Once you are getting closer to your due date and maybe after you have taken a childbirth class let’s see if you can create a birth plan. Yes, we do not know what might happen during your birth but a birth plan is important so YOU know what you want and what you don’t. Also a birth plan makes you wonder about some things like what membrane stripping means or whether you’d like your placenta encapsulated. Knowing medical terms is crucial in order to avoid interventions that you don’t want.
So here are a few things to consider:
- What kind of birth are you hoping for? Natural, spiritual, quiet, non-invasive, epidural or planned c-section
- Who is part of your birth team? Partner, birth coach (Doula), your mother, your best friend? Make sure your OB/midwife is ok with having more than one birth partner in the delivery room
- What comfort measures would you like? Music, food (make sure your OB approves of snacking during labor- most don’t), moving around, no iv fluids, less vaginal exams, no reclined positions, partner present at all times, massage, hypnobirthing, taking baths, aromatherapy, acupuncture, breathing techniques…
- When would you like to get induced (if ever): you’d prefer a week past your due date or longer. Or you are ok when your OB wants to induce you on your due date? Would you like to try natural induction methods first (like teas, membrane stripping, acupuncture… )
- Fetal monitoring: are you ok when you’d get monitored all the time? Most moms prefer to be able to move around and only have intermittent monitoring
- What position would you like for the actual delivery of your baby: squatting, hands-and-knees, water-birth, side-lying. Depending on what you are hoping for check with your OB/midwife if they are doing non-supine positions
- Placenta-handling: delayed cord-clamping, placenta-encapsulation or cord blood banking?
- Would you like to have your newborn on your chest right away? Are you planning on breastfeeding?
- Are you ok when your baby is getting medications/shots after birth? Some US States require a Hep B vaccination after birth- NY State recommends it but it’s your choice. Vitamin K shots are mandatory; Antibiotic eye-cream for your little one can usually be discussed. Make sure you know before the birth what your baby will be getting.