perfect birth plan I decided I had to make my own. I like calling it “birth wishes” since you can’t really plan a birth. I know many moms that have had similar “birth wishes” to mine and had to write their own birth plans because it was hard to find online what they were looking for. So in case you’re one of those moms I want to share my birth plan with you.
A few things to keep in mind
If you end up writing your own birth plan keep in mind that you should make it one page long and with short sentences or bullets. No one is going to read a lengthy birth plan, especially when you’re in labor.
Bring several copies of your birth plan in case there is a nurse shift while you’re in labor.
Make sure your significant other or whoever will be there to support you is aware of your birth plan. I made my husband the person in charge to make sure everything I listed there happened. He had his own copy and reminded everyone of what I wanted.
Your birth plan is more like your birth wishes. In labor anything can happen so don’t be upset if something doesn’t go as planned. Know that your birth plan is something you can stick to if everything goes well, which it probably will. The ultimate most important thing is having a healthy baby. Don’t forget that.
After going through labor you realize not everything goes as planned (you can read my birth story here). I ended up having to get pitocin due to preeclampsia, at a little over 40 weeks and I also had my water broken by the doctor. All this made labor very intense and painful, however I had my mind set on a natural birth and I was able to deliver my baby without an epidural. Having gone through this, in the future, I won’t let anyone break my water unless it’s absolutely necessary, and as a last resort to speed up before introducing drugs. It also made me realize how powerful our minds and bodies are…if we are really set on something, we can do it!
Below you can read my original birth plan and you can download a free template that you can edit here.
Keep in mind that you will have to go over your birth plan with your doctor before you go into labor. There are things that they will and won’t let you do according to where you deliver and who you deliver with. In my case an IV was a must since I was induced and I was not allowed to eat during labor (although I was not hungry at all!!)
I brought my birth plan for review to a prenatal appointment at around 30 weeks but I told them about my plans of having a natural birth from the beginning since I wanted a supportive doctor that believed in me.
Birth Plan – (your name goes here)
We are aware that things don’t always go as planned during birth and unwanted complications might arise. If something goes out of the ordinary or we need some interventions we are flexible but would like to discuss our options before intervening, unless it’s a matter of life or death.
In summary we want a natural, drug-free birth and to avoid a C-section.
We appreciate you helping us achieve the birth we want. It is extremely important to us.
People present during labor: (I put my husband’s name): Father of the baby & my husband, and (name): my doula.
During labor we would like:
- No medical students.
- No inductions with drugs such as pitocin, we want labor to happen on its own.
- No epidural or pain medication. I’ll request it if I need it.
- Dim lights.
- Freedom to move around, use birthing ball and/or take a shower to help cope with pain of contractions.
- No IV to be able to move around during contractions.
- Intermittent fetal monitoring to be able to move around during contractions.
- Able to drink water and/or juice.
- Breaking of the amniotic sac (water) is to be used as a last resort to speed up before introducing drugs and always with mother’s permission.
- Push spontaneously, when I feels like it.
- Push in a position that feels comfortable to me.
- No episiotomy.
- No use of vacuum or forceps.
- Try different positions, such as hands and knees if baby is not coming out, before intervening.
- Use of a squat bar to help push baby out.
If I have a C-Section:
- Father of baby will be present at all times.
- Give the baby as soon as possible to father.
- Breastfeed the baby as soon as possible.
Once baby is here:
- Put baby on mother’s chest as soon as it’s born to promote bonding/breastfeeding.
- Delayed cord clamping: Cut umbilical cord when it stops pulsating.
- Father will cut umbilical cord.
- Do any immediate/urgent cleaning or testing of baby on mother’s chest.
- Delay testing on baby as much as possible and do it all in mother’s room.
- No Prophylactic eye ointment on baby.
- No hepatitis B vaccine.
- No bath for baby during the first 24 hours after being born – we actually didn’t bathe her at the hospital.
- No Vitamin K shot, baby will receive Vitamin K oral drops – This wasn’t in my original plan but it’s something I will add for future babies.
- Baby will stay with mother and father during the entire stay in hospital. If baby has to be taken out of room, the father will go with baby.
- Baby will be breastfeed exclusively. No bottles, sugar water, formula nor pacifiers are allowed.
Thank you very much for helping us have an unforgettable birth!
Did you have a birth plan? Where your wishes respected?
Like this birth plan? Download an editable version here.