I remember being so excited about writing my birth plan! I had it all planned out perfectly in my head. Note I said ‘In my head’, but putting it to paper, was hard. Really really hard! So here I shall give you a brief idea of what to include! Remember there are fantastic places you can find templates for your plan, such as Cow And Gate’s free template!
Start off with the basics. Your Name, address, Due date, and Hospital number. Any medical conditions is a must and any allergies you have as well. The hospital will know all these anyway from your main notes, but in an emergency they are there easy for anyone to see. I mean doctors, nurses and Midwives. Unless your milkman is there to deliver your baby, This is just for the medical professionals. Notw any problems you have had during your pregnancy such as bleeding or high blood pressure. Also don’t forget you birthing partners name and telephone number.
Now, when it comes to the actual plan of your birth, nothing is set in stone. So if you say you only want gas and air (entonox) and nothing else in your plan, but during the labour you want every drug on the planet, thats fine. The midwives will work around your original plan (with permission obviously!)
Some things you may want to write about in your plan can include
* Do you want a home birth, hospital birth or do you want to go to a midwife led unit?
* Are you considering a water birth?
* What positions do you want to adopt for delivery?
* Do I want to avoid an episiotomy (a cut to your perineum to help baby out)?
* Do you want baby cleaned first or put straight onto your chest for some lovely skin to skin?
* Does dad or birthing partner (or even you!) want to cut the cord?
* Are you happy to allow baby to have a vitamin K jab?
These are just some basic ideas for your birth plan. Go into as much detail as you like. I pretty much wrote a paper that was similar in size to War and Peace.
Its best to print off a couple of copies of your final birth plan. Give one to your Doctor, your partner, your birthing partner and keep one with your green notes. Also, remember if you change your mind about anything, always print off and hand out new versions! It is also a good idea to date them so you know which is the newest version.
Remember, as i said earlier, This is just a general idea for your birth. Anything can happen in the delivery room and you must act in baby’s best interests. You might also surprise yourself. You may be sure you want an epidural 100% but come labour you may breeze through with just gas and air. But your final plan can be your bible when it comes to thinking through what you want, and telling your partner what they should know. Because we all know some blokes dont listen as well as they should! 😉