Rant #7- Birth Plans are important!

No one told me about having a birth plan, I just knew about them from conversations during prenatal yoga, etc.  So, I’ll reiterate, have a birth plan!!!
When researching online, I found several different kinds.  It actually had questions/statements about things I didn’t even know about that can take place while you’re in labor, and no one mentioned it to me.  They asked me questions afterwards, but it’s important information to know before you go into labor, especially if it’s your first child, and ESPECIALLY if you know NO ONE who has had a child RECENTLY.  I stress recently because even advice/doctors orders for how your baby should sleep have changed from the ‘70s/80’s today.
So research birth plans, and since there’s no set form (that I found), feel free to copy and paste one together in your word processing program to suit you.  After all, it’s about you, and your partner who’ll be with you during labor, and the baby/ies, of course.
Regardless if you’re delivering in a hospital, women’s center/natural health center, your home, or wherever, having a birth plan is very important.  Make sure your partner (and I, personally, suggest only having one person with you, but I’ll go into that in a sec) agrees with you and know the plan.  Even if they know everything about the plan, in the heat of the moment, s/he could be struck dumb and slack-jawed.  This way, they can hand over the piece of paper that’s printed in a simple, easy-to-read font, while they iron out their tongue.
Now, it’s important who you choose for your labor room partner.  Most likely, it will be your spouse/partner/fellow parent.  I’m not getting into surrogacy here simply because I have NO experience besides the little I’ve read.  I can’t really imagine a woman becoming a surrogate if she’s had PPD, but anything’s possible.  Anyway, if your spouse/partner/fellow parent can’t be with you (and tell the person that no, “But honey, the game’s on,” is not an excuse and you have every right to flay them alive if they even consider it), then, again, make sure the person you do choose knows your plan and has a copy to hand to the birthing staff in case they have a brain fart and words escape them.
Also, make sure you know the policies of the place you’re choosing to give birth.  Hospitals and other institutions had policies regarding you moving while in active labor (contractions but still dilating), what you can/can’t eat, using the bathroom (or a catheter), and others you may not have heard about.  Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a doula (I unfortunately did not, insurance didn’t cover that), your doula will be able to help with this.
And to all professionals, whether you be a doctor, nurse, midwife, lab technician, or something I haven’t mentioned; please, please, please tell new parents to have a birth plan.  Regardless of health conditions, ethnicity, religion/spiritual path, the plan covers everything.  Tell your patients to make one, tell them items of note (episiotomy, epidural, circumcision, cord blood preservation, etc.) so they can make an informed decision and put it in their birth plan.  And if birth plans are annoying to you, tough!  Forget your clinical side and remember you’re dealing with human beings. 

~ by phaerygurl on August 2, 2013.

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