Birth plan

Dot writes: earlier today I typed up my birth plan, ready to discuss it with the midwife when she visits tomorrow.

1. I wish to give birth at home, attended by the Community Midwives.

2. I would like to be supported by my husband, [Ken], and also by my mother, [Katimum], if she is able to be present (my parents are visiting Monday 21st to Monday 28th September).

3. My hope is to have a natural, low-intervention birth, using the resources we have at home and the help and advice of the midwives to manage pain and keep labour going.

4. We have a birthing pool and I would like to use it for at least part of my labour.

5. When the baby is born, assuming there is no need for resuscitation, I would like to hold him and attempt to feed him immediately, leaving weighing and dressing for a little later (though we’ll want to make sure he stays warm).

6. I am happy to have an actively managed third stage if this does not interfere with holding and feeding my baby.

7. In the event of hospital transfer, depending on the reasons for transfer, I realise certain interventions may become necessary, but I would still like to have as natural a labour as possible and in particular to remain upright and mobile. I am especially keen to avoid continuous monitoring unless it is absolutely inevitable, because I am worried about my labour stalling or becoming much more painful if I cannot adopt comfortable positions. I am aware of the dangers of a cascade of intervention if this happens, with resulting risks for the baby as well as for me.

The contentious bit is (7), of course. I wonder if I should just leave it out, because it is unlikely to have much influence on the treatment I receive if we do have to transfer in. I think I’ve already given Sprout and me our best chance of a natural birth by booking the homebirth. Still, it might be good to discuss these issues with the midwife in advance and find out what hospital policy is.

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5 thoughts on “Birth plan

  1. Dot

    Unfortunately I don’t have Sprout’s e-mail address. I do keep telling him that he is to arrive in the week of the 21st (preferably early that week), but I am not sure how much weight my preference carries with him. The quicker movements I can feel are probably satisfied chuckling as he contemplates his evil little plans.

  2. I think number 7 is good to have on there actually, and if you were transfered to hospital Ken would want to give the birth plan to the midwives there. Sometimes it helps to have a statement in writing rather than just saying it, especially when dealing with the type of authoritarians that work in hospitals. Men especially tend to take in more information if you have it on a piece of paper. Now, this doesn’t mean they won’t push you to do what they think is right, but it may mean they give your wishes a little more consideration.

    Although now that I think about it, you can strike it as it is and instead put upright and mobile as something you want in hospital or at home. Same with all the other things in your list, you’ll want those things wherever you are giving birth.

    So is it like here in that you may or may not get midwives to come out to you on the night depending on how busy they are?

  3. Dot

    @ Jeremy: the Community Midwives attend home and Domino births, while the ordinary hospital bookings are attended by the hospital midwives, so as far as I know there isn’t the same problem as in the UK of midwives being unavailable for homebirth because of staff shortages on the wards. I know a couple of women who booked homebirths but ended up in hospital, but in both cases it was for a clinical reason (in both cases breech presentation). I do get the impression that Irish maternity services are better staffed than UK ones. For homebirth, the standard is that one midwife is present for most of the labour and a second is called to assist her for the actual delivery.

    Anyway, we’ll see how it goes – if the swine flu suddenly strikes in a big way over the next couple of weeks I may be eating my words, but I hope not!

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