Advice for the Expecting #1- Birth Plans

January 11, 2008

At the beginning of my last trimester, I had doctor’s appointments every other week. At one of those appointments, my doctor asked me if I had my Birth Plan ready. I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought maybe it was insurance-related. But it’s not. If you ask people who had babies about five years ago what their Birth Plans were- they will probably not know what you are talking about. But five years ago, they also didn’t have a check up two weeks after the birth of their child to simply check on post-partum depression.
Anyhoo, so this is a fairly new thing. And it’s just a piece of paper (or two) that tells the doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers what all you would like to have happen from the minute you get to the hospital, to the time you have the baby, to the time you basically leave the hospital. If you look up ‘Birth Plan’ on Google, you will get a bunch of sites that have smaple Birth Plans that you can simply fill in the blanks. For example, they will want to know who you want to have in the room with you when you are actually in labour. They also want to know if you want to have an enema, or a mirror to be able to see the head crowning, if you want drugs, whether you will be breast-feeding the baby, if you want the baby to have a pacifier or not when it’s sleeping, etc etc etc. Some of it is a bit overwhelming, but that’s why it helps to make it out earlier, rather than later in your lsat trimester so that you can go over it with your doctor. The doctor and other hospital workers are supposed to read your birth plan before they do anything to you and your baby.
To be completely honest- I made one, my doctor told me to bring it in so that we could go over it together, but I kept forgetting to bring it to my appointments. And when I was at the hospital, it sat in my bag the whole time. No one asked me about it or anything. But nothing went wrong with my labour, so I was able to tell the doctors what I wanted and needed the whole time. During the labour process, they even just asked me questions that were on the Birth Plan, like if I wanted a mirror to see the baby’s head crowning, but I declined because I was just trying to focus on one thing at a time- which was pushing my giant baby out of my body.
So then what’s the point of the Birth Plan? Well, it’s just another thing that’ll help you and your partner to mentally prepare for the whole birthing process. And most importantly, I talked about my Birth Plan with my husband, which was probably more important than talking about it with my doctor- 1) because Chris was at the birth of our baby, and if something went wrong, or if I couldn’t talk, he knew what I wanted to have happen ahead of time. And 2)- the doctor that I kept seeing for my appointments wasn’t the doctor who was on call the day I had my baby anyway.

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Advice for the Expecting #1- Birth Plans

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