This article is from the Birth Planning FAQ, by wnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
How it worked out? Great! We were lucky and everything
was as uneventful as you may possibly wish for. To increase the
odds of everything going well we hired a private midwife, who
came to our house during the labor and did not let us go to the
hospital (7 minutes away) until I was ready to push. My daughter
was born 2 1/2 hours after our arrival at the hospital. I
did not take any medication, I did not have an episiotomy and my
perineum did not tear, I think for two reasons: I did a lot of
perineal massage, for at least 5-6 weaks, and my daughter was
quite small, 6lb 4oz, and had a relatively small head for a
newborn. She was in a great shape, a few tiny bruises on her
head, her face was pink, eyes wide open, she was too interested
in her surroundings to nurse. They cleaned her in our room, she
roomed in with us the whole time. We had a most wonderful
experience you can imagine.
To sum it all up, a normal course of labor and delivery
is essential to have a good experience in childbirth. However, it
is up to you to make sure that if your body is doing all the
right things nothing gets in the way of the natural wonder
unfolding. I think that the $600 spent on my labor-support
midwife was the best investment I've ever made (her hands on my
lower back during transition performed miracles). The attitude is
also important---you want to be taken very seriously by your OB
team. It might help to bring up these issues early on, it makes
you a more active participant in your regular visits. You also
need a doctor who is willing to listen and is not a control
freak. I am sure some of the doctors in my OB's practice thought
I was a pain, but the attending OB sure did everything exactly
the way the plan said. I could go on for ever, I better stop with
the advice I give to my pregnant friends: to maximize the odds of
everything going well, minimize the exposure. I hope the plan
Dear Dr. _______ and Birth Center Staff,
We are very pleased to be sharing our birth experience with you.
We have worked very hard to make this pregnancy healthy and low risk and
to prepare for the birth of our first baby: we attended a comprehensive birth
class; read a number of books about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and child
rearing; ___ religiously did her 200 Kegel exercises every day, along with
tailor sitting, pelvic rocks, squatting, and other exercises recommended
during pregnancy; she faithfully ate 80-100 g. of protein daily, as well as
deep green and orange vegetables, a quart of milk, lots of high-fiber and
vitamin C foods, wheat germ, and even some things she had never heard of
before; together we practiced relaxation techniques for each stage of labor,
as well as laboring and pushing positions. As you can see, we did all that is
in our power to give our baby a good start in life. Now, as the pregnancy is
approaching its final weeks, we are eager to share with you, our birth team,
our hopes for a natural and trouble-free birth of our baby.
We hope for a normal, natural birth, and we feel well prepared and
look forward to it. Any help you give us will be most appreciated. Of
course, we realize that unusual circumstances may arise. It is for that reason
that we chose excellent professionals like you. However, if the course
nature takes appears to be within the limits of the ordinary, we do have
preferences regarding routine hospital procedures for the mother and the
baby. These preferences are expressed in the following Birth Plan, which
we wrote along the guidelines given in the brochure RYour Guide to a
Healthy Birth,S which we obtained from your office.
Birth Plan for [names of parents]
We would like to be part of the decision-making team and to be
consulted about and asked for our consent before any medical procedure is
performed. We highly value our privacy, so we would like to keep the birth
team to a minimum necessary number, which excludes residents, trainees,
and other nonessential personnel.
Labor and Birth
We respectfully request that there be as little intervention as possible
unless an emergency arises. This includes: routine IV, electronic fetal
monitoring, use of medications for pain or labor augmentation, amniotomy,
frequent vaginal exams. We would like to have the freedom of motion and
a free choice of laboring positions, particularly in the second stage (this
includes the possibility of a full or partial squatting positions).
We ask kindly that a fetoscope be used for monitoring the babyUs
We would like to avoid a routine episiotomy; if one is deemed
absolutely necessary, we would like to try for a pressure episiotomy when
the babyUs head is crowning. We would prefer not to use any medication
for labor augmentation or anesthesia.
___ would like to breastfeed our baby as soon as she/he is born.
We kindly request that the cord not be clamped or cut before it has stopped
pulsating. We prefer that there be no or as little separation from the baby as
possible, particularly in the early hours after birth. In the case such
circumstances should arise that the baby must be separated from the mother
for a period of time, we would like ___ to be with the baby at all times.
We plan that the baby be breast-fed exclusively, so we kindly request that
no formula or any other kind of supplement be given to our baby in the
If the baby is a boy, we do not want him circumcised.
In the case that a cesarean section needs to be performed, we would
prefer a regional anesthesia that would allow the mother to be awake and
alert for the birth and the father to be present.
If the baby should need special care, we want to be involved in that
care as much as possible and want the baby breast-fed or given expressed
motherUs milk from a bottle.