Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Birth Plan

Know what a birth plan is?  Neither did I until I took prenatal classes with Baby A.

A birth plan is basically just a sheet of paper you give to your nurses, midwife, OB and people in the room who will be assisting you with birth.  It gives them details on what you would like to happen during the labour and delivery process.  For example, what pain relief/drugs (if any) you would like.  What to do in the event an unexpected cesarean section is needed.  Believe me, you won't be in the mood to talk it through in the middle of labour.

For Baby A I didn't really put much stock in a birth plan.  I figured I would just go to the hospital and let things play out.

Boy, did I ever regret not having a birth plan afterwards.

I was induced with Baby A after going a week overdue.  Even still, I wish I had finished the one I started and given it to my nurse and kept a copy for my husband to hang onto.  This time I am determined to arrive at the hospital with birth plan in hand and enough copies for all the staff if I have to!

So... how do you start making a birth plan?

Get informed first.  Take prenatal classes that inform you about birth procedures and the types of pain relief that are available to you along with their effects.  Take a hospital tour.  Speak with your OB.

Then, I did what I normally do.  I Googled it.  Of course, that comes up with a gajillion replies to sift through.  How do you decide which one?

Well, read through them and make sure they cover all the things that you would like to touch on.  Here are a few examples:

You could also just type up your own birth plan in a word processor of your choice and print it off.  I go for the click and fill in approach as not to forget anything.  But, if you are one of those Mama's who knows exactly what she wants and wants to be straight-forward, a simple letter would suffice to your healthcare professionals.  Birth plans are meant to clear the way for conversations and discussions.

And remember, no matter what your birth plan may be always be prepared for it to change.  Every labour and delivery is different and no one can predict what will happen.

Did any of you guys have a birth plan?  Did you find it made a difference?  Did you not have a birth plan and wish that you did?  Sound off!!

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