What the F***k is a Birthing Plan and Do You need one?

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Ok, lets be honest here… what the heck is a birthing plan?! I had no clue such a thing existed! As soon as I hit the third trimester, all I kept hearing was “Did you make a birthing plan?” or “Don’t go into the delivery room without a birthing plan”.  When I would hear, I would just sit back, smile while thinking “What in the world is a birthing plan and why am I just hearing about this?” After hearing about it for so long, I figured if its so important to have one, I might as well create one. But where do you start? Well, for those are unaware of what a birthing plan is, I’ll give you a brief summary. A birth plan is a document that you create with your spouse, OB, Doula or midwife and lets your medical team/staff know what you want to happen during the labor and delivery. Keep in mind, that you can’t control every aspect of your delivery, but you can definitely set perimeters of what you and your partner would prefer. After you’ve created one, you’ll bring it up with your medical provider so that they are aware of what you and what you don’t want. 

As any normal person would, I broke out my trusty pen and paper and started to write a way… ok maybe not right a way, but you get the idea.  As usual, I waited for my husband so that we could discuss what we would like to happen during the delivery. But seeing as we have conflicting schedules, we didn’t have the time to do so until this past weekend. I sat down and for the life of me, I could not think of what I wanted. So I broke out my laptop and searched for “Birthing Plan Templates”  and found one from the TheBump.com (sister to the ever so wonderful TheKnot.com) The template is 6 pages long and goes into depth of what could happen during labor and delivery. As soon as we started to dive into it, I was already saying “What is this? What is a prostaglandin gel?” I even asked my husband what nipple stimulation had do to with labor and delivery (apparently this is a thing and its a natural way to increase labor).

The more we went through it, the more I felt like I had (and still don’t) any idea of what I’ll be going through. All I knew was that, I don’t want an episiotomy (a cut that certain medical providers make in order to increase the space between you vagianl canal and anus so that the baby can come out) nor did I want a a C section or epidural (unless asked for or needed). But theres so much more to labor and delivery than just that. The template asks whether or not you want to squat while delivery, if you want to push as directed or spontaneously, do you want to avoid a vacuum extraction (basically they suck the baby out with vacuum), whether or not your spouse wants to catch the baby and other miscellaneous items. Not knowing that there was a plethora of options, it forced me to conduct research on birth and after care deliveries procedures. I feel like having a plan laid out, is not only beneficial for you but also for your spouse. Although they may say that they’ll be cool as cucumber, we all know that when that moment comes, they’ll be more absent minded and stressed than normal.  

Note:  As the title of said document suggests, the birthing plan is designed to your preferences and your preferences alone. It’s best that you speak with your medical provider about all of the different options and get their expert opinion before making final decisions. 


Name: Blanca 
Estimated Due Date: TBH
Doctor’s Name/Facility: Contemporary Women 
Others attending birth: Miguel (husband)

Our OB’s office is pro vaginal birth but if need be, a C section will be done.

During labor I’d like: 

  • Music played (I can’t stand quietness)
  • As few vaginal exams as possible (frequent checks can cause an infection)
  • Hospital staff limited to: my OB and nurses (no students, residents or interns present…ain’t nobody got time for that)
  • My partner to film AND/OR take pictures
  • My partner to be present the entire time
  • To stay hydrated with clear liquids & ice chips
  • To eat and drink as approved by my doctor

I’d like to spend the first stage of labor:

  • Standing up
  • Walking around

I’m not interested in:

  • An enema

I’d like fetal monitoring to be:

  • Intermittent
  • external
  • performed by doppler
  • performed only when the baby is in distress

I’d like labor augmentation:

  • performed only when the baby is in distress
  • First attempted by natural methods such as nipple stimulation (still in awe of this)
  • Never to include an artificial rupture of the membrane (unless needed)

For pain relief I’d like to use:

  • Acupressure
  • Breathing techniques
  • Cold therapy
  • Demerol †
  • Hot Therapy
  • Massage
  • Medication
  • Walking Epidural†

During delivery I would like to:

