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Birth plans

I am struggling with making a plan partly because I am so indecisive but also how do you know what you want if you have never been through it before?! I originally thought I wanted all the pain relief under the sun but now realise that is not always best for baby and don't really like the idea of not being able to move for hours after and now quite fancy being in a pool as I am loving my baths at the minute but if you are in labour for hours don't you end up cold and prune like! Laugh How are you / did you decide on a plan? and did you stick with it (as much as you could)? I am also still considering not having a birthing partner - am I mad? Thanks x


  • You don't have to decide.  You can go in there with no plan at all and just see how things go.  

    As for the waterbirth, well they can top the water up to keep it warm.  I was in the bath for about 8 hours at the start of my labour (whilst on Hitched asking if they thought it was labour) and then that got me to 2cm.  Once I was 4cm I got in the birthing pool and was in there for a good 8 hours.  I didn't feel at all cold and don't remember being wrinkled but tbh who cares if you are ?   I had to get out to transfer to hospital when I was 8cm and the pain I felt when out of the water was considerable, I couldn't believe how much pain relief the water had been providing.

    When you say you are considering not having a birthing partner, do you mean you would be completely on your own ?  Personally much as I actually wanted to be on my own during labour (and my lovely midwives left me to it as much as they could) I needed someone to speak for me.  I wasn't in a position to make decisions etc so having H there who knew what I wanted beforehand was great.  I don't think I would want to do it without anyone with me, but equally I couldn't imagine anyone other than OH so if that wasn't an option I would rather a stranger (such as a doula) to be my advocate than a friend IYSWIM.  What is your reason for not wanting a birth partner ?

  • I have no answers sorry! But I have wondered the same about prune like-ness of a pool Laugh They do sound good as a natural pain relief. They helped with period pains and seeing as early labour was like period pains I imagine its lovely and soothing.

  • I'd go more for 'birth preferences' which acknowledges what you have said, that it may not always go to plan, and stick to the important stuff, such as how do you want to feed? Do you want to be told the sex or discover it for yourself? Do you want baby to have the witamin K injection? Would you like to try water if the pool is available?

    Having ended up with a failed induction and emergency section with #1, I would try to stay open minded and steer clear of a set plan which may lead to disappointment - I always said I would avoud an epidural but ended up sobbing for one!

    As for a birthing partner, I don't think you are mad to consider not having one - for me it would depend on whether there was anyone I felt comfortable enough with to want them there or not.

  • Oh and re: birthing partners I can understand what you mean, but it is a very personal choice. My cousin had her H and mum in but I would only want H so if he wasn't able to I don't know if I'd want anyone else. J's idea of a doula is a good one. Someone to support you if needed

  • I know I'm only nine weeks into this, so probably not a very valid opinion...

    I would want a birthing partner, it's a bit of an ordeal to go through alone, and the midwife isn't with you every minute.  I've got my sister in with me, she's very calm!

    I also want a water birth, don't like the idea of all those drugs making me or baby sleepy or whatever.   I keep being told not to hold to tightly to my birthing plan though, these things rarely go to plan and if you're to rigidly tied to the plan it will be rather distressing to have to change it.  I think the best thing to do is consider ALL the scenarios so you're ready for whatever.  Hth. X

  • Is your maternity notes book a greeny yellow colour? Mine have a section in where you can jot stuff down and has suggestions of things you may like to opt for. My midwife told me not to go into too much detail and to just go in with little expectation to avoid disappointment. She said to make notes of the following to give a brief outline:

    Who do you want with you during the labour and birth? Do you mind students being present?

    If you don't know the sex, do you want your birthing partner to announce it or the midwife? Do you want your birthing partner to cut the cord?

    Any pain relief you don't want.

    Do you want baby to have vitamin K injection after birth?

    Do you want the injection to deliver the placenta or do you want this to come naturally?

    Would you like baby placed straight on you or cleaned and wrapped in blanket first?

    Would you like time alone straight after birth? (I think they mean before you get cleaned up and the room gets cleaned up)

  • I didn't really want a birth plan, just wanted it to say "do whatever's necessary to get the baby out" as I really don't know how I'll be and want to make myself feel as free as possible to choose what I want at the time.

    However, at my last MW appt she advised me to at least think of a few things in advance and jot them down:

    Vitamin K - do you want baby to have it, if so, by injection or by drops?

    Delivering placenta - do you want to let it pass naturally, or have the injection to speed it up?

    Is there any pain relief you definitely do or do not want?

