Over the weekend, I finally got around to finalizing our birth plan. I’ve had a few rough drafts lying around for a really long time, but knew that they were all WAY too long-winded. It took me a while, but I finally condensed our birth plan to one typed page, in an easy-to-read, list format. I figure not too many nurses or doctors are going to take the time to read a two or three paged birth plan, so my goal was to make ours as short, sweet, and to the point as possible.
If you take the time to read the whole thing, you will notice that there are some topics I don’t mention at all (like stripping of the membranes, rupturing of the membranes, or an episiotomy.) This is because I intentionally left off the things I am not adamantly for or against. I was careful only to include the things I have a strong opinion about, or preference for or against. Otherwise, the birth plan looked too wordy, cluttered, and unorganized.
I figured I’d start with a short introduction:
Hi! My name is Logan. My husband Andrew and I are about to have our first child. Both of us are so excited to welcome Bonnie Claire into this world! We are hoping to give birth with as little intervention as possible; however, our baby’s well being is our first priority, so all of our requests are negotiable if there is any risk to Bonnie. Thank you all for the work that you do, and for being part of such of a special time in our family’s life.
During Labor: We would like…
- Vaginal exams upon request only.
- No one to offer an epidural. I would like to go without, but will ask if I feel that I need one.
- Contraction inducing drugs like Pitocin- I would like to avoid using Pitocin if possible, both for delivering the baby and expelling the placenta.
If I do not have an epidural, we would like…
- Intermittent external monitoring by Doppler
- No routine IV- If possible, I would rather have a hep lock in my vein in case of an emergency.
- No internal fetal monitoring
- Freedom to move as desired
- My husband and mother to stay with me at all times.
Vacuum/Forceps: We would like…
- Vacuum or forceps used only in the case of an absolute emergency.
- If this becomes necessary to protect our baby’s life, or my life, I would like my husband to be present and to be allowed to escort the baby to the nursery when she is born.
*****After birth: We would like…
- The baby to be placed on my chest to breastfeed IMMEDIATELY
- To have routine checks for vital signs performed while I am holding the baby, if possible
- No suctioning of the baby unless necessary
- To have PKU heel stroke screening delayed until 2 the baby is 24-hours old,.
- No Vitamin K, eye ointment, or vaccinations
- Hepatitis B shot is to be given ONLY if the baby has an emergency blood transfusion.
- No bottle, water, formula, or pacifier given to the baby
- Skin to skin contact
NO LAB WORK IS TO BE DRAWN, NO INJECTIONS OR MEDICATIONS OF ANY KIND ARE TO BE GIVEN WITHOUT OUR PRIOR CONSENT. *****
I cannot believe how much of our original birth plan I was able to omit when I finally decided to ONLY touch on the things that were most important to me. At first, I was uncomfortable with providing such little detail in the birth plan. But my hope is that by eliminating any excess information, and any unnecessary wordiness, the hospital staff will actually take the time to read the whole thing.
I plan on putting the birth plans into the goody bags I am making for the labor and delivery nurses, so hopefully that will also give them some extra incentive to read them! In addition to the copies I put in the goody bags, I will also pack additional copies in my hospital bag… Just want to make sure there are more than enough to go around!