My Natural Birth Plan
I opted to make not one birth plan but two! If you have read any of my previous blogs or watched my YouTube vlogs, you might be confused as to why I even created a birth plan as I did not plan on a hospital birth. Insurance. I created my birth plans as an “insurance policy” for myself in the event we had to go to the hospital for either a non emergency situation, I caved and wanted an epidural, or an emergency situation.
I created both a visual birth plan with pictures and colors, and a more detailed resume-like written birth plan. Everything in my birth plan were “wish list” items that I wanted my caretakers to know about.
Visual Birth Plan
I created this visual birth plan by signing up at https://mamanaturalbirth.com/. Once you sign up, which was free, you get access to a lot of natural birth resources, including her amazing birth plan creator. The birth plan contains all the options I used below and a few others.
You can also see in my birth plan below how some of the icons are colored red and dark blue. Which I think really helps catch your eye. Below is my visual birth plan and my own explanation of why I chose each item.
- No Medication – I wanted as much of a natural childbirth experience, and therefore did not want any unnecessary medications
- Free Movement – the freedom to walk around or change positions as needed to ease labor
- Natural Water Rupture – Unless medically necessary I preferred to have my water break naturally
- Water Birth – I was on the fence with water birth, but laboring in a tub did appeal to me. Note: a lot of hospitals in the USA will not let you birth in a water bath, but will let you labor in one.
- No Episiotomy – I did not want any procedure unless medically necessary, including an episiotomy
- Limited Cervical Exams – For me I do not see any reason for a provider to check my cervix unless it was necessary. Checking for dilation is not an exact science can be determined differently from one doctor to another. Also the speed of dilation can vary greatly from one woman to another, and I did not feel as though that would be an accurate measure of my progress.
- No Membrane Sweep – This procedure is sometimes done later in your pregnancy to help speed things along, and again unless medically necessary (which they rarely are) I wanted to opt out.
- Food and drink – Luckily my birth center allowed laboring moms to both eat and encouraged drinking throughout labor and delivery. Most hospitals do not in the USA, but I wanted to include just incase.
- No pitocin – I did not want to speed along my labor again unless medically necessary, so any medications like pitocin were of little interest to me. Note: I did end up getting a shot of pitocin after my son was born to help push my placenta out.
- No forceps/vacuum extraction – I did not want any tools used so help quicken my baby’s labor, again unless medically necessary.
- Immediate Skin-to-Skin – you can read article after article on the benefits of immediate skin to skin for newborns, and I have heard this also referred to as “kangaroo care”, which is adorable!
- Delayed cord clamping – We opted delay cord clamping to allow the blood to finish circulating from mom to baby. The cord will stop pulsing quickly, usually a minute or two.
- Partner to Cut Cord – This was more of a traditional request, and my husband had the honor of cutting our baby’s cord.
- Breastfeeding ASAP – The “golden hour” as they call it, which is the first hour after the baby is born, where mom and baby have uninterrupted breastfeeding and skin to skin bonding time.
- No Vitamin K – This shot was first recommended for all newborns in the USA starting in the 1960s. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to serious blood clotting issues, however in recent years Vitamin K deficiency in infants is rare. Note: after my son was born I changed my mind and said “why not” when the nurse practitioner attending my son’s birth asked.
- No Eye Ointment – is used on newborns to prevent chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection. Since I had already had bloodwork down twice to check for STDs/STIs and both came back negative, my husband and I opted not to have this done.
- No bath for Baby – The vernix is a white “goo” like substance that I wanted to preserve on my baby to help protect their delicate skin from drying out, and so I did not plan to bath him for a week or so after birth.
- Delay Exams for Bonding – As long as mom and baby were healthy I wanted to take advance of the first “golden” hour my baby was alive by skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. Any exams that were not medically necessary right away I wanted to wait on.
- No Hepatitis B Shot – As with the eye ointment, I had had bloodwork done twice during my pregnancy and both times I was negative for Hepatitis. We opted out of this injection at birth for our son, however we did go ahead and get the Hep B shot at my son’s two month appointment with our pediatrician.
- No Formula – I planned on exclusively breastfeeding and did not want formula presented to my baby unless it was an emergency.
Resume-Like Birth Plan
I took the Bradley Method 12 week course at the end of my pregnancy, and part of that course is to help you create a birth plan. The visual birth plan by Mama Natural could be used on its own, but I liked the idea of also including a more descriptive birth plan for nurses or doctors to reference. Below is a copy of the birth plan I created:
Missy White’s Natural Birth Plan
We appreciate the patient and thoughtful care that has been provided to us during this special time by our Midwives & Doulas. We are looking forward to the continued support through the labor and delivery. The following are our birth wishes to achieve a healthy, unmedicated childbirth.
We agree to the following people to be present during labor and delivery
- Midwives [Name(s) and phone number(s)]
- Doula [Name(s) and phone number(s)]
- Dimmed lighting, tea light candles, no side conversations during contractions, birth affirmations, lavender EO
- The mom does not wish to be hooked up to an IV, only a saline lock with the understanding it is necessary to stay hydrated
- Freedom of movement
- Use of hydrotherapy by using the shower and/or tub
- Would like to know the chiropractor schedule upon arrival to see if an adjustment can be done
- Vaginal exams are to be kept to a minimum but may be requested
- We do not wish for any augmentation of labor including, but not limited to, Pitocin, Amniotomy, or a cervical ripening agent. All natural options would like to be explored first. We prefer Cervadil and a Foley Bulb over Cytotec or Amniotomy.
- The mom wishes to deliver in whatever position feels right at the time. She does not want to deliver on her back or even a slight incline on her back, classic position is acceptable.
- A waterbirth is the preferred location of delivery.
- It is requested to not count for how long the mom should hold her breath while pushing or for multiple people to be telling her to push. The verbal support of the midwife, doula, and her husband are the only ones she would like to be hearing at that time.
- The mom wishes to start pushing only when she feels the urge and does not wish to “labor down”.
- Please support the perineum with a warm compress to avoid tearing.
- We do not consent to the use of Johnson and Johnson baby soap to be used as lubrication, we will provide Arnica oil instead.
- We wish not to have Pitocin administered after the baby is born unless there is a sign of significant blood loss, we wish for the placenta to be delivered naturally by immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding.
- We wish for a hat not to be placed on baby, for his vernix to remain on his skin, and for his hands not to be wiped dry.
- We do not consent to the administration of Erythromycin
- We agree to oral Vitamin K only, not an injection
- We do not consent to the administration of Hepatitis B
- We wish for a wait and see approach to newborn suctioning to determine if it is medically necessary
In the event of
- Transfer in a non-emergency, we wish to go to [Name of Hospital]
- Transfer in an emergency, we wish to go to [Name of Hospital]
- Cesarean, we request the presence of my husband and Doula in the operating room, clear draping, skin to skin prior to a warmer, no eye ointment or Vitamin K, would prefer gradual delivery through incision with OB narrating, and vaginal microbe to be rubbed on the baby.
We request for any deviations from this list to be discussed with true informed consent prior agreement.
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