It is important for expecting mother's to have a birthing plan so that their labor and delivery can go as they would like it to. Of course, mother's need to be aware that their labor and delivery probably won't go exactly as they wish, but it helps to have a birthing plan so the doctor or midwife has some direction from the mother. "The birth plan is an ideal way to communicate her preferences, so the mother-to-be can fully focus on the amazing process of birthing a baby," says Dr. Coral Slavin, doula and owner/director of Well-Rounded Maternity Center in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Photo
Some things to consider while creating a birth plan:
- Labor Preferences:
- Monitoring Preferences:
- Pain Medication/Anesthesia:
"There are three main choices in pain management during labor—natural pain management, narcotics, and epidurals," Hunt says. "Most women will go into labor with a strong sense of what kind of pain management they plan to use."
Narcotics lessen pain but may have side effects. Epidurals eliminate pain but confine the mother to bed. Mother's need to consider this when making choices and remember, she doesn't have to choose now. Mention on the birth plan that she'll ask for pain relief when/if she desires some.
- Cesarean Preferences:
- Episiotomy Preferences:
Mother's need to discuss episiotomies in advance so they know their physician's practices. "It would be unfortunate for a couple to feel strongly that they would like to avoid an episiotomy only to learn in month nine that their provider does them routinely," says Shelly Holbrook.
Remember, an episiotomy can become necessary if quick delivery is needed. "I had a really empowering birth that was exactly as I had envisioned it," says Sarah Rose Evans. "The only thing that didn't go according to plan was that I had an episiotomy, but after 40 minutes of my baby being stuck in the same place, I told them, 'Just cut me already!' I was glad I'd made the decision, and that I wasn't pressured into anything."
- Delivery Preferences:
- Immediately after delivery:
Other choices related to breastfeeding are whether or not to allow the baby a pacifier and whether the mother would like a lactation consultant to help out.
- Circumcision Preferences:
- Other Requests:
Information found here