    Do you want the baby delivered straight onto you or cleaned a little first?

    I like Margot's idea of calling it 'birth preferences' personally as 'birth plan' just feels too rigid for me.

    As for a birth partner, I'm having my mum as well as my H. I have discussed giving birth with both of them and trust them to make my feelings known for me if I'm just too out of it. But I don't think you're mad for wanting to do it alone, if you are sure you won't need the support at the time.

  • My birth plan consisted of three things- h to cut the cord, water birth if possible and I wanted to BF, everything else we decided at the time if I have a plan I  get very control freak about it , this way was much better for me

  • I didn't have one anytime, infant I'd more requests with William and he was born asleep as I wanted so many things but they encouraged that. The other 2 times no one has ever asked to see a birth plan. My only thing for L was to go with the flow and my thing with Isaac was immediate skin to skin, and photos when able and bf ASAP.

  • Thanks, thats all really helpful, I feel better with having a few 'preferances' then having to write an actual plan, my midwife hasn't discussed it yet so will see what she says too and TSC yes there is space to write some notes in my mat notes but no kind of guidelines.

    With regards to the birthing partner (JS I lost my H 4 months ago otherwise he would be there) the only other person I would like there is my mum but she had a stroke years ago and although physically fine can't speak very well so wouldn't be able to make any decisions for me or speak for me but at least she would be there for moral support, It's whether or not she would cope really.

  • Hi, we've written one but it is more preferences, than a fixed plan.  My notes have a list of headings to fill things in under (I can scan it and email it to you if you like?), we just used that as a basis for our plan.  It's very loose though and is about a page and a half long (A4).

    Have you looked at the BT Wiki site - there are birth plans on there that I looked at first, and I took a lot of things from them that I thought sounded good.

    Having someone for moral support sounds like a good idea.  Having spoken to my friends H all he really did was provide support throughout the labour.

  • Willow, I'm so sorry I didn't know about your OH, this must be a very hard time for you. It might be worth looking into hiring a doula to be with you or speaking to your midwife about whether they would be able to provide 1:1 support for you in the hospital.

  • I didn't have one, they asked the important bits as they happened (cord cutting, vit k, placenta etc) I think it's nice to have ideals but be open to other things as you don't know how you'll cope.

  • SC - it would be fab if you could email me that - address is . I think that would help give me a better idea, will look on the wiki too. Will also have a chat with the midwife. Thanks all x

  • This was my birth plan, I tried to keep it fairly open but wrote this from the point of view of giving birth at my local MLU.

    • I would like my husband, X, to be present at all times during the birth.
    • I plan to use the birth pool, but if it's not available, I would like to be mobile whilst in labour.
    • For Pain Relief, I would like to use Gas and air, as well as Meptid.
    • I am happy for one student midwife to be present at the birth.
    • H should be asked if he would like to cut the cord.
    • I would like skin-to-skin straight as soon as the baby is born. If I am unable to do this, then I would like H to give the baby skin-to-skin contact.
    • I intend to breast feed the baby and would like to do this as soon as possible.
    • I would like the baby to have the vitamin K injection.
    • I would like to have the injection to deliver the placenta.
    • I would prefer ventouse over forceps should an assisted delivery become necessary.
    • If I am incapacitated, I would like H to attend to the baby.
    • Whilst we have been told the sex of our baby at previous scans, I would like my husband to confirm the sex of the baby when the baby is born.
    • In the event of a hospital transfer, I would like H to be given a choice of accompanying me or meet me at the hospital.
  • Hi Willow. I really need to stop lurking and start replying to questions like these as it wasn't so long back it was me asking the same ones! I dot know what I would've done alt of the time without you guys. It was hitched back then!

    Mine were also all preferences. My notes had different sections with questions that you might ask yourself. My first note was that I would just go with the flow and take each step as it comes. I had 3 main things I knew I wanted. I wanted to it the cord if my H wasn't able to or if he changed his mind. I wanted skin to skin straight away. I also wanted H to tell me if we had a girl or boy, rather than the midwives telling us. I did state that I'd prefer to stick with just gas & air and that any other pain relief would be a very last resort. My plan more or less went as planned but only because I was happy to just go with it.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Completely different I know, but I lost my Dad whilst I was pregnant so if you need anyone to talk to, give me a shout xxx

    Re: birthing partner, is there anyone you would consider as it might help just having someone there even to hold your hand? Moral support can be such a boost during labour but if you know you want to do it alone, then let them know in your notes. It's all completely up to you xx

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