This is the birth plan I have submitted to my birth center midwives:
It is difficult for me to write too much about how I want this birth to go. I don’t want to be too specific, like saying “I want to birth in the water,” because then I’ll feel trapped by those statements if I change my mind at the time. I just want to keep all my options open, and be left alone to make any decisions about how things should go. I am willing to allow occasional listening to the baby’s heart, for reassurance. However, I do not want any vaginal exams.
I plan to be arriving earlier than is perhaps normal, since I will most likely be driving myself. If I should happen to have alternate transportation available at the time, I’ll come later, but I need to plan on coming early and probably staying too late. I’ll be bringing my “busy bag” either way. I have to have something to do, even if I never touch it. This will include a book for me to read to myself, a book to read to my husband, a book on tape to listen to, and some type of sewing or handwork. Even if I never touch any of it, I know from experience that I will feel better if it’s there.
I like to listen to loud music during early labor, and would like to have the freedom to select what I listen to at this time. I realize that my choices may not appeal to others, but they do suit me. I will gladly use headphones while other clients are in the birth center, if this is necessary. During later labor and pushing, I do prefer more “normal”, quiet music, and I will bring this with me as well.
As I said, I want to keep my options open. I know I found a number of different things to be helpful during my last labor, including walking, dancing, hands-and-knees, showering, and sitting on the toilet. I look forward to adding a nice, large tub of water to that list of labor positions, as this wasn’t really available to me last time. I want to be able to do whatever is comfortable for me at the time, whatever feels right.
When I dream about or picture giving birth, I’m doing it in a standing squat. However, as long as I am not lying down, I think anything goes. My husband may need your help in supporting me, depending on how long this takes and what position I choose, however I do not want to be guided at all. Please, no suggestions or instructions, but positive reassurances only. I plan to push with the urge to push only, and I do not want any coaching on pushing.
When I begin pushing, I will have a phone number available of whoever has my other children. I would like you to please call them so my children can be brought to the birth center for the birth. I would like you to take pictures of the birth, if possible. I would also like to have a mirror available, so that I can watch the baby crown if I so choose.
When the baby is born, I want to catch the baby myself. If I deliver in a position where this is frankly impossible, I want my husband to catch the baby and hand the baby to me. I do not want to cut the cord until after the placenta is delivered. I also want to keep the baby in my arms until after the placenta delivers, and after the first nursing. I will welcome warm blankets and pictures at this time. I still do not want any vaginal exams, nor do I want any cord traction or other assistance with delivering the placenta.
I do not want any routine medications given to my baby after birth, including eye drops, eye ointment, and vitamin K. I do have a history of prolonged lochia (up to 8 weeks), and I would like the opportunity to ingest a bite or two of the placenta to see if this helps any.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” – Albert Einstein