Let's face it, when you are pregnant everyone has an opinion. When you will pop. How much weight you've gained. What you plan on naming your child. But when it comes down to it, it's not their child. So why would you let them making decision about your birth? After stressing about my first daughters birth experience I decided to switch doctors and research my butt off to make sure I was prepared.
Being an advocate for Natural Parenting and Childbirth stems beyond wanting a healthy, happy baby. For me it is also a health concern that I’ve suffered since I was a child. You see, I’ve been terrible afraid of needles for as long as I can remember. Fainting at the very sound of it in conversation. It’s gotten better over the years but now that I am a Mother I have to deal with it more frequently.
During my first pregnancy I did a lot of research to find out everything that I could about natural pregnancy and childbirth. I wanted to be well prepared to put my foot down when I knew I was allowed to. We as patients always have the right to decline a treatment or process that you do not agree with. Most women are scared into thinking that this is not the case. So creating a birth plan was at the top of my list so that no one could argue with me otherwise.
- First I decided on a “Breathing” technique that would help keep me focused and control on pain management since I would not be using any drugs. Whether you go with The Bradley Method, Lamaze or HypnoBirthing start reading books or taking classes. Make sure your partner does this also. Your partner needs to be well prepared to stop someone that tries to hurry you along. They will also keep you on track if you start to stray.
- Music, an essential for any labor to help pass the time. Heck bring a tablet and play Angry Birds till you beat the game. It's one way to keep your mind on other things during the first stages of labor that can sometimes drag out. But the music will be soothing near the end.
- Bring items from home. It will make your area less sterile (if you are in a hospital) and the smells will be comforting. Things like pillows and your own night gown.
- Birthing Balls and Massagers. Most hospitals now carry birth balls but make sure you call ahead to make sure in case you need to bring your own. Find massagers that you enjoy that your partner can use when you start getting uncomfortable.
- Write down how you feel about drugs. For me I didn't even have an IV in my arm. Make sure your provider knows and that you have your birth plan with you because there will be a lot of people in and out of your room and it gets old very fast if you are having to tell each one of them. If you don't want a single person to even mention it to you put that on there. They can take your partner out into the hallway and discuss options and they can be your filter. Your job is to focus on you.
- Positions you enjoy. Sometimes the rush of labor leaves you feeling overwhelmed. If you have positions you remember during classes that you enjoyed and want to remember to try bring those sheets with you so you and your partner can help you get into them.
- Fetal monitoring. This is something that you can also control but in a hospital it may be a little harder because without IVs and pain medications they have no way of tracking your baby's progress. I'm ok with some fetal monitoring but they can be uncomfortable. A good way to move away from it is being in water.
- Water Births. If you plan on having a water birth it is now required to have a certification before you can birth in a tube. Make sure you have it so they don't deny you at the last minute. Make sure you have clothing you want to wear in the water along with hair accessories.
- How many people you want in your room. Once the baby comes there will be a small team to make sure the baby doesn't have any issues but up until that point you may not want friends or family coming into your room off and on. Make sure they know that. Especially if you are going to be naked in a birthing tube. I'm sure they will appreciate it.
- Finally, the last thing you want on your birth plan is what you want to have done with your baby after that last push. Do you want the cord to stop pulsing? Your partner to cut the cord? The baby kept in your room at all times? All these things need to be on your birth plan as well so no one is confused and cutting away without your knowledge.