We made it to 37 weeks!!! Woohoo!!! 7 weeks of bedrest was harder than I thought it would be! I am so thankful to have made it this far and am now ready for baby boy to come out and play!
As you may have read, we are using a midwife, doula, and birthing at a local natural birth center, outside of a hospital, and are SO excited about it!! Before we finally reached 37 weeks pregnant, however, the hospital would have been our birthing place if I went into labor because legally, a midwife cannot be the main provider in a pre-term labor situation. That being said, being on bedrest gave me PLENTY of time to do research, start this blog, and come up with a few back up plans if we needed to deliver in a hospital. In my research, I developed a family-centered, more natural birth plan to use if in a hospital. Thankfully, I won’t need this with using my midwife, because many of these things are standard practice in the birth center.
I’m hoping this birth plan could help some of you come up with your version of your dream labor and delivery. Remember though, a plan…is a plan. Things don’t always go as planned. Be like the willow and go with the flow of things during your labor.
-Our Birth Plan: Hospital Edition-
- Call midwife as soon as contractions and labor begin for guidance. Leave for hospital as directed by midwife. If labor is allowed to progress the following will take place.
- IV access allowed but nothing allowed to be infused unless absolutely necessary with permission of birthing mom and/or husband.
- Eat, drink, and move freely during labor as desired
- As few internal checks as possible
- Intermittent fetal monitoring only as truly needed
- All interventions should be explained and we should be given time to discuss together
- Available to labor in tub, on birth ball, birth stool, shower, toilet, outside as desired
- Music played as needed for distraction.
- NO PAIN MEDICATION WILL BE GIVEN.
- Natural pain management to be utilized as needed: essential oils, massage, hot towels, homeopathics, tub, husband/doula applying back pressure if in back labor.
- Push in whatever position is comfortable, not on back.
- Push with body’s prompting and with coach of midwife, not to timing
- Free to deliver in water if desired
- Perineal counter pressure, heat, oils- episiotomy only in absolutely emergent situation
- Immediate skin to skin for at least one consecutive hour, as long as baby and mom are stable. Well checks done on mother.
- No erythromycin or silver nitrate ointment on eyes or vaccinations will be given at any time.
- Vit K injection will NOT be given. Instead, Oral Vit K will be given by mother.
- No baby bath given in hospital for at least 24 hours. Preferably baby’s first bath will be at home- wipe off face and yucky bits, rub in vernix. If bath is necessary for whatever reason, only organic baby products brought by parents are to be used on baby’s skin.
- No hat put on baby unless necessary due to emergency situation where skin-to-skin with mom isn’t possible.
- Breastfeeding as soon as baby is ready
- Cord allowed to finish pulsing (minimum of 10 min) before being clamped, then be cut by dad
- Placenta delivered naturally without Pitocin unless emergent. Placenta inspected by midwife/doctor to ensure full placenta was delivered without complications.
- Circumcision will NOT be done in hospital.
- Sitz bath as soon as possible with sitz bath herbs brought in by mom.
- Baby will use cloth diapers (with liner) or organic disposable diapers & wipes only- all brought with us.
- Baby will be swaddled in muslin swaddles brought by parents, not hospital blankets.
- Family allowed to return home as soon as possible
- Shield lowered to see baby delivered
- Baby is pulled out of the uterus slowly to mimic “squeezing” of birth canal.
- Cord allowed to stop pulsing before clamping or cutting, if possible and dad cut’s cord.
- No erythromycin, silver nitrate, vaccinations. Vit K injection only if deemed immediately necessary, otherwise oral Vit K will be given.
- Baby goes straight to mama’s chest for skin to skin with warm blanket over baby
- Well checks are done on mom’s chest.
- Baby stays in mom or dad’s arms the entire time.
- Room in with baby at all times
- Breastfeed baby as soon and as much as possible. Pump breast milk if necessary.
- Free visitation by mother and father
- Skin to skin as much as possible with mom and dad
- Parents handle as much of care as possible
What plans do you have for your labor & delivery? Obviously, this process is a very personal and intimate experience. If you go in with some sort of plan before the process begins, you can have some sense of control over your labor and delivery experience. Know circumstances may arise that require different interventions and be ok with that. The more educated you are about the process, the safer and more relaxed you, your partner, and baby will be when D-Day arrives. 🙂