My Birth Plan
Timothy is due May 20th, 2012. This is the home birth plan I created for his labor and delivery.
I've spent a lot of time researching and reading about home births and other womens home birth experiences. I've put a lot of thought into how I envision and would like mine to play out. I of course understand that not all things go according to plan and I am ok with that. I'm ready to go with the flow and just do what feels right for me and works in the moment. This is just a helpful guideline for myself and those attending Timothy's birth. Also, because I'm such a planner and organizer, having my birth plan written up makes me feel more prepared and confident for the big day.
I am free to have my home birth experience once I reach 37 weeks. If I go into labor before then and it can not be stopped, I will be having a hospital birth as this is the safest option for myself and Timothy before 37 weeks. If this happens, my plan is to have as natural a hospital birth as possible.
Birth companions and their roles:
*Midwifes, Sam, Mom, kids, and my friend (if able to make it). Roles subject to change as I see fit.
-Midwifes to give me space and not hover, but offer up encouragement and advice if they see I'm needing it (such as remember to breathe deeply or this position might feel good at this time, etc.). Also offer others advice on how best to offer me comfort. They are to be the quiet overseers of the whole shabang and make sure things stay safe through their knowledge and expertise. I will look towards them for reassurance that everything is ok and progressing normally and trust them to let me know if something needs to change or be done differently for safety reasons.
-Sam is put in primary charge of my comfort, both physically and emotionally. He is to help in pain relief techniques such as cold pack and massage. I'm not to be touched by anyone other than Sam as I'm not big on touching when in pain (it actually makes me mad!) and I'm not entirely sure if I'll even be able to stand having Sam touch me! He's to listen to me and take notice if I appear to become stressed or fearful and give me encouragement and reassurance as well as clue the midwifes in that I might need some of their reassurance that everything is indeed going well.
-Mother to focus on photos (very important!) and supervising, entertaining, and reassuring kids to keep atmosphere as mellow as possible. Also offering and preparing my snacks and drinks to keep me hydrated and my energy up.
-If friend is able to make it: help supervising, entertaining, and reassuring kids to keep atmosphere as mellow as possible. Also offer a friendly face and encouraging/friendly chit-chat to help pass time.
-Kids are free to go about their day. Can be out playing in the yard or elsewhere while I labor to keep them busy and entertained until delivery time. If night time, allow them to sleep until I want them woken up. I'd like them to witness the birth of their brother if they so wish.
-Eat and drink at will during labor: Fruit smoothies, melon, popsicles, cheese and crackers, iced Gatorade....just a few things I wish to have on hand.
-Move around at will: I want to move around and try different laboring positions to help ion pain management and the progression of labor.
-Labor outside predominately if weather is appropriate and during the day. I would love to breathe in fresh air and feel the sunshine on my skin. If labor is at night, I'm definitely not ruling out throwing on a robe and stepping outside for some fresh air and change of atmosphere.
-Water breaks naturally. My water broke on it's own with Molly and I thought it was the coolest sensation ever. I'd like that again.
Natural pain relief techniques:
*I plan to have my labor and birth drug free and as natural an experience as possible.
-Constant movement. Walking, rocking, hip swaying. Whatever feels right at the time. Movement will help relieve pain and help baby descend.
-Massage. Massages can be particularly helpful in easing pain during labor. Neck, shoulders, back, hips, belly, feet....anywhere that feels good to me at the time.
-Cold/hot therapy. Cold pack to help relieve pain when wanted. A cool washcloth or eating ice chips to cool me down if I feel too warm. A heating pad to help with muscle tension when wanted.
-Calm breathing. Remember to take calm, deep breaths to help relax, especially during a contraction. Breathe through a contraction to help it pass rather than tense up and hold breath.
-Fresh air and sunshine. I believe being able to breathe in fresh air and feel the sunshine on my skin will help keep my mood positive. Hopefully the weather will be nice!
-Changing positions. Midwife to offer labor positions as we go along. I know there are different positions that will provide comfort/relief during the different stages of labor and will help keep things progressing.
*Goes hand in hand with pain relief techniques as having the right atmosphere can help keep you calm and in the right mood/mind set.
-Music. I've made my own play list on YouTube which includes Jack Johnson, Avett Brothers, Sean Hayes, Jason Mraz, and MANY others. As of right now it consists of 60 songs and is about 3 hours 45 minutes long. I hope to have this playing in the house as well as have speakers set up in the living room windows if I am able to labor outside. I believe being able to listen to music I like will give me something to focus on, sing to, move to, etc and will keep my mood light and relaxed. Feel free to check it out and listen by clicking this link: Keep Me Mellow
-Aromatherapy. I have my absolute favorite candle ready to burn. It's Root Beer and smells exactly like the real thing. I love it. Whenever I smell it my mood is instantly lifted and I hope it does the same for me when in labor.
-Lighting. Even on a sunny day, the inside of my house, particularly the living room (where I plan to have my birthing tub) is pretty dim. This works well for me as I'd like the lights to be dim inside to give a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Not too dim for photos though!
-Having Timothy's birth in the birthing tub is my first choice. I would love a water birth. However, I will have the bed set up as well so I am free to change my mind at any time and birth there if I so wish.
-I would like Sam to "catch" Timothy.
-No cord clamping or cutting until it is done pulsating. If Sam wants to cut the cord then he may do so. Or maybe Molly and Anthony have a desire to do it?
-I'm on the fence with this one, but I think I might want to get out of the tub for the third stage of labor (delivery of placenta) and move to the bed for this part. However, it's probably not a decision that will be made until I'm in that moment and will do what feels most comfortable for me.
-I do not wish to keep the placenta. I know there are many women whom like to keep it to plant under a tree, etc. Not I. I would like it checked over to see if we can find the cause for all my first and second trimester bleeding though.
-I would like to try to breastfeed as soon as possible. I was never able to breastfeed with Anthony and did only for a week with Molly. This time I am hellbent on it and believe trying as soon as possible is very beneficial.
-Vitamin k shot is to be administered to Timothy.
-Antibiotic eye ointment to be given to Timothy.
-Midwife to weigh, observe, and do any newborn screening.
-Timothy's NB feet prints to be done. This is especially important to me to remember as Timothy's left foot print will eventually take it's place as a tattoo above Anthony's on my left forearm.
-After birth and when finally cleaned up and settled in bed, I want homemade mac and cheese as my meal. This has made a few people chuckle, but really, it's what I wan! :)
-I'm to be left to rest and bond with Timothy. Breastfeeding is my #1 priority and I need full support with this.
-No visitors for at least 24 hours other than who was at the birth.
-After 24 hours, visitors are welcome at my discretion and visiting time is to be kept minimal. Bonus points to anyone who brings a casserole or some other type of snack with them!
I will be posting my birth plan as a tab at the top of my blog. This way I can easily find it and read it/make changes to it whenever I wish. It can also serve as inspiration to anyone else looking for an example of a home birth birth plan.