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Your birthing plan

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:02pm

If this is your first time at giving birthyou may be wondering how you can possibly make an accurate birthing plan when you have no idea how much pain you will be feeling or what position will actually help.

There are so many more choices now for giving birthsuch as which, if any, pain relief you would like. During your contractions you may not feel like discussing your preferences with the nurses or doctors so having it all written down for them will help them. Having a birthing plan will help in your involvement in the birth and will give the medical staff an insight into what birth you wish to have.

What should a birthing plan include?

· Who you wish to have with you at the birth?- Include if you want them there throughout the whole birth or how much involvement you want them to have.

· Which position you would like to give birth in?– Squatting, lying down, kneeling? Ask other mum’s for which position they found easiest and get the opinion of your mid-wife.

· Which pain relief, if any, you would like and in which order?Some ladies just want gas and air, others find this fine at first but want an epidural ultimately. Let the doctors know what you would like.

· If you end up having an assisted delivery do you have a preference between forceps or ventouse? –given the choice which would you prefer?

· Your plans for feeding your baby after delivery –breast or bottle. Do you want them placed straight onto your breast?

· Any special requirements– Do you have any food allergies? Are there any medical or religious needs that must be met during your stay in the hospital?

· Elective episiotomy or only if medically necessary?Discuss your birthing plan with your mid-wifeand get her advice on whether you have missed any vital points or ask her advice if you are unsure about what you want.

Remember that a birthing plan is not set in stone.If there was a medical reason such as you needing an emergency caesareanthen the doctors would have to proceed with what is best for you and your baby.I spent ages thinking about my birthing plan, getting a tens machine and my bouncy birthing ball only to be told that my baby was breech, I ended up having a caesarean. It certainly wasn’t the natural birth I had planned but the minute I held my baby I didn’t give the fact that I didn’t get to use my yoga breathing technique another thought!

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