making your birth plan

Are you in the process of making your birth plan?

There are many resources out there to help you understand all of your options. So how do you go about making your birth plan? Our guest blogger, Louise has kindly shared her planning process in this blog.

Starting your plan

A birth plan…how to write a birth plan. Sounds simple enough. It’s a plan or list of your preferences during your labour experience. I’ll be honest it sounded pretty simple at first. However, when you begin to research or see your friends birth plans, you realise they are anything but simple…

Researching birth planning

So I began by researching what usually goes in a birth plan. This included what things to consider and when you need to start preparing your birth plan and so on. My conclusion is that a birth plan can be as detailed or as simple as you want it to be. I’ve heard, when you go over your due date then your birth plan goes out the window anyway. After that, it all comes down to what happens on the day.

Ready-made templates

One particularly helpful template I found was through the NHS website however it is 11 pages long! It starts off by asking where you want to give birth and who your companion will be. That’s pretty important. They mention monitoring the baby and the different ways to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and what your thoughts are.

With the labour positions list, it’s worth trying them out to see what works best for you. Skin-to-skin contact is the next section which made me consider the options available. Options such as baby delivered straight onto the tummy, cleaned first, swaddled before initial contact etc. Pain relief, now that is a big one! One book clearly outlines the pain relief available and the side effects are to you and your baby. I found this helpful and have learnt that if you want an epidural, there are 2 different doses at hand.

pain relief during birth

Feeding your baby

Feeding your baby is the next section and I have always planned on breastfeeding. However, others suggest preparing for both breastfeeding and bottle feeding just in case. One thing I wasn’t aware of was the vitamin K injection they offer. Some babies are born with little vitamin K which results in their blood not being able to clot properly. A couple of other plans I’ve seen include things such as what atmosphere you want during labour. For example, lighting, music etc.

Helpful websites

Here are a few websites I’ve found helpful and a book which clearly lays out the pain relief.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/how-to-make-birth-plan/

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a544479/writing-a-birth-plan

https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/labour-birth/making-your-birth-plan

https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/labor-and-delivery/birth-plan/

Having a healthy pregnancy, Tommy’. A free book from ASDA.

My birth plan

Making your birth plan app

Here is a simplified version of my birth plan.

  • I want to give birth at the hospital, which for me is the Lister in Stevenage.
  • My main companion will be my husband James. Recent updates state it’s necessary to have a backup. This is in case your first choice shows any symptoms of coronavirus. My mother is my plan B option, with my mother in law acting as plan C
  • A c-section is fine by me if needed.
  • In my mind, have always imagined giving birth propped up in bed with pillows supporting me. I know myself and know that’s the best position for me.
  • I don’t mind having trainees and other professionals in the room, who need to observe what I am experiencing.
  • Skin-to-skin contact straight away with my baby is my preference, or for James to hold them straight away. This obviously depends on how things have gone and whether there were any complications.
  • Pain relief – breathing and relaxation; I will begin practising the different breathing techniques at home with James a month beforehand. Also, I will increase my yoga, gas and air (aka Entonox) which is self-explanatory. I would like to have an epidural but a lower dosage.
  • Breastfeeding – breast is best!
  • I’d like to give vitamin K to the baby if they need it.

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