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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.