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my original stance was to be like those little monkeys...
You know…see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil….
In other words to just kind of go with the flow at my birth!
But then I started doing some research…and the magical world of episiotomies, fundal pressure, and forceps appeared in front of me.
I was shocked honestly…nobody really warns you about these things and they don’t seem to be that widely known outside of the mommy world.
So I did some research and watched a million birth stories…only to come to the conclusion that it probably wouldn’t hurt to have a birth plan after all.
So, like I do with everything else in my life, I dove in head-first.
The following is a compilation of the crazy amounts of research I did reading through first-hand accounts of moms who recently gave birth + hospitals + labor & nurse delivery recommendations!!
All pieced together for your viewing pleasure :D
0:48 Who, What, Where of Labor, 1:12 Comforts in Labor, 1:24 Lights & Sounds in Labor, 1:29 How You Will Labor, 1:53 Delivery, 2:40 After
Before Birth & Labor
A lot of the birth stories gone wrong had one main thing in common…the moms had a hard time adovcating for themselves.
Which left them feeling like brith happened to them, instead of them feeling empowered.
So I got to thinking that knowledge is power…so I’ve compiled a big list of what to include on your birth plan that will help you feel informed and empowered!
Who, what, & where
These questions are very important to consider!
Who will be at the birth? Will you be opting for a doula? Just your partner? A family member? What about someone to take photos & videos? Would you be open to having student doctors and nurses view your birth?
Where will you give birth? At home? A Birthing center? A hospital?
What kind of birth will you have? A c-section? An induction? Natural?
Of course you always put your ideal situation on your birth plan…and if the plan changes well sometimes you just don’t have control over that! So it’s good to have a plan but also be open & flexible for the sake of your safety and your baby’s safety.
Food/Drink - Does your hospital allow food? Will you be eating light snacks during labor?
Movement - Will you be hooked up to IVs and machinery? Will you mostly be lying in bed? Would you like freedom of movement around the birthing suite?
Props - What kinds of props will you bring with you? What props does the hospital have? Some ideas might include exercise balls, silks hanging from the walls, and squatting stools.
Lights & Sound - How do you want the room to be? Does your hospital have a dimmer option? Can you bring your own music or hypnobirthing cds?
How will you labor? For example, in a birthing tub? Will you walk around?
How will they monitor the baby? This is an important question to ask the hospital? Some have wireless monitors, others will have you hooked up. Find out before hand and make an informed decision.
For related reading see: ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING MOMMA NEEDS FOR LABOR, DELIVERY, & POSTPARTUM
The article continues below…
This is an important decision you’ll have to go over with your doctor or midwife and find what' the best option for you is.
Some examples of pain control include:
Shower or birthing pool
IV pain medications
Gas & Air
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THE COMPLETE PREPARE FOR BABY COURSE!!!
Weekly prompts sent right to your inbox on how to prepare absolutely everything for baby, from finances, in-laws, to what to bring to the hospital & what the right questions to ask are.
A.k.a. the push a watermelon-sized human out your lady parts…
Here are some questions to consider for your birth plan:
Will you opt for a routine episiotomy?
Will you opt for an elective episiotomy?
What is your stance on the use of forceps or vacuum?
What position(s) would you like to be in for labor?
Would you like to view with a mirror or feel the head as it's descending?
What is your decision on chord blood?
Will you receive antibiotics/treatement for strep b?
There’s so much that the hospital will do after you give birth to your baby! It’s extremely important to stay informed because there are really a lot of decisions to make regarding your baby during the first few hours of his or her life.
And chances are you’ll be a little off your game when it comes time to make those decisions so let’s discuss some things to consider!
Skin to Skin
Most hospitals now offer skin-to-skin as the benefits have been well documented. However, it is worth asking EXACTLY what they usually do right after the birth of the baby. Sometimes they take him or her away for a few minutes to clear out the nose, and wipe off the skin. Is that something you’d feel comfortable with?
Chord Cutting (delayed?) (immediate?) (who cuts it?)
This is also a question for dad’s birth plan (or partner’s birth plan) which I highly recommend reading through this article talking about it so dad is just as prepared as mom.
And the benefits of delayed chord clamping (until it stops beating) are numerous! Do a quick google search and you’ll find out about it but basically it increases oxygen & iron supplies.
Saving Chord Blood
Breastfeeding vs. Formula feeding
Antibiotic Eye Drops
Where will baby sleep?
Will baby have a bath?
Will baby be given a pacifier?
What about vaccines?
Will you practice the “golden hour” after birth?
This article from one of my favorite bloggers is a wonderful explanation of the golden hour, breastfeeding in the first hour, chord blood banking and more!
How will you deliver the placenta?
Some hospitals will automatically give you medicinal help to deliver the placenta. Ask your doctor & you can make an informed decision.
Some other random things to consider are the following…
Will dad create a birth plan? What will his role be during birth?
Will someone be taking photos or video footage of the birth? Which parts?
Will you be allowing visitors after the birth? What will be your policy for those visitors?
Tell us in the comments sections below…what kind of birth are you hoping for?? Water birth? Hospital birth? What are you most looking forward to?