  • Squat
  • Stand

I will bring a: no birthing tool

As the baby is delivered, I would like to

  • Push spontaneously
  • Push as directed
  • Push without limits, as long as the baby and I are not at risk

  • Avoid forceps
  • Avoid vacuum extraction
  • Let my partner catch the baby

  • Use whatever method my doctor deems necessary

I would like an episiotomy:

  • Performed only as a last resort
  • Performed with local anesthesia
  • Followed by local anesthesia for the repair

Immediately after delivery, I would like:

  • My partner to cut the umbilical cord
  • The umbilical cord to be cut only after the placenta has stopped pulsating
  • Placenta to be encapsulated (this is not on the template but it’s a preference of mine)†

If a C-section is necessary, I would like:

  • To make sure all options are exhausted 
  • To stay conscious 
  • My husband to stay in the room the entire time
  • My hands free so that I can touch the baby
  • The surgery explained as it happens
  • My partner to hold the baby as soon as possible
  • To breastfeed in the recovery room

I would like to hold baby:

  • Immediately after delivery
  • Before the eye drops and ointments 

I would like to breastfeed:

  • As soon as possible after delivery
  • Before eye drops and ointments

I would like my family members- names: Miguel 

  • to join me and the baby immediately after delivery 
  • unlimited visits after birth

I would like baby’s medical exam & procedures:

  • Given in my presence
  • Given only after we’ve bonded
  • To include a heel stick for screening tests beyond the PKU†
  • To include a hearing screen test
  • To include a hepatitis B vaccine

Please don’t give baby:

  • Sugar water†
  • Formula
  • Pacifier 

I’d like baby’s first bath given:

  • In my presences 
  • By me
  • By my partner

I’d like to feed baby:

  • With the help of a lactation specialist
  • On demand

*I am open to having the options of both breastfeeding and using formula. In the early weeks, I will do my best to breastfeed and then switch between formula and breast milk. I know people have certain qualms about formula and say that the ever prominent slogan “breast is best”, but realistically speaking, sometimes breastfeeding is not the easiest nor does the baby take to it. I don’t want to write off an option just because I feel the pressure to do what people expect of me as a mother (trust me, I do feel the pressure from a lot of people and it’s awful)

I’d like baby to stay in my room:

  • All the time

I’d like my partner:

  • To have unlimited visits
  • To sleep in my room

If we have a boy, a circumcision should: N/A

As needed post-delivery, please give me:

  • Extra strength acetaminophen
  • Stool softener 
  • Laxative

After birth, I’d like to stay in the hospital:

  • As long as possible

If baby is not well, I’d like:

  • My partner and I to accompany it to the NICU or another facility
  • To breastfeed or provide breastmilk
  • To hold her whenever possible

As you can see, its pretty lengthy and it goes into detail about the process (I left out the other options within the the headers as they did not apply to me). Although I had no idea what a birthing plan consist of, I will admit, creating one helped us identify what we wanted and what we didn’t want. We are very much open to any method that will reduce labor pains, anything that will keep the baby and myself calm and if need be a C section. Personally, I feel that most women go into labor with a set plan in mind and do not want to deviate from it. Some are also pressured to do what society expects of them. My advice, its best to be well informed about your options and for you to make the decision that best suits you and your needs (as well as the baby’s) during that time. 

That, my friends, is my birth plan.

What was your birthing plan? Did you even have one? Any pain management techniques that have worked for you? Breastfeeding/latching methods? 

And remember, every mother is a badass! Regardless of how you gave birth or will be giving birth.No matter the method, it is intense, rough, stressful and traumatic, but in the end you have a wonderful gift to look after. 


Walking Epidural:combination of narcotics with a lower dose of anesthesia (which blocks all sensation in one part of the body), leaving your legs less numb. Because of this, some women can move around and get out of bed. 

Pros:

  • pain relief is rapid
  • relief is continuous as the catheter is left in place 
  • Ability to walk around

Cons:

  • The narcotics may leave you and the baby groggy and sleepy
  • In rare occasions, there may be an infection or nerve injury

Placenta Encapsulation: In a nutshell, doulas or trained specialist will prepare your placenta for consumption. There are different methods of doing so. You can contact your local doula’s for more information.  

