I can't wait to meet her!
Once she's here (and I'm compos mentis enough to write a post) I thought it would be interesting to compare my hopes for the birth with the reality. So, here's my birth plan:
BIRTH PREFERENCES FOR ANNA HIGGS
I have SPD (Pelvic Girdle Pain), and cannot open my legs wider than hip width without discomfort.
Ideally, I plan to have a water birth at home with either no or minimal pain relief e.g. gas and air.
I have been preparing for birth with the Natal Hypnotherapy CD and ask that you use the term ‘surges’ instead of contractions and refrain from discussing pain, hurt or time predictions (ie how long I will take) as I would prefer to listen to my body and not feel under pressure to perform.
Please don’t offer medication or labour enhancing procedures unless requested or there is a danger to myself or the baby. If you think intervention is necessary, please give us half an hour to ourselves to make a decision. Please explain: How it will be helpful. What the risks are. Why you think it must be done now. What might happen if we wait another hour. What the advantages and disadvantages are. This may be a routine procedure, but please explain what other approaches there are.
No artificial rupture of membranes. Minimal vaginal examinations – avoiding lithotomy position due to SPD.
Labour to be allowed to take its natural course without reference to ‘moving things along’ or ‘augmenting labour’. In the event of a slow/resting labour I prefer to use natural oxytocinon stimulation and to have the privacy to do so.
Encouragement to drink regularly and go to the toilet.
Please keep conversation to a minimum and where possible direct questions to my husband (especially in the more serious parts of labour) so I can focus on maintaining a calm, relaxed state. I would prefer no trivial conversation so that I can focus on birthing.
My birthing environment to have dimmed lighting, soft music and hypnobirthing CDs playing.
Minimal, intermittent hand monitoring. Help me avoid feeling observed, keeping my birthing environment calm and private with minimal people, talking and monitoring.
Encourage me to breathe quietly and rhythmically through each surge (contraction), with a long exhalation through the mouth.
Slowly say the words ‘3..2..1..relax Anna’ I have heard this so many times on the natal
hypnotherapy CD and it will trigger me to relax and breathe deeply, facilitating an easier birth.
If I request pain relief, initially please take this as a request for more emotional support and encourage me instead e.g. ‘you’re doing really well’, ‘the surge will be over soon and then you can rest’, ‘you’re strong, you can do this’ etc. If I continue to ask for pain relief despite your emotional support and encouragement, I would prefer to have gas and air and for you and/or my husband to help coach me with breathing (slow and rhythmic breathing, longer outbreaths) and massage. If I
request stronger pain relief then a minimal dose of pethidine to be administered.
I would like the freedom to have the pool temperature regulated to my own comfort, and for you to encourage me to leave and re-enter the pool in the first stage of labour as and when I wish. However, I am happy for you to check both the temperature of the water and my temperature, to make sure that I remain comfortable.
Again, during transition I would appreciate any additional encouragement and emotional support you can give me – reassurance that the baby’s nearly here, I’m doing well etc.
I would like to remain in the pool for waterbirthing. Please do not coach me to push as I will be using mother-directed breathing to allow the natural expulsive pulsations of the body to help the baby descend. I think I will prefer to give birth in a supported kneeling position or on all fours.
Please encourage me to reach down to feel my baby’s head when crowning.
I welcome any help/coaching you can give to ensure my perineum remains intact. Episiotomy only if necessary and use of anaesthetic for this procedure.
Immediate skin-to-skin contact with baby placed on my stomach or chest. No wrapping of baby.
Father to place his hand on baby’s back under warming blanket. Baby to remain with me in the pool for an hour before weighing etc. Encourage me to get baby to suckle a few times to assist with natural placenta delivery.
Cord to be clamped only after pulsation has stopped. Father to cut cord.
Allow vernix to be absorbed into baby’s skin – delay ‘cleaning or rubbing’.
No vitamin K orally or by injection.