My Birth Plans

As part of our Bradley class, we’re supposed to make a birth plan. While it’s certainly not required that home birthers make a plan for home, I still figured I would so that it could remind the midwives of the little intricacies of our birth. Here is our home birth birth plan.

Labor

Dea will be in the home during labor and have the option of watching the birth (depending on her comfort level). My mother, Fay, will be present and responsible for her comfort.

We would like to labor as much as possible with just Claire and Curtis present. If we need assistance, we will let you know. Otherwise, feel free to make yourselves at home.

We would like minimal observation of the baby. When the baby does need to be periodically observed, I would like the option of getting into a position where we can use the fetoscope. If I am unwilling, then we can use the doppler.

We have prepared for our birth with the Bradley Method and would appreciate lack of light, noise, and stress to aid in relaxation during the labor process.

I would like to avoid all vaginal exams unless it is deemed truly useful or I request it.

I do not want to transfer to the hospital unless the baby or I am in immediate danger.

Birth

We would like minimal involvement from the midwife team during the pushing stage.

Of course, I would like all precautions taken to avoid tearing. If tearing does happen, I do not want local pain medication to repair.

I would like the availability to birth in the water, depending on my mood.

Curtis would like to catch the baby if he is in the position to.

Curtis would like to cut the cord.

We would like to keep the placenta and would prefer to avoid augmentation to remove the placenta unless medically necessary.

Baby

We do not want to give the baby Vitamin K, antibiotic eye ointment, or Hepatitis B vaccine.

If the baby is a boy, we do not plan to circumcise.

I would like to breastfeed the baby immediately after birth.

We would like to delay any procedures in favor of alone time for Claire, Curtis, Dea, and the new baby.

Next is our hospital transfer birth plan. The main reason that moms end up transferring to the hospital is deciding they want pain medication. After Peanut’s birth, I’m finding it difficult to believe that I will get to that point. Even my midwife is amazed that I went through that long and difficult of a labor without a midwife there for my first birth and didn’t end up going in when the hospital midwife on the phone suggested I come get a sleeping pill. So my birth plan is formatted in the mindset that if I’m there, it’s a true emergency. I’ve bolded the things that are most important to us for quick reference. Most of it is probably not necessary in a true emergency (like I’m not going to be sitting there long enough to need a vaginal exam), but I figured I’d include it just in case. Here is my hospital transfer birth plan.

We have prepared for our Bradley Method birth by exercising, eating healthy, and becoming informed on our birthing options. We are preparing for a home birth. If we are in the hospital, it is because we require some intervention that was unavailable at home. Therefore, we are prepared to be flexible on our birth plan if medically necessary. Barring any major medical crisis, we ask that you discuss with us all interventions, even those administered routinely, and allow us the opportunity to give informed written or oral consent in the presence of a witness not employed by the hospital to any procedure you suggest.

Our midwife is ___ and it is our intent to birth at home.

Our pediatrician is ___.

We would like to be thoroughly informed of our options if we need to alter our birth plan.

Labor

Unless medically necessary, I would like to avoid medical intervention. This includes, but is not limited to: continuous EFM, IV, hep lock, rupturing membranes, pitocin, etc.

I would prefer that no vaginal exams are performed during labor. If one is required, ___, our home birth midwife that will accompany us to the hospital, will perform it.

I would like the ability to push in my preferred position and at my own pace.

I do not want an episiotomy and would rather risk tearing unless the baby’s safety is in danger.

If stitching is required, do so without the use of pain medication.

We feel very strongly that we do not want vacuum extraction or the use of forceps unless the baby is in immediate danger.

I do not want pitocin or uterine massage to augment the birth of the placenta.

We would like to take our placenta home with us.

After Birth

I would prefer baby to be given to me right away; any evaluations can be done with the baby on me.

If the baby needs to be separated from me during our hospital stay, Curtis will accompany him/her.

We do not want any cord clamping, cutting, or handling until after the placenta has emerged.

We do not consent to vitamin K, antibiotic eye ointment, Hepatitis B vaccine, or circumcision.

I plan to breastfeed exclusively.

I would like to breastfeed as soon as possible after the birth.

I would like a lactation consultant to periodically check on our progress.

We feel very strongly about breastfeeding and getting off to the right start, so please do not give the baby any sort of artificial nipple or liquid other than breast milk (even water).

I would like to feed on demand and have the baby room with me at all times.

We would like to wait to bathe the baby until after leaving the hospital.

No screening tests of any kind are to be given without our explicit and specific permission.

We would like to check out of the hospital as soon as possible after the birth.

In Case of a Cesarean Section

If a Cesarean section is deemed necessary, I would like to obtain a second opinion if time allows.

I would like my husband to be present at all times during the surgery.

If the baby must leave the room for emergency reasons, Curtis will accompany him/her.

If Curtis must leave the room, please allow another support person to accompany Claire in the O.R. and recovery at all times.

We are not squeamish and would like to watch as the baby is born.

Please place the baby skin-to-skin with Claire’s chest as quickly as possible after it is born. If she is unable to hold the baby, please place the baby skin-to-skin with Curtis.

We would like the baby to nurse within an hour of birth, health permitting.

I would like the baby to stay with me in recovery.

Our midwife “approved” both of our plans at our appointment yesterday. She said that it’s unlikely that they’ll let her do vaginal exams at the hospital, but there’s no harm in keeping it there. She said that once we get to the hospital, she’s either my doula or my grandma. They don’t let her actually practice medicine or anything. Honestly, if my past experience is worth anything, they probably won’t even look at my birth plan if we get there in an emergency. Next time though I’ll bring it out afterwards at least for the baby section.

Did you make a birth plan for your home birth? Anything you think I should change or that I’ve left out?