Our Birth Plan
Hello, loves! Thank you for being patient with me over the past few weeks. Blogging has definitely taken a back seat as I prepare for baby, and my schedule is a little off whack.
I’ll also be taking maternity leave until the New Year, so my last blog will be November 7th (unless baby comes before then!).
There are so many pregnancy-related blogs that I had intended on writing, but many of them had been done before. Hospital bag contents, prepping for labor, etc. Instead, I decided to give you the real deal with our actual birth plan, which you can view below.
Labor and delivery are very personal choices. I want you to remember that as you read through what Ryan and I decided as a couple.
It was extremely important to me to understand exactly what I was getting into before labor, so I read plenty of books and did research. I couldn’t be one of those women who just showed up at the hospital with my bags and trusted everyone around me. I knew I needed more control, so I really put in the time and effort to make myself feel comfortable.
I shared a post on Instagram the other day about choices. Many women believe they don’t have a choice when it comes to things that are recommended to them by their doctors during pregnancy or by their nurses in the hospital during delivery. You absolutely have a choice, and should always feel empowered to ask questions and lean on your doctors or midwives for support. If you feel that you are being pushed into something you don’t want to do, then it might be time to look for a new practice.
There have been many instances where I did things differently, but I’ll share two examples. My doctor recommended the gestational diabetes test at 28 weeks and the flu vaccine at some point in my third trimester. I explained I wasn’t comfortable with the flu vaccine (both Ryan and I haven’t gotten it ourselves in over a decade) and I knew the gestational diabetes test would make me sick from all of the sugar at one time (I had passed out once in pregnancy and didn’t feel like going through it again!). She supported both decisions, and for the diabetes test I simply did a finger prick on an empty stomach.
Obviously, these choices won’t work for everyone, but they worked for me and for us. Do your research and follow your intuition!
Below is a summary of our birth plan and brief explanations of why I made certain decisions. I’m totally up for questions or discussions in the comments below the blog, but please be kind. I would never judge anyone’s choices, and I hope mine won’t be judged either! :)
Enjoy darlings, and looking forward to reading your thoughts.
FYI, our doula recommended that we bullet point our birth plan and keep it within one page so it’s actually read. I added a “my notes” section after each stage to explain things further for you. Here ya go!
Baby Morgan Birth Plan
We are planning for a natural birth, but are also open to possibilities knowing that there are things we cannot control in the birthing process. We would appreciate your support in this endeavor and can’t thank you enough!
People in the room and environment
- We’ll be using Hypnobabies techniques
- To keep the environment calm during hypnosis, I request low lights, quiet voices, and minimum interruptions
- My husband Ryan and doula Dawn will be the only people present for labor and delivery (family will be in waiting room)
My notes: I’ve been practicing Hypnobabies for months and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. It’s a home study course that requires time and commitment. I’ll let you know if I believe it’s worth it after all is said and done!
- Coconut water during labor for hydration. May have honey and mashed banana in case of low blood sugar
- Intermittent fetal monitoring is ideal (20 minutes per hour)
- No routine IV—a saline lock is fine
- Would like to avoid an amniotomy unless water is not fully broken and labor progression is slow. If this does not work and things are still moving slowly, we may be open to Pitocin after a discussion
My notes: I get low blood sugar if I don’t eat every few hours, so I put this in here even though I realize I’m not “allowed” to eat. I’ve heard the nurses don’t mind what they can’t see (ha!), so if I sneak in a snack here or there, all is fine! I also don’t want to be hooked up to a machine or the bed, so intermittent monitoring is a must—especially since I’m planning to labor naturally and will be moving around a lot. I’d like my water to break on its own, but am letting them know that I’m open to discussion depending on how labor progresses.
- I would rather risk a tear than have an episiotomy
- If I do end up getting an epidural, we would like to use the peanut ball (may be bringing our own) to avoid any intervention
- If I require a c-section (even though we would like to avoid this at all costs), I would like my husband to be present during the operation. I would also require my doula or doctor to swab my vagina (a process they now call “seeding”) and place the gauze in a sterile container for immediately after baby is born, and rub said gauze on baby’s skin, mouth, nose, etc. to transfer essential microbiota that would be missed due to a c-section. Lastly, I would like to hold my baby right after the operation before exams.
My notes: I’ve been doing perineal massages since week 37, and am going to have Ryan or my doula hold a warm compress on my perineum as a I begin to push to help with tearing. I would rather tear naturally than be cut surgically, so this is important for them to know. My hospital uses peanut balls to help assist women who have had epidurals—sometimes dilation can stall if you’re simply sitting in the same position, but the peanut ball helps open up the pelvis and change your position to keep the momentum going. You can also ask your partner or nurse to hold your leg up while lying on your side. I got the idea for the last bullet point in a book I read called “Let Them Eat Dirt,” which is all about creating and maintaining a healthy microbiota for baby from birth. This is super important to me if a c-section is deemed necessary and I OK’d it with my doc.
- No matter what the end result of labor, I would like to hold my baby right after birth skin to skin
- I would like to wait at least one minute to cut the cord (or until stops pulsating)
- Please postpone routine newborn procedures until we’ve held the baby for some time, at least an hour (including Vitamin K shot and eye treatment). No vaccinations will be administered at birth (Hep B).
- I plan on breastfeeding
My notes: Delayed cord clamping is performed by most hospitals these days, but I wanted to make sure they waited at least one minute. I also desire to hold my baby right after birth and don’t want any interventions until we’ve had some bonding time. We decided against the Hep B vaccine but are doing the other procedures (I wasn’t a huge fan of these but Ryan was, so this was compromise for us).