Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Birth plan? Birth preferences? Things I want?
I really don’t care what you call it, but I do care that you actually write one.
Your Birth Plan is the picture of you!
The key to a positive birth experience is based on understanding what to expect and being an active participant making preferences and choices that are right for you and your baby.
I don’t want to plan because birth never goes to plan!
True trying to control birth is like trying to get a nappy on a wriggling toddler: impossible. The thing is, to write YOUR birth plan, you need to research. You do have to be realistic and think about Plan b,c etc. For example, if a caesarean section is recommended to you, visualise what that would look like. Do you want skin to skin in theatre, optimal cord clamping, playlist, screen lowered etc?
I hear all too often ‘I will just go with the flow’!
This is fine if it is your body’s flow and not the hospital’s policies and procedures flow!! Protocols and policies are there yes and sometimes interventions are very valid and sometimes some are not! If it doesn’t feel right ask questions, what’s the evidence? How does this apply to you specifically? Use your BRAIN tool. I know that in some areas of the country some choices/ preferences aren’t possible. For example, in Shrewsbury & Telford, the only place to birth at the moment is on the labour ward at the Princess Royal Hospital. Home births and birthing on the midwifery-led unit (MLU) have temporarily been suspended. But a positive birthing experience is still possible.
Here are some choices that absolutely are still in your control:
Environment: calm, quiet, minimal conversation, playlist, battery-operated candles etc.
Comfort measures: pain relief, tens machine, water (in most cases), massage.
Vaginal examinations - are you happy to have them routinely or when needed? Or may not at all?
Birth positions - active birth positions are a game-changer!
Guided pushing or not?
For minimal conversation when your baby is born so your voice is the first they hear.
Discover the sex of your baby for yourself rather than somebody shouts it out.
Optimal cord clamping & who cuts the cord
Skin to skin
3rd stage - active or physiological?
Golden hour - delay weighing, vitamin K? Initiate the first feed.
If done right, a birth plan allows you to be more present, more relaxed, and less afraid as you have made many choices in advance.
Plans change. Your birth plan needs to be flexible for you. If you change your mind during labour, it is still your birth and your choice!
If there is one book to read between now and your birth it is The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill. I have a competition running over on my Facebook and Instagram page at the moment for a chance to win one.
Positive Birth Icons that compliment this book are amazing and available from Pinter and Martin online. I encourage all the women I work with to use them. As this makes the birth plan clear, concise and easy to follow.
If you have any questions or need any support please message me.
Steph x x