Birth plans are an important piece of your overall birthing experience at Nile Women's Health Care.
Primarily used as a way to set expectations for your labor and delivery, birth plans are a great way to organize key information and think through various hospital scenarios. Many people stipulate the type of music played in the room or whether they want to skip the epidural, among other things. But let’s take a moment to really explore a better way to utilize the birth plan.
First, it will be helpful to list your due date, important names and phone numbers in case your partner, spouse, doula or other caretaker may need them. For instance, list the name and number of your doctor/midwife, the name and address of the hospital where you will be delivering and include contact information for anyone you would like to be contacted with updates.
Next, decide what are the most important details to you and focus on those items.
Tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your plan short and concise. Time is of the essence so you want to make sure the key information is easy to find
- List any complications that arose during pregnancy. Don’t spend time with detailing a healthy normal pregnancy
- List any pre-existing conditions you may have
- List any previous C-Sections and whether or not they were emergency surgeries
Here are several topics to consider, broken down by category. You should discuss each item with your partner. If something is important to you, include it in your plan. If it is not, don’t bother writing it down.
1. While in labor at the hospital
- Would you prefer to walk around, use an exercise ball or *labor in the water?
- Do you plan to play music, dim the lighting, use incense or scented candles?
- Will your partner take photos or videos?
2. Which interventions are right for you?
- Are you ok with the artificial rupture of the membranes?
- Would you want to leave membranes intact for as long as possible?
- Will you allow external and internal electronic fetal monitoring, intermittent fetal monitoring or doppler fetal monitoring only?
- How about the use of an IV or catheter or enema?
- What are your thoughts on the use of oxytocin to induce or augment labor contractions?
- Are you open to an episiotomy or would you prefer natural tearing only?
- Understand the need for a vacuum extraction or forceps to assist in the birth?
3. Pain management and level of involvement options to consider
- Would you prefer no epidural, a standard or walking epidural?
- Would you like to used the mirror to see the baby crown?
- Would you like your partner to help catch baby?
- Are you wishing for your partner to suction the baby?
- Would you like your partner to cut umbilical cord?
4. In the event of a planned or emergency C-section
- If medically possible, would you like to be conscious?
- Would you like to watch your baby as they are being born?
- Would you like to have the baby placed on your chest as soon as they are born?
- Would you like for one arm to be left free of cuffs, monitors and IVs so you can hold the baby
- Are you planning to breastfeed?
5. After the baby is born
- Would you like to hold the baby immediately after birth and allow baby time to creep from belly to breast?
- Are you planning to breastfeed?
- What would you like to do with the cord blood; bank it or donate it?
- Will you need your placenta?
- Is it ok to offer your baby a pacifier?
- Will your baby boy have a circumcision?
- Is it ok to give your baby vitamin K and/or an antibiotic eye treatment?
It helps if you and your partner research and discuss your wishes well in advance of your due date. Then talk through each item with your provider in the weeks leading up to your delivery day. Keep in mind, every situation is unique and fluid. Your Nile provider’s main goal is to keep you and your baby safe and therefore may suggest alternative options to a request if the need arises at any time.
If you need help or have questions on your birth plan, please don’t hesitate to ask us. You can call at (770) 521-2229 or DM on facebook/IG at nilewhc. Happy writing!
*Water birth requires a class taken at the hospital prior to the scheduled due date