Our Home Birth Plan

It’s pretty set that I get to finally have a home birth. After 2 high risk pregnancies, that both went completely problem free and our 3rd birth being a beautiful and quick water birth, we have finally decided to get the home birth that we want. It’s time to write our home birth, birth plan.

Writing a birth plan for a home birth was all new to me, and there were quite a few extra ‘bits’ I needed to add. I needed to plan for different scenarios, such as a hospital transfer. Now, I know a lot of people don’t bother writing birth plans, but I do like to have one written up and ready for a quick glance by whatever midwife I have on the day. For me this is because I like to keep things as natural as possible, and many midwives don’t see that many ‘leave-me-alone-to-get-on-with-it’ ladies.

Also, be aware birth plans can change. Nothng is set in stone. Every birth is different and no human will every share an identical birth. I always take my birth plan as a ‘wish list’, rather than a blue-print.

As a quick sneak peak, here is our birth plan for our much wanted home birth. Notes in red are for you the reader, and will not be included on my printed plan. I’ve included this to explain my reasons for my decisions.

Hazel’s Home Birth, Birth Plan

‘Let’s Keep It Simple!’

Place of birth: Home

Previous Births- DD1: Induction at 37 weeks, natural unassisted

DD2: 40+1, spontaneous, Natural, unassisted

DD3: 40+2, Spontanious, Natural, Unassisted and V. Fast!

At A Glance

Ideally if all goes smoothly, I would like an unassisted birth. Hopefully, the midwife who attends the birth will remain mostly in the background with minimal action. I would like the M/W to just do the very necessary observations for safety, but I would like her to remain in the background.

My husband would like to be hands-on during labour and delivery, and as a couple, we would like to welcome our baby into the world as much as we can by ourselves.

I know I can birth on my own, from previous deliveries. I trust my body, but I wholly appreciate the M/W to help with the unexpected or emergency situations.

Labour

  • NOTE: I do labour fast and efficiently! My last labour was just 17 minutes of active labour!
  • I would like to remain active in labour and naturally find a position that is comfortable for me. Please remind me to stay off of my back. I ask to stay off of my back because it is a rather unnatural position to labour in. Baby (and you) has to work harder to get out, effectively working their way around a U Bend. Let gravity do it’s job and remain upright, either on your knees or standing. If you are tired, laying on your left side, is better than on your back. 
  • I may want to use the bath or shower at any time.
  • I am happy to have an initial examination to check presentation of baby.
  • I would like to avoid other internal examinations if possible. 
  • Please do not rupture my membranes. This can cause labour to speed at an unnatural rate, and increase pain. 
  • I may naturally use hypnobirthing techniques, or become trance-like.
  • Please keep noises to an absolute minimum and if possible, the room dark.

Birth Companions

  • It is likely that I will only have my husband with me during the birth. This is a private birth, and we want things to remain personal.
  • I hope to have my other children with a relative, either out of the house or in our house, in their bedrooms.

Pain Relief

  • Other than gas and air, I would not like to be offered any other pain relief. Other meds can make me feel sick and interfere with concentration. I would never have an epidural. Having an epidural can increase your chances of needing intervention, such as forceps, episiotomies (cutting) and even C-sections. It can also lead to long term numbness and swelling. No needle in my spine thank you very much!
  • I may also use massage, meditation and movement.

The Birth

  • Lets allow nature to do its thing.
  • I shall only push when the urge to do so naturally takes over and I cannot stop it from happening. No coached pushing. People often wonder when they will know when to push. Trust me, unless you have an epidural, you will just know. You cannot stop that feeling, no matter how hard you try.
  • Please keep the room dark, quiet and cool as much as possible during this stage. I am a relatively silent birther, and go into myself during the final moments. 
  • If you need to discuss matters with the second M/W please do so quietly and out of ear shot.
  • I would like to give birth wherever I end up! Bed, sofa, garden, hanging from the lampshade. Whatever. 
  • I intend for my husband to catch the baby, or myself, depending on the circumstance.
  • Baby to be laid on my straight away for skin to skin and to start breastfeeding. *  Read all about the benefits of skin to skin. *
  • Baby station to be placed on top if chest freezer, dining table, or bedside draws (depending where we are) as these are the flattest and easy to access spaces.
  • Please do not give an episiotomy, and allow for natural tearing- although I’ve never torn yet!
  • Please do not clean or bathe baby. When baby arrives they will be covered in a white waxy substance called Vernix. Vernix is natures barrier cream and protects their new delicate skin from infection. I always delay bathing by 1 week for this reason and only wash in water for first few months.

