Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Birth Wishes

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Well, I told myself that today was the day. The day to sit down, re-read the notes I have written over the past 8 months and finally write my birth plan. With my first pregnancy, I didn't have a birth plan. I was young and intimidated and thought that having certain wishes for the whole process made me seem demanding and high maintenance. I didn't feel confident enough in myself to have a vision and goal as to how I wanted my labour experience to be. Of course, no labour can be controlled and rarely do plans actually go to plan, but having preferences and desires written down can really help your support partner and midwifery team to create the experience you are wishing for. Many people I've spoken with are quite 'anti-birth plan' in fact, choosing to go with the flow and trust their bodies. I respect this view entirely as I am sure that having a rigid plan that doesn't actually go to plan could be really disheartening. I guess part of me likes the idea of a plan because it makes me feel prepared for the unknown, it gives a little false sense of security. If I replaced the word 'plan' with 'wishes'; this would be a little more reflective of the concept. These are our ultimate wishes, assuming there are no emergencies and I am able to birth naturally.

I am so excited to share this experience with Nick, but just as nervous as any first time mother! I thought I would share with you all our birth wishes.
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Pre-labour and early labour

* I would prefer to avoid an induction. I would like to wait as long as possible for the onset of natural labour and if necessary be willing to try natural remedies and 'old wives tales' in an effort to bring labour on.

* In early labour I would like to try water therapy for pain relief. Using the bath and shower if this is comfortable at the time.

* We would like to consider a full water birth, if this feels right at the time and the midwives and doctors are able to support this decision. I would like my partner in the water with me.

* I would also like to use heatpacks for early pain relief

* I would like to try to remain as calm and relaxed as possible using breathing techniques, music and meditation support from my partner.

* I am happy to have medical students attend my labour, however not to have them involved in decision making or procedures (stitches post-birth, pain relief administration)

* My partner and I would like to document our labour and birth experience with many photos and note writing.

* We do not wish to have visitors or phone calls during labour.

* I would prefer to have the lighting dimmed as much as possible during labour and after birth.

Second and third stages of labour

* I would like to be encouraged to remain physically active to cope with pain and to encourage the progress of labour. I would like to be reminded and encouraged to try different labouring positions.

* My partner and I would like to be kept aware of the stages of labour we are going through and it's progression as well as regular discussions about our options and feelings about the labour.

* If possible, I would like to avoid excessive monitoring that may restrict my ability to move freely. If it is necessary that I am induced, I would like as much time free from monitors whilst in the second stage of labour so I am able to remain physically active and move in a way my body is asking me to. 

* I am happy to have morphine and gas. I do not want to have an epidural. If I change my mind during labour, I'd like to be reminded of the advantages and disadvantages of both morphine and an epidural.
* I do not want an episiotomy and would really like to avoid tearing. I am happy to try positions in which this can be achieved and would like guidance and reassurance from my midwives during the pushing stage to avoid this. However, I would prefer to tear than to have an episiotomy or intervention.

* Nick would like to help guide the baby when crowning and place the baby on me. Nick would also like to cut the cord.

Post birth

* I am happy to have Syntocinon to assist with the birth of the placenta.

* I would like to have naked skin to skin contact with our baby straight after birth. I would like to be reminded to remove clothing from my top-half before beginning the pushing stage.

* Nick would also like to have skin to skin contact with our baby in the hours after birth.

* I would like to see a Lactation Consultant as soon as possible after birth and receive as much assistance as possible from a Lactation Consultant during the days after birth and once discharged.

* We would like as much time as possible alone with our baby before being moved into the maternity ward or showered.

* I would prefer to have our baby sponge bathed only for the first few days and no soap/lotions/chemical products used until discharge.

* We would prefer not to have visitors in hospital especially if we are discharged early. We have informed people of our decisions but please kindly remind anyone who comes to visit that we would prefer them not to do so when not in the hospital environment. We would like to focus on bonding, feeding and settling with just the three of us and the midwives support for the first 2 days we are in hospital.
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And that's it! Our plan that may not go to plan! Our wishes and desires for the way we want to bring out daughter into the world. I am so ready, so nervous and so excited all at once. Let the next 6 weeks fly by! I plan to share with you the reasons behind some of the decisions we have made in our plan over the next few weeks. Did you have a birth plan written before labour? Feel free to link me up to your birth plan posts, I would love to read some others!
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie


  1. I love your birth wishes! I had a basic birth plan that I did with my midwife but because of Pete's position the plan didn't happen. I can't believe you only have 6 weeks to go, it's gone so fast! I'm so excited for you and Nick.

  2. The only thing I will say is don't try Cod Liver Oil - take it from me it doesn't work! A good inducer is SEX .... the sperm has a chemical that helps to set off labor.... Good Luck!

  3. The gel they put on your cervix during induction is basically just synthetic sperm. Best way to get that baby out is the same way she went in!

  4. Did your OB say anything about your birth plan? When I told my OB about it she was like "well you can bring it if you really think you need it" lol. I ended up forgetting about it and everything still went well. I would pack it in the hospital bag though because i felt like there were a few things like visiting hours/bonding time that the nurses could have helped with.

    -L O V E

    1. We're going through 'team midwifery' at our public hospital, so we see a different midwife at nearly every visit. It makes it really hard for them to know what you do and dont want. Hopefully I'll get to talk it through with one or some of them in the next few weeks... and remember to pack it in the bag! :)

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