My Birth Plan
This is the birth plan I created for my third child, Timothy, due May 20th, 2012.
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.
-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!
Home Birth Supplies List and Setup Info
For those that might be interested, I wanted to do a post about what is needed for my home birth. Maybe this will be helpful for others!
What my Midwife will bring:(Taken off of my Midwife's site: Highland Midwife Birth Services)
• 150 gallon birth tub (delivered at 37 weeks)
• Adapter for attaching hose to a sink
• Clamps to hold towels in place on the sides of the birth tub
What I am responsible for:
(Taken off of my Midwife's site: Highland Midwife Birth Services)
**First and foremost, the birth kit! I'll be purchasing this really soon: Birth Kit. **
* Plastic mattress cover: this can be a waterproof mattress cover, old shower curtain, or other large sheet of plastic. You may need to duct tape the edges of the plastic so it doesn’t slide around
* 2 sets of old sheets or ones that you don’t mind getting bloody
* Several large bath-size towels and smaller hand towels that you don’t mind getting bloody
* Several (at least 4) cotton receiving blankets....if they are new, please wash them first
* 1 pillowcase (to keep our heating pad clean)
* 2 large plastic garbage sacks (no holes) for laundry and garbage, smaller ones for pillows
* 2 large cookie sheets (to hold our instruments)
* Hydrogen Peroxide to take blood out of sheets
* 1 large heating pad (to heat baby blankets and keep newborn warm—we do have one of these but prefer to use yours if you have one)
* Portable electric heater (to heat the room quickly when birth is approaching) or an easily adjustable thermostat.....warm babies are happy babies!
Preparing the bed:
Lay the plastic sheeting down first being sure to let the edge hang down over your mattress and box springs. You may have to duct tape the edges in place. Then lay a towel or mattress cover where mom will be. Then put on a set of clean sheets. The towel or mattress cover helps keep mom from slipping all over and from feeling so sticky and sweaty. Some people like to layer 2-3 layers of plastic and new sheets so that one layer can easily be removed when dirty. However, this uses a lot of plastic and it is pretty easy to take off dirty sheets and put on clean ones over one layer of plastic. Have lots of pillows. Cover them with drawstring garbage bags and then the pillowcase; they often get a bit dirty during birth.
Birth tub supplies:
* 1 new, clean garden hose
* 1 jug of bleach
* 5 pounds of sea salt
* Plastic sheet for under the birth tub, to keep any water dripping from mom’s body from getting on the floor
* Lots of towels plus a bathmat if desired
* 2 big pots to heat additional water and/or connection to hot water tank
* Floating thermometer (like in a hot tub - optional)
* Net for scooping out solid materials (like the green nets used in fish tanks, or a wire screen kitchen strainer)
Preparing the tub in the weeks before labor:
Decide where you want the tub and check the nearest sink for a detachable aerator, the type of connector our adaptor fits. Thoroughly clean and scrub the tub as you would a cooking pot, using only non-scratchy materials. Rinse completely and let drain well. Prepare a 20% bleach solution (1 cup bleach to 4 cups water); pour it down the sides of the tub, slosh it around the bottom and let sit 20 minutes. At the same time, pour a 20% solution down your garden hose (this can go into the tub) and let the end that will go in the tub during labor soak in the bottom of the tub for the 20 minutes. If using the towel clamps and a birth ball, those should also be thrown in the tub and rolled around so that the bleach comes in contact with all surfaces. Then rinse tub and dry thoroughly. Rinse hose and then seal the ends to each other. Everything is now ready for use. Turn the tub upside down on a plastic sheet (indoors), and store the hose, ball, and adapter underneath it until needed.
Preparing the tub for labor:
Lay out the plastic sheeting under the tub. Fill the tub 3/4 to 4/5 full with water at 99-100 degrees F. You probably need to turn up your water heater to its highest setting to ensure enough water for your entire labor. Place a bathmat or towel on the floor where mom will get in and out so that she doesn’t slip. The tub is most useful during the active parts of labor, rather than at the very beginning, so you probably won’t fill it at the first signs of contractions. Covering the top of the tub with plastic sheeting and a quilt can help insulate the tub between dips. The two large pots can be used to boil water to bring the temperature up or if the hot water tank is inadequate.
Laboring in the tub:
Ideally, the tub is used when it will provide the most pain relief and comfort without slowing down labor. The pain relieving qualities must be balanced with the dehydrating and warming effects of the water. The water must be between 99-101 degrees so the baby does not get cold after birth. We may want you to alternate your tub time with periods of walking or resting on land. Also, if your water breaks early in labor, we may ask for you to wait to get into the tub until labor is well established. We add sea salt to the water to provide mild antibacterial action.
Use a hose to siphon the water into your yard or bathtub drain. Rinse the sides of tub with clean water as you drain for ease in cleaning. Remove any solid material that will not go up the hose with a scoop and finish siphoning. When empty, take the tub outside and scrub and disinfect as you did to prepare the tub, then turn it upside down so it stays clean until it comes back to us. We recommend that you also disinfect the birth ball and the hose you used to drain the tub.
My natural pain management supplies:
* Root beer candle for my aromatherapy
* Ice pack and washcloth for cooling
* Heating pad to help with muscle tension* Computer with "Keep Me Mellow" play list to be played during labor and delivery
Food and drink:
(For me as well as midwifes and birth attendants)
* Me: Some foods I think I may want during labor....fruit and yogurt to make smoothies, popsicles, melon, cheese and crackers, Gatorade
* Midwifes and birth attendants: Coffee, snacks for during labor
* After birth: A filling meal for after the birth. I've chosen homemade mac and cheese as my meal and I am ohhh so excited for it!
(The birth kit I will be purchasing has many things needed for postpartum care like a peri bottle, some pads, and those mesh shorts that hospitals usually give you.)
* Pads: the kind you like for heavy periods
* Ice pack: can be made from crushed ice in a plastic glove, small bag of frozen peas, or gel packs.
* Food for first three days prepared and ready to cook
* Help around the house (house cleaning, animal care, food prep, child care, etc.) for 7-10 days post birth
Extras for labor and after care:
(Things I will/have already purchased simply because I want them)
* Ink pad for taking Timothy's foot and hand prints
* Chapstick* Postpartum wrap (I was going to purchase the Belly Bandit, but think I will be going with The Cinch instead. Click HERE if you want to check it out.
And lets not forget the CAMERA!!!!!!!! :)
Since I will be home, everything Timothy will need is already close at hand, so no need to pack a "hospital bag" like I did with Anthony and Molly. Receiving blankets, warm blankets, clothing, diapers, wipes, etc. will be just in the other room. The birth kit includes other needed things for him: newborn cap, umbilical cord clamp, measuring tape, bulb syringe, etc.