Friday, December 23, 2011

Birth Plan

Bradley Method process does recommend a Birth Plan. Have you used one? How was it received? Our doctor even recommended one when we were pregnant with Sasha. (He is our doctor again with Spencer.)

I've been quite offended by the attitude I've received from some nurses about Birth Plans.I have even heard nurses refer to Birth Plans as "Failure Plans." I think I know why, though. If you use wording that suggests you will not waver in your preferences, they find it harder to take you seriously. It is good to have your perfect birth in mind, but you need to be flexible. Remember that the real desire is healthy baby and mother. The experience, while very important, is not the MOST important.

Some other key points to keep in mind: Keep your birth plan down to one page (even if it is front and back). If your plan is too long, no one will read it. Even our doctor told us that we should be able to summarize our plan. We can and did last time, "We want minimal intervention." Also, I used a check-box birth plan creator, then just tweaked it to suit my needs. The site is credited below as well as on my actual printed birth plan.

Once you have "finalized" your birth plan, have another mother (with similar philosophies to your own) review it for you. They may think of something else or improved wording. Then you should take your new "finalized" version to your doctor. This should be done in the weeks preceding your birth! You may find you have more adjustments to make once you've done this step. Once you have a final, final, final version of your birth plan, make several copies (front and back if it is two pages). Pack them into your hospital bag. Hand them to every single staff person with whom you deal at the hospital.

Here is our birth plan, as an example. Please feel free to use as much of it as you like, but be sure to make it your own with any of your preferences. We are planning a hospital birth, so this version applies specifically to a hospital birth. Also, this particular birth plan takes Spencer's Down Syndrome into consideration. I definitely suggest planning for the unexpected (like emergency Cesarean Section).

Axline Family Birth Plan

Mother-to-be: Jorje Father-to-be: Elmo
Practitioner: Dr. Ross Place of Birth: (hospital name)
Doula: Jenni Newborn's Name: (if known)

This birth plan is intended to express the preference and desires we have for the birth of our baby, Spencer. It is not intended to be a script. We fully realize that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. However, we hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options. Thank you.

First Stage (Labor):
  • Dim Lights.
  • Would prefer my own clothes or nude to gown.
  • Would prefer to keep vaginal exams to a minimum.
  • Maintain mobility (Walking, rocking, up to bathroom, etc.)
  • Clear fluids. Food, as desired, to keep blood sugar level.
  • Heparin lock.
  • Please do not offer me pain medications.
  • Relaxation techniques (breathing, focusing, etc.).
  • Positioning as desired.
  • Water (Shower or Tub).
  • Heat or Cold packs.
  • Massage (back, foot, counter pressure, etc.).
  • Acupressure
  • I would prefer to use natural methods to start labor.
  • If induction becomes necessary, please discuss our options with us.
  • I would prefer to try nipple stimulation or breaking of waters.
Second Stage (Birth):
  • Choice of position
  • Prolonged length, if progress is being made
  • Spontaneous Bearing Down
  • I would prefer no episiotomy. Please use compresses, massage and positioning
  • Local Anesthesia (for repair) if necessary
  • Leave vernix intact. Do not rub baby down.
  • Skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible
  • Placenta to be delivered without tugging and given to doula immediately.
Baby Care:Pediatrician: Dr. Ross
  • Leave penis intact. Do not circumcise nor retract penis.
  • Delay cord cutting, cut cord after placenta is delivered & pulsing stops
  • No eye medication
  • No Vitamin K injection
  • No vaccinations
  • Breast feeding only - would like to see the Lactation Consultant
  • No artificial nipples without consent
  • No formula
  • No separation of Baby from Mother, unless requested by parents
  • If separation is necessary, no separation of Baby from Father
  • Delay bath. Prefer a parent bathe the baby at our convenience.
Cesarean Birth:
  • Spinal/epidural anesthesia
  • Coach (husband) and doula present
  • Lower shield and do slow birth to mimic vaginal delivery
  • Explain the surgery as its happening
  • Free (at least) one hand to touch the baby
  • Skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible
  • Breast feeding in recovery room, with Lactation Consultant assistance
Sick baby:Pediatrician: Dr. Ross
  • Breast feeding as soon as possible
  • Unlimited visitation for parents
  • Handling the baby (Kangaroo care, holding, care of, etc.)
  • If the baby is transported to another facility, move us as soon as possible
  • Echocardiogram
  • Hearing
  • Leukemia / Transient Leukemia?
  • Platelet Count?
  • Cataracts
Compliments of

Again, what has been your experience with birth plans?
If you received a negative reaction, how did you handle it?

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