How/When To Do a Birthing Plan? — The Bump
November 2015 Moms

How/When To Do a Birthing Plan?

I was wondering if this is something my doctor will bring up and complete with me or if it's something I just do on my own with my husband. Are there any templates you recommend using that you like? Who do I give it to and when?

Re: How/When To Do a Birthing Plan?

  • My doctor asked me some of the questions that would be on a birth plan like, am I getting an epidural, who will be in the room with me, etc.  But not all of it.  Birth plans vary widely, some are incredibly specific and others are very general.   I think the template you choose will depend on how specific you want to be in your plan.  Remember that the more specific you get, the more likely that information will be overlooked and you will end up disappointed.  I am personally not doing one. My plan is to get my baby out safely.  I am planning on an epidural and my husband being with me but beyond that, I will go with the flow and do what my doctor, husband and I decide is best at that time.  
    YCSWU 



    kwaldynursewhohelsbels222oaksem
  • If you feel strongly about specific things, my doula suggested laminated index cards. That way you can make sure the nurses are all on the same page and anyone present at the birth can have a reference to what you want when you're too busy with labor to talk. I have a few requests, ie no medical intervention unless absolutely necessary/no medication/delayed cord clamping, etc. If you have something in mind make sure you let your medical professionals know! :) 


  • I made mine on my own last time with suggestions provided in our birthing class. I took it to my midwife around 28-30 weeks (? I think) and we went over everything. She kept a copy in my file and then said to make sure I bring extra copies to the hospital. 
    I was told to use bullet points and be brief so the nurses could look at the list in a hurry and know what I wanted. 
    It was organized into sections: labor, delivery, and postpartum. 

    When I checked in at the hospital they did ask me for it and I did provide it, and they did follow it. 
    My midwife said they mostly like to look everything over beforehand just to make sure it doesn't conflict with any hospital policies. There was a few things where she said things like- if such and such or this or that happens, then X will not be possible. She just wanted me to know the different circumstances ahead of time so I wouldn't be disappointed.

    I also think this is really important to do with or aleast share with your partner so he knows exactly what your wishes are. I know everyone is different, but I was pretty much not able to communicate anything after a certain point. He was able to step in and answer any questions that came up because we had discussed what we wanted-  I was very thankful for that! 

    modanz1thefithuntress
  • Talk to your doctor. I went over what I wanted with my Midiwfe. We wrote it together and she put a copy in my file so the hospital would have it. She advised that I bring it in too. But when it got there the nurses already had it.
  • At the end of the day..... your only concern is to get the baby out. Having a detailed birth plan is sometimes a doctors nightmare because mom's especially us first timers can get a little unrealistic. Just think about the main things....what kind of pain relievers are you open to and after that just go with the flow and the opinions of the experts :)

    Cheers to a safe delivery for all!
    Lawson6510
  • I was really unhappy with my doctor's response to my desire for a birth plan, he was very dismissive of it.  I am still considering switching (I have had absolutely no complications or anything, so it shouldn't be a big issue for my care) but I worry about the insurance ramifications and I am concerned about the money I've already paid towards my labor and delivery.  I still plan on making one, there is a good birth plan template available on the bump though - you should be able to search for it.  I found it very helpful.  Also - be aware your plan may change, so don't feel like you "failed" if you get to the hospital and decide you want different things.  It's all ok - just keep in mind that you have every right to be involved in your own care, don't let any doctor or nurse tell you that you "have to" have something you don't want.
    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Ovulation Calculator"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt1c3821.aspx" alt=" IAmPregnant Ticker" border="0"  /></a>

    Mamma: Kitta 25, Activity Coordinator and Nurse at a school for mentally disabled adults 
    Dad: Toby, 36, army veteran and woodworker
    First time pregnant and so excited! 

    thefithuntress
  • I was looking at the bumps template for a birth plan. What is labor augmentation?
    I won't be doing one most likely, but it was kind of informative with all the different options or things I didn't think about.

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I was looking at the bumps template for a birth plan. What is labor augmentation?
    I won't be doing one most likely, but it was kind of informative with all the different options or things I didn't think about.

    Speeding up of labor, ie pitocin.


  • My OB hands one out at some point, can't remember when though. He goes over it with you at 36 weeks checkup. Also, if you do a birth class they go over it then too. You can get them off the internet or the bump even if you want a template. This is my 4th so I don't even bother any more.
    elbou
  • BowWowBowieBowWowBowie member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2015
    I've made a small list of requests that I'm going to bring up with the doctor later on during an appointment. I know I'm going to have to have another c-section, and my first one didn't go so well. Mine's pretty simple, music during to keep my mind off of what's going on, whether it be mp3 or through the speakers, request skin to skin time right after DS is pulled out to help with bonding and getting me up and walking as soon as possible. Hopefully my doctor will be receptive. 

    Don't forget to have what you'd like post delivery as well, for you and your baby. All the options and routes can be overwhelming so it's a great thing you're looking at it all now. I wish I would have with my DD 5 years ago, it would have saved a lot of stress and last minute decisions! 


    thefithuntress
  • Thanks everybody! I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing. As a FTM, I know I completely lack the experience that my doctor and all the nurses have. I basically just want to write out anything where I have an option. Here's what I've got:

    1. Husband allowed in labor/delivery room the whole time.
    2. Vaginal delivery unless C-section is necessary
    3. Deliver naturally unless/until I request an epidural
    4. Prefer no other medication used unless for the baby's/my safety
    5. Baby placed on tummy right after birth before being cleaned up.
    6. Yes to circumcision.
    7. Baby breast fed unless extenuating circumstances should arise

