Preparing for the birth of a baby is momentous life event and one you are sure to not forget whether it is your 1st or your 4th. While exciting, it can also be very overwhelming to consider all of your options and the choices you will need to make for yourself and your baby. I wanted to provide an easy to read resource for Moms and Dads to be in order to help customize your own birth plan and other preparations before the arrival of your new precious bundle.
I did not have a birth plan for the birth of my first and second daughter. My first it just didn’t cross my mind to have one prepared and with our second I figured we already did it once without so we shouldn’t need one. Ok, full disclaimer…. we forgot to bring our birth plan and other documents to the hospital when the time actually came with our 3rd, and this was even after a false alarm just a few days before. *palm to face* We did have them saved on our phones for reference, it just would have been nice to have printed off copies for my Doctor and nurses to see. However, I had put a lot more thought into how I wanted this birth to go after my doula trainings. So, even without a physical copy of my birth plan in front of me, or to hand out, I felt much more prepared and confident in decisions we needed to make. It also opened the conversation up more for Justin and I about our expectations this 3rd time in advance. While I have failed to bring and present my birth plan into the delivery room I do highly recommend preparing one!
Other things I recommend preparing, if you feel like it would serve you well during your labor, are a list of birth affirmations and also a list of ways your partner or support person can best assist you. Birth affirmations are going to be short sentences or words that are empowering and encouraging to say out loud to yourself or have your support person read. A list of supportive measures speaks for itself as it will be a guide of your preferences or possibly even things you would like them to say or do.
*Around 7 cm dilated with baby #3 and just started on pitocin, things were about to really pick up after this photo!*
Below I will share an example of a birth plan, birth affirmations, and a list of support measures I have put together myself. I pieced this together from various resources I found, mostly on Pinterest. I realized there are a lot of suggestions for things to include on a birth plan and it is not a one size fits all. The one piece of advice I was given in my doula trainings when helping someone write and establish a birth plan is to make it clear and concise and really do your best to keep it to one page. Presenting a 3 page, single spaced, document to your medical team is likely going to go unread.
Baby Boy Birth Plan
Parents to be are … this is our 3rd child and our first boy. Pregnancy overall has been uncomplicated. We are open to all options and would like any procedures explained to us in order to birth our baby the safest and healthiest way possible for both mom and baby. (Include any information you find applicable about you and your pregnancy.)
*Should a situation arise where I am not able to make medical decisions for myself or our baby my (insert name of partner/support person) will be my medical proxy.*
- Quiet and relaxed environment
- Besides medical staff, these people (list persons by name) are allowed into the room. I will let you know if there are exceptions to this.
- Door to room closed during labor, pushing, and immediate postpartum period.
- I am fine with continuous monitoring
- Would like to move around if possible
- My first choice for pain management will be nitrous oxide and if I cannot tolerate contractions with this I will consider an epidural. (Overall, would prefer not to get an epidural.)
- I have done some preparation (birth affirmations, breath work, and coaching husband) to manage my pain.
- While pushing would prefer not to be on my back the entire time
- I prefer not to have an episiotomy.
- I would like to be helped/coached while pushing.
- Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is clamped.
- Skin to skin immediately once baby is born, unless medical necessity prevents this.
- Dad is to cut the umbilical cord.
- If a Cesarean becomes necessary
- I would like Justin to be present during the surgery if possible.
- I would prefer immediate contact with my baby as soon as possible.
- I would like the baby to stay with me at all times if possible.
- Baby will be exclusively breastfed.
- I would like not to be separated from my baby unless medically necessity requires us to be.
- We would like to have baby room in with us 24/7.
- If baby must be separated from us I would like my husband to be with him during any procedures.
- Please tell us before if visitors come before allowing them into the room.
- Erythromycin ointment, Hep B, and vitamin K shot are approved by parents to be given.
- Circumcision desires if baby is a boy.
- Please allow me to hold my baby while injections are given or blood is being drawn.
- Baby is not to be bathed until the 24 hour mark. Allow vernix to be rubbed in or soak in.
- “This is hard but you are doing it.”
- “You are strong enough for this.”
- “We are so close to meeting our baby boy.”
- “Its ok to cry.”
- “I’m right here for you.”
- “What can I do for you right now?”
- “You are doing exactly what you need to be doing.”
- “Breathe for baby.”
- “I love you and am proud of you.”
- Have a conversation about anything but labor if I seem able to talk.
- The less questions, besides necessary ones, the better.
- Hand holding
- Should/back massage
- Get cold cloths for forehead
- Turn down lights or close blinds
- More or less blankets or pillows
- ICE WATER
- Standing while swaying and leaning against you
*Offer birth affirmations as a form of distraction or if I seem to be getting panicky/not confident in the birthing process.
– I am safe.
– I can do anything for a minute.
– The power and the intensity of each contraction cannot be
stronger than you because IT IS YOU.
– It is ok to be scared and it is ok to cry.
– I am capable and strong.
– Each wave brings me closer to my baby.
– I am confident about my ability to give birth.
– I will meet our baby soon.
– I have complete confidence my body is doing what it is supposed to.
I hope you find this an informational and helpful resource. Please reach out with questions or if you want help putting together a birth plan more fitting to you and your family. Best wishes and lots of love to all expecting mamas out there!
Photo by Jennifer Christi Photography