PKU Screening Test: A test that is done to check whether a newborn baby has the enzyme needed to use phenylalanine in his or her body. Its usually done 24 hours after the baby is born and it is done in all 50 states. 
Demerol: Another form of narcotic that helps your during labor pains.
Sugar Water:  A method to help babies deal or reduce pain during circumcision or other surgeries. Can also be used by your pediatrician when conducting a foot prick, a shot or having their blood drawn. Its not recommended to be used daily as there can be some complications. 

7 Replies to “What the F***k is a Birthing Plan and Do You need one?”

  1. This is a great post!! I’ve contemplated sharing my own birth preferences but I haven’t quite narrowed down what I would prefer to happen if a c-section is necessary. Like yourself, I also have a template, but have been following a Hypnobirthing online Digital Pack (The Positive Birth Company) which came with a sample template and it was amazing!! It really helped me to feel informed about what can happen in labour and delivery. I’m not sure if there are major differences between our two countries (I think there are as Ireland is fairly backwards) but mine is not so different to yours.
    I would like to birth in a pool though, if the option is available to me. And I want to get out of the hospital asap. If I could have a home birth I absolutely would as the environment is a really important factor to me and I want to be comfortable and in a familiar place. Strangers having a poke about my bits is so not something I fancy at all!! haha

    Anyway – women have been doing this for donkeys years!! We’re only fearful of it because we have been taught to be. Your body knows how to grow the baby, and it knows how to birth the baby too ❤

    Loved this post. Gave me plenty to think about! x

    Like

    1. Thank you! 😊 I think that there is definitely a few similarities and differences! Personally, I would enjoy reading your birthing, especially since you mentioned the Hypnobirthing birth. I’ve heard of it but have no idea what it entails. I contemplated home birth, but quickly discarded it because are apartment is not big enough lol I’m under the impression that in Ireland… well Europe in general, is far more progressive than the US. Here, a lot of OBs tend to push for C sections, when its not necessary. People do it for the “convenience”, not thinking that the recovery is going to be brutal! I am interested in knowing what the difference are between the US and Ireland when it comes to labor & delivery and the after math. Would you be willing to a collab on a post? ❤️💙

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Girl I am all over doing a collab post with you!! Mind you, would be down the road a wee bit as I’m not due til mid September haha But I would love that!! It would be pretty cool to compare and actually give the experience of how it all went….
        Also, as much as there seems to be major differences between the US and Ireland, Irish healthcare is dreadful! I’m following a UK based hypnobirthing program and devastated that our level of care here is so bad in comparison to British care! But yes yes yes to everything – we’ll keep in touch! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awesome! Thats fine! It would give us time to discuss topics and ideas on how we can go about the collab! I’m interested to see if there will be more similarities than differences. I’ll take notes from here on out lol Oh you don’t have to tell me about healthcare! I literally cried when my premium went up this past June (as well as my co pays). Not to mention that here in the US we have a co insurance and deductibles.

        Meaning that we have to reach our deductible before our co insurance comes in. My deductible is $3,000 and then the co insurances comes into play (insurance company pays 80% and you’re stuck with 20% of the bill). I’m dreading my labor and delivery bill because it can easily be anywhere from 12k-25k. I feel like the US is one of many countries where you can go into debt and die because of your medical bills. Its so depressing.

        Like

      3. I had no idea that the bills were that high in the US! I knew that they were big – but holy shit!!!!! That’s seriously bad!! Here I am giving out about how the Irish healthcare system is crap compared to the UK but that’s astronomical!

        Yes, I think a comparison piece would be good and we’ll give ourselves time to recover first too hahah ❤

        Like

      4. Oh healthcare in the US is a business. It’s not about at all about keeping people healthy or finding a way to maintain costs low. It’s all about keeping you sick and charging you a ridiculous amount for medications that you need. Even if you’re healthy, healthcare premiums are super high! Sometimes it’s beneficial to get heath care via work but then you have to figure out if it’ll be worth it once you start having a family. It’s a mess to say the least!

        Of course! I can only imagine us trying to write a piece while having our newborns crying at the top of their lungs 😭

        Like

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