I’ve been on bedrest for 2 weeks today. Technically, I’m allowed to get up as long as I’m not having contractions, but they haven’t completely stopped in 2 weeks either. I’m on medication to keep them at a minimum, and it seems to be mostly working, although we did have to raise the dosage a few days ago. We would like to keep the baby in until about 37 weeks gestation, at the least, but 36 is the bare minimum. Luckily, I’ll be 36 weeks on Monday, and I’ll feel much better over all about him coming after that.
We have planned a midwife assisted home birth all along, just as we had with the Bug. And we are still planning one if we make it past 36 weeks. However, it occurred to me this morning that our chances of needing a hospital, at least at this point, are slightly higher than the average homebirther. I’m still holding on to that we will make it far enough to not have to go to the hospital to birth, and that the baby will be healthy enough to not need to transfer afterwards. But, it did seem like a good idea to be prepared either way. So, I’ve spent the morning writing up a birth plan for my natural birth. I thought I would share it, since examples of natural birth plans can be somewhat few and far between online. I will say that at this point, mine is running a little longer than is ideal, but I’m hoping that the items towards the end will not be needed, and if they are, can be pointed out to anyone attending the birth at that time.
Papa and Kellie’s Birth Plan
We would strongly prefer to give birth at home, with our midwife. We understand that birth does not always go according to plan and are willing to transfer to the hospital before, during or after birth if an emergency situation occurs with either Kellie or the baby. Should we transfer to the hospital, these are our preferences.
PLEASE NOTE THAT KELLIE IS EXTREMELY ALLERGIC TO DAIRY. IT IS VITAL THAT ALL FOOD AND MEDICINE BE CHECKED FOR ANY DAIRY DERIVED INGREDIENTS BEFORE THEY ARE GIVEN TO KELLIE. THIS INCLUDES ALL FORMS OF DAIRY, INCLUDING THOSE THAT ARE NOT ALWAYS CONSIDERED ALLERGENIC. THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO US AND WE ARE PREPARED TO FILE THE APPROPRIATE COMPLAINTS IF KELLIE IS GIVEN DAIRY IN ANY FORM.
* I trust that our practitioner will seek out our opinion concerning all of the issues directly affecting our birth before deviating from our plan.
* It is completely against our wishes to have Kellie’s membranes stripped. We do not give our permission to strip Kellie’s membranes during a vaginal exam.
* We prefer minimal internal vaginal exams or at our request only.
* If we go past our due date and the baby and Kellie are fine, we prefer to go into labor naturally rather than be induced.
* We prefer to have our own discretion about who is to be in the room with us during labor and delivery. It is expected that Papa will be in the room at all times, and we would also like our children to have access to us at all times. If our children desire to be at the hospital with us, a care provider for them will also be present. We will also most likely have at least one other birth support person with us.
* We are not opposed to students, residents, etc being in the room with us during labor and delivery.
* If at all possible, we prefer that a birthing tub be available to us for our birth, and we prefer to have the option to give birth in the water.
* We will be using self-hypnosis techniques during labor and delivery. Because of this, we would prefer to have the lights dimmed, the room to be as quiet as possible, to bring our own music or audio relaxation tracks, and for the room to remain as calm as possible at all times.
* Kellie would like to wear her own clothing during labor and delivery.
* We would like the option to photograph our birth, and we welcome anyone to pick up the camera and take pictures if we have forgotten.
* We will be using hypnosis for pain relief.
* If we need further assistance with pain relief, we would prefer to utilize massage, water, deep or guided relaxation.
* Please do not offer other types of pain relief.
* It is important to us that Kellie be able to move around during labor as she feels comfortable.
* Please keep our door closed during labor.
* We do not consent to continuous monitoring unless the baby is in distress, and then we will only be using external monitoring.
* Please avoid any unnecessary needles, IVs, etc.
* We will push when Kellie feels ready.
* We will push without coaching.
* We will birth in whatever position feels comfortable at the time.
* We do not consent to an episiotomy.
* We do not consent to an enema.
* The baby’s shoulders and body are to be born spontaneously, with no manipulation. Please feel free to support the baby as he is being born, but do not force him in any direction or squeeze any part of him.
* We would like baby to be placed on Kellie immediately after birth, as long as the baby is healthy.
* We would prefer that the baby not be separated from Papa and Kellie unless the baby is having problems.
*Please delay all newborn procedures until after bonding and breastfeeding have taken place.
* Please delay clamping and cutting the cord until after it has stopped pulsing.
* We would prefer to be asked if we would like to cut the cord, and would possibly like for our daughter to be allowed to cut it.
Kellie’s placenta will be born spontaneously, without the use of traction or Pitocin.
* We prefer to avoid a cesarean delivery if at all possible. However, should one become necessary, we would like our wishes to be respected in regards to the surgery.
* We would prefer for Papa to be present at all times.
* We need to have a general anesthetic because of Kellie’s intense fear of needles and surgery. We are aware of the risks and are willing to take them. We would still prefer that Papa be present if general anesthesia is utilized.
* Kellie would like to see, hold and nurse our baby as soon as possible after delivery.
* We would like for Papa to stay with the baby at all times after birth until Kellie can join him and the baby.
* Please do not administer any medications for surgery or recovery that would not be safe for breastfeeding immediately after surgery/recovery.
* We would prefer that one or both parents be present with the baby at all times.
* We would prefer to avoid vitamin K. If there is birth trauma, we are open to discussing its use.
* We do not give consent for eye drops/ointment, vaccinations, or circumcision. We are prepared to sign waivers for these things.
* We do not consent to suctioning. Please discuss with us if you feel that there is a reason for suctioning.
* We prefer to bathe our baby ourselves, using our own products, when we are ready. Please do not bathe the baby before we are ready.
* We prefer to use cloth diapers, and we are happy to provide our own and launder them ourselves.
* This baby will be breastfed. Please do not offer the baby pacifiers, sugar water, formula or other artificial nipples.
* Should it become necessary to intervene in the natural order of breastfeeding, please discuss it with us and get our informed opinions and consent before deviating from this plan.
* Kellie is happy to pump breastmilk for this baby if needed. Please just let us know in ample time to bring our pump along to the hospital.
While we are anticipating the arrival of a healthy baby, we understand that complications do occur. In the event that our baby requires a stay in the NICU, these are our preferences.
* We want to have as much contact as possible with our baby, and be allowed to touch, hold, and nurture him as much as possible.
* We want to be informed about his care BEFORE procedures or medications are administered.
* We want Kellie to room in with the baby at the hospital, if at all possible, and to be present for all baby care.
* We would like our NICU stay to be as short as possible, and are willing to have more out of hospital doctor visits to accommodate this if necessary.
* We would like our baby to be exclusively breastfed, or given pumped breastmilk, during his entire NICU stay. We do not want to supplement him with formula.
I hope that my birth plan is of use to other families, or that you at least enjoy reading it! Feel free to use any of it for your personal use.