Third Stage

  • Delayed cord clamping.
  • Dad to cut the cord.
  • Cord tie to be used, not a standard plastic clip. A more comfortable option for baby. A cotton tie is knotted around the cord rather than the large, hard plastic clip. 
  • Managed third stage please- I would love to attempt a physiological 3rd stage, but with DD2 I did have a retained placenta and a D&C. Unfortunately when I has Olive, the placenta failed to detach, the cord was also snapped. I ended up in theatre having a manual removal. This isn’t common, but it also isn’t rare. 
  • We wish to keep the placenta. I will be taking prints and donating to a friend to train doulas. 

After Delivery

  • I will breastfeed my baby. Please do don’t offer bottles, as I am happy to hand express colostrum.
  • Skin to skin for as long as possible.
  • Please give Vitamin K injection as normal.
  • I would like to avoid stitches if possible, and allow natural healing.

Emergencies, hospital transfer, C-section

  • My husband to come with me in the ambulance.
  • If allowed, I would like to continue a natural birth within the hospital, keeping my plan as above, where possible.
  • In case of a haemorrhage, I am happy for a hysterectomy.
  • If baby flips to a breech position, please allow me to continue birthing as natural, for a vaginal birth.
  • In hospital I would still like to only use Gas and Air.
  • If baby is in special care unit, please do not offer formula. This can lead to nipple confusion. I am happy to express and cup feed, tube feed if absolutely necessary- please no bottles.
  • If I cannot offer immediate skin to skin, please place baby on my husbands chest for this. Any skin to skin is better than no skin to skin. 

If you would like to read my birth story for Ivy, please follow this link. Ivy arrived in a birth pool at Bedford’s Midwifery Lead birthing unit.

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF A PLACENTA REMEDIES CONSULTANT

Todays guest blog post comes from a personal friend and placenta magician Beverly Gazy.

A week in the life of a placenta remedies consultant, sounds long winded but in a nutshell I help women who wish to consume their own placenta after they have birthed their baby’s. I have been helping women as a Doula (Birth companion) for most of my adult life and after having finished having my family of 4 wonderful humans I am supporting women and their families at the most  important time of their lives. I got into placenta encapsulation and making remedies from them  almost 3 years ago, I found a lot of my clients were talking about it, after much research I decided to train so that I could answer an obvious need in the community. I have personally helped approximately 150  women in this time and had a 100% positive feedback from those women. I always seem to hear back from my new mothers that they have so much energy, and they do seem to recover from the birth a lot quicker, less chance of suffering from post natal depression and  have a plentiful milk supply for their baby’s. I now train people myself I am happy to announce that  I am the owner and director of PlacentaUK.

Our heart shaped placenta.
Our heart shaped placenta.

So, as far back as the 5th century it was indeed the norm for women to have a nourishing broth made from their placenta to ensure healing of the womb, lessen bleeding, and ensure a good milk supply for the baby. It was known as a brew to renew and give them energy after the birth. Come the 20th century and it started to wane in popularity and was then either fed to pigs, dogs or any other animal with a view to them serving their masters with a full belly. In recent times it has been buried as a ritual for many indigenous tribes and a book called ‘Placenta, the Forgotten Chakra’ written by Robin Lim educates us in the various uses over the last century. It is indeed a compelling read and one of my favourites.
The Placenta is indeed a wonderful temporary organ and usually ends up being burnt in the hospital incinerator. This is one of the most important organs for natural recovery from birth  that is full of nutrients, vitamins, hormones, stem cells and 128 growth factors. All animals, with the exception of Camels, marsupials and sea mammals consume their placenta as a matter of course, it is a natural thing to do so why not humans?

placenta capsules

Many, many women in the last 6 years since I started helping women have chosen to use their placentas in capsule form, tinctures, mother essence, homeopathic remedy, smoothies, and also have their placentas turned into creams and balms for healing. What an amazing organ the placenta is. Unfortunately we have to state that even though more than 5,000 women have used their placenta in this way and had excellent feedback as proof that it does  enrich and improve maternal health we can only state it as anecdotal evidence as there has been no real medical research to substantiate the claims.
There is a funded study that is happening in Germany, they are using a state of the art laboratory and using gifted placentas for the research, we hope to have results from this in 2017.

placenta remedies
Lots of celebrities  such as January Jones, Kim Kardashian and Coleen Rooney are singing the praises of placenta capsules and in turn this has raised awareness to mothers who would otherwise not known about placenta encapsulation. So in conculsion a week in the life for me is usually helping women decide which remedy they would like and discussing their needs. Each woman has very individual requirements and I educate them thoroughly before they choose. So I do spend lots of heartfelt time listening and empowering women, who would otherwise not be aware of how powerful and potent their placenta is. I really do wish I had this support when having my children. The Traditional Chinese Medicine capsules are so strong that they can be used during menopause as they can be frozen for later use, how clever is that? If only I had known this!! you would like more information please get in touch with me, Beverley Gazy  at info@placentauk.co.uk

Beverly also creates amazing Placenta Keepsakes.
Beverly also creates amazing Placenta Keepsakes.