What To Consider While Creating A Birth Plan
The day you deliver a piece of your heart should be free of any last-minute decisions and hassles. The most important day of your life does require an efficient birth plan created ahead of time. A birth plan is a curated checklist that outlines your wishes and preferences during labor and delivery. The idea is to plan for the beautiful journey of welcoming your child to become comfortable. It would be best if you researched the various options available for labor and delivery and the birthing center.
Designing your birth plan can help you feel empowered and prepared as the delivery date approaches. Your birth plan includes your wishes for labor, postpartum, newborn care, and other simple yet significant details. Hardly ever do the birthing experiences go according to the birth plan, yet it can be an educating and valuable tool for making informed decisions. Some expecting mothers develop birth plans to organize their emotions and thoughts or just as an initial point for a discussion with their health professional. We have curated a list with the help of experts and mothers on designing a simple yet precise birthing plan.
As a soon-to-be mother, doubts, and worries frequently occur regarding the delivery experience and their newborns' arrival. A solid support system is necessary for planning the birth experience. Some prefer to share the plan verbally, while others require a formally prepared chart. Labor can be a discomforting experience, and your surroundings play an essential role in making it bearable. While your loved ones around you may not be able to alter your surroundings significantly, it is beneficial to note what could make you feel more at ease. You can list your coping mechanisms and discuss them with your primary caregiver and partner. These relaxation techniques might include breathing exercises, preferred birthing positions, or soothing remarks.
Visit your birth center and incorporate your preferences in the plan. The visit will help you decide whether you like how the place appears, if you want music playing, as few people as possible in the room, and so on. Certified Nurse-MidWives have opined, "Visiting the birth center or the hospital can help you reduce the uncertainty of the birthing process."
The birth plan serves as a guideline for the people around you so that when you're in active labor, you don't have to worry about anything and can concentrate on welcoming your baby. Labor is a fluid process, and a birth plan essentially serves as a guide or checklist. Nothing in the birth plan is concrete, and it can be changed or adjusted to your choices later in the process. It is necessary to be adaptable and prepare for the unexpected.
Sit down with your partner, and consider what is most important to you. The more precise you are, your healthcare provider will understand your wishes better. You and your spouse should share similar goals for making birth a pleasant and memorable experience. Consider if you want to utilize pain medication during your birth. Consider how much mobility and freedom you desire. Do you want the option of giving birth in a tub?
Your birth plan is entirely under your control. It can be an orally delivered plan or a 2-3 pager plan. Sushmita, a mother of a three-year-old, says, "Keeping a positive tone in my thinking and instilling it in my plan helped my spouse and me."
Your birth plan does not need to be thorough and bullet points can be added whenever possible. Give an introduction of yourself, explaining your pregnancy journey and medical condition (if any) and history. Introduce your primary caregiver, midwife, doctor, and partner. This information may be helpful in case of early or sudden labor, and the doctor on call is new. Talk about the setting of the room, people that should be present with you, pain medication, and birthing procedures. Discussing the after-birth care for your angel and including the specific care points is essential.
Read more on the importance of a birth plan in the Mayo Clinic Health System.
Newborn babies bring along with them a bundle of joy and love. Yet, their journey into the world can be sudden and an absolute rollercoaster. While you make a plan based on your preferences and wishes for your delivery, keep in mind that there can be an unexpected turn waiting to surprise you. Seldom do birth plans go according to what mother’s plan. There may arise challenges regarding what is best for you and your baby. Medical practitioners and experts in pre-natal care believe, "Keeping a plan B helps us in providing the best possible care to the mother and the infant."
At this point, the doctor should know about your medical condition, what kind of medication is adaptable for an emergency C-Section, and any other unplanned event. As you plan your delivery, talk to your doctor about your pain treatment options and any questions. These might include breathing exercises or massages.
Being a parent, the journey of caring for your babies begins the day you conceive them. Right after the delivery, numerous emotions would be coursing through your system. The experience can be overwhelming, and your decision-making skills can be tested. A birthing plan will relieve you of the task at that time and ensure that your baby gets the best care and love. Your partner or the caregiver will be in the same or closer to your room.
Consider including skin-to-skin contact with the baby, medical procedures you wish to be administered to the baby, and consultations you may require for yourself and your little one. Your primary support system will help convey your wishes regarding the procedure for cutting the umbilical cord and related matters. You can consult your OB-GYN and finalize the right time for relatives and family members to visit and shower love on your bundle of joy.
- Prepare a copy for everyone involved in the birth-
Once the birth plan is prepared, and all your research work has been put on display, it is time to present it to the world. Your doctor and partner should review the birth plan. The primary caregiver may suggest changes to lower your discomfort and risk level. Your partner/spouse should be at your level of understanding in availing of all the benefits and comforts that your doctor and birth center can provide. You should feel comfortable asking and understanding complex medical terminologies and unclear recommendations.
A National Library of Medicine study reported that doctors encourage soon-to-be mothers to curate their birthing plan.
Now that you have sought approval from your caregiver and doctor, make copies and hand them to everyone involved. We suggest that you should keep a few in your hospital baby bag.
Making a birth plan is not compulsory, and there is no deadline for doing so if you want to. Allow yourself plenty of time before your due date to think it over and consult with your doctor. Above all, remember that even if things don't go as planned, this will be a life-changing day. Try to stay present in the moment and remember that this is only the first day of your precious newborn's existence. You can do it!