    Those are the only things I really care about. Of course if something happens, the nurses can talk to me and ask me to change something. I'm willing to do whatever is best for my little boy. Does that list look good? Too much? Too little?
    modanz1BowWowBowieskabanak
  • So many templates online!!! Google!!!
  • Like PP said, Google templates. I can email some to you if interested too. I think birth plans are often overlooked by women and doctors, assuming the doctor just knows what to do for YOU. And I hate when people say, they won't look at it anyway... Well, I'm paying good money to go to a hospital and receive care, I would hope they could take 2 minutes to read over my wishes. I think making a plan not only gets you thinking about all of the things you could go through, but forces you to do research on things you may have otherwise overlooked. I am bringing mine in to my midwife and she's going over it with me, signing it and putting it into my file. I'm also making a short list of wants/ needs if we get to the hospital with little time to spare.
  • I finally found a birth center that is congruent with my own philosophy on birthing, and I have made up my mind that I am switching after trying once again to discuss birthing preferences with my doctor and basically being told that as a first time mom I have no idea what I'm talking about and to just leave it to the professionals.  It causes me a lot of anxiety when I don't trust my medical team to care about my wishes - yes, I came to them for their medical expertise, but that doesn't mean my wishes don't matter!  I'm excited about this birth center, though - it offers every single thing I wanted in my birth plan and is 2 miles away from a hospital so that if I risk out I can get to a higher level of care quickly ( not anticipating this, there's been no abnormalities in my pregnancy).  Having a birth plan really helped me solidify my priorities and made it obvious that the care I was getting was not what I wanted at all.  Even just having a list of the things you want without the fancy template (I love the templates, though, lol) is a big step towards preventing disaster and another hospital horror story!
    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Ovulation Calculator"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt1c3821.aspx" alt=" IAmPregnant Ticker" border="0"  /></a>

    Mamma: Kitta 25, Activity Coordinator and Nurse at a school for mentally disabled adults 
    Dad: Toby, 36, army veteran and woodworker
    First time pregnant and so excited! 

    jamiem522dsty1213AmoLovesAud
  • The hospital I'm delivering at actually mailed me a birth plan to complete a few weeks ago. One side was pertaining to labor and delivery, and the other was for after baby is born. It had a bunch of check boxes that you could select from, and also a spot for you to fill in anything they didn't cover. I was relieved, because I really didn't know what I was going to include on mine. I just filled it out last night and sent it back (25+2). 
  • I'm really glad to hear some hospitals are doing that now - I feel like the hospitals in Arkansas are decades behind the curve on this.  
    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Ovulation Calculator"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt1c3821.aspx" alt=" IAmPregnant Ticker" border="0"  /></a>

    Mamma: Kitta 25, Activity Coordinator and Nurse at a school for mentally disabled adults 
    Dad: Toby, 36, army veteran and woodworker
    First time pregnant and so excited! 

  • Thanks everybody! I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing. As a FTM, I know I completely lack the experience that my doctor and all the nurses have. I basically just want to write out anything where I have an option. Here's what I've got:


    1. Husband allowed in labor/delivery room the whole time.
    2. Vaginal delivery unless C-section is necessary
    3. Deliver naturally unless/until I request an epidural
    4. Prefer no other medication used unless for the baby's/my safety
    5. Baby placed on tummy right after birth before being cleaned up.
    6. Yes to circumcision.
    7. Baby breast fed unless extenuating circumstances should arise

    Those are the only things I really care about. Of course if something happens, the nurses can talk to me and ask me to change something. I'm willing to do whatever is best for my little boy. Does that list look good? Too much? Too little?
    You may want to say deliver un medicated rather than "natural" :)

    VexedMommy
  • Do I need to have a birth plan? I really just want to say do whatever medically necessary to get this baby out safely. Otherwise, I'm not sure I have a preference.

    modanz1
  • I strongly advise having a birth plan, or at least looking at a template of one and reading about the options so you have some idea of what each thing is.  Whatever is medically necessary seems pretty straightforward until you learn about things they do.  In many cases, no intervention at all is 'medically necessary' - if everything goes perfectly, your body should just do it's thing. An epidural is not 'medically necessary' but many women like them.  And Pictocin?  There are those that believe that pictocin is not ever necessary and only speeds things up for the hospital's convenience at the cost of the mother's comfort, however there are those that swear it's the only way they progressed at all.  Is it medically necessary?  You'd get a different answer on that one from each woman.

    Also, in case you figured medically necessary just meant whatever your doctor says to do, realize that not all doctors have the same philosophy about birth, not all of them agree on what is medically necessary and when, and there are even some doctors that really shouldn't be doctors at all and will just make whatever decision will make things more convenient for them.  I'm not saying all doctors are evil, I'm just saying going in with absolutely no research and no idea of what you want to happen or what can happen might set you up for a bad birth experience.  

    I hope this helps - I really do think it's something every woman should look into.  Some women meticulously set up a 6 page birth plan with their preferences mapped out for every possible scenario, and some women just look some things up and go in with a basic idea of what they want and play it by ear and many women are somewhere in between the extremes, but the one thing I would urge is that you look at some of the main/most common issues and maybe develop some idea of how you want it handled.  Good luck!
    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Ovulation Calculator"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt1c3821.aspx" alt=" IAmPregnant Ticker" border="0"  /></a>

    Mamma: Kitta 25, Activity Coordinator and Nurse at a school for mentally disabled adults 
    Dad: Toby, 36, army veteran and woodworker
    First time pregnant and so excited! 

  • With DD I went in with one idea no epidural, because with DS 13 years ago the epidural caused a herniated disk. (Which still hurts). Ended having a emergency c- section. This time having a schedule c-section.

    I think you should have a plan, but with a couple of what its.. Good luck dear

    VexedMommymodanz1
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