Monday, March 10, 2008

Birth Plan

I have invested hours researching about routinely birth practices, vaccines, shots, testing and circumcision. To anyone interested here is a copy of my birth plan. I hope it can help other moms to-be with their research or with ideas to put together their own birth plan.

My Birth Plan

This birth plan is intended to express the preference and desires we have for the birth of our baby. It is not intended to be a script. We fully realize that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. However, we hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options. Thank you.

First Stage (Labor):

  • Environment: Dim lights. Quiet environment. Would prefer not to have students, residents etc. Would prefer to keep vaginal exams to a minimum.
  • Mobility: No IV. and only intermittent fetal monitoring to allow movement, showering, changing positions, walking, etc. Free Movement: I wish to be able to move around and change position throughout labor. I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I give birth, including squatting.
  • Medications: No medications. Please do not offer me pain medications, I will ask for them if I want them.
  • Fluids: By mouth.
  • Episiotomy: I am working on daily perineal stretching massages as it is my desire to avoid an episiotomy, however if it becomes absolutely necessary to have one, please cut two small incisions on the sides instead of one long centered or sided incision.
  • Artificial Rupture of Amniotic Membrane: I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially before the birth unless signs of fetal distress require an internal monitor. I do not want the internal monitor unless the baby has already shown some sign of distress. If I most have the membrane ruptured artificially, this should be done after 5-6 cm dilatation but only if there is a medical need to speed up the labor process.

“Another danger of artificial rupture of the amniotic membrane is that without the protecting pillow of the amniotic fluid the child's head is subject to stronger pressure during contractions, and the umbilical cord may get squeezed, which can deprive the child from oxygen flow and cause respiratory distress. Also, unbroken membranes often protect not only the head of the fetus but the mother's perineum as well, which enables gentler stretching and lessening the probability of tears.”

  • Caesarian: If a caesarian is necessary, I wish to have an epidural for anesthesia, and to have my husband present for the birth. The child, if he is not in distress, should be given to my husband.

Second Stage (Birth):

Baby Care:

  • Umbilical cord: Please delay the cord cutting a couple of minutes or until is not pulsating anymore. Put baby on my stomach until cord is cut. Allow my husband to cut the umbilical cord.
  • Eye medication: No eye medication. (mom does not have Gonorrhea)
  • Baby Feeding: Breast feeding only. No bottles, pacifiers or artificial nipples of any kind.
  • Testing: PKU testing should be performed in the presence of the parents. Please let us know 30 minutes in advance so we can prepare the baby’s heal with a hitting pad and feed the baby. Dad will be holding the baby while the testing is performed. We prefer this testing to be done in our room.
  • Shots: No shots of any kind including Vitamin K and Hepatitis B shot. (We will give our baby oral vitamin K).
  • Circumcision: No circumcision.

In case of a Cesarean birth or complications with the baby our main requests are to have either myself or my husband with our baby at all times, to have decisions explained and information given.

We would like thank you in advance for your support and kind attention to our choices. We look forward to a wonderful birth.


Amanda said...

I hope you get everything you want, Marlene! Have you seen "The Business of Birth" yet? You can rent it on Netflix.


Marlene said...

Hi Amanda, actually the presentation of the birth plan to my O.B. did not go as well as I thought. I am looking into other options more "mother friendly" like a midwife. I am praying that God will lead me to someone really good or that my O.B. behaves at the time of my delivery.

I have not watch that movie but now I am very curious... I will check it out.

Thanks and blessings to you too!

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Judy Donahues. She asked me to read your plan and I have . I was a Bradley teacher for 20 years, and have coached dozens of births, both hospital and home. I have 4 children and had my last at home 26 years ago. My daughters have had all natural births. Oldest daughter with midwives in a birth center 9, 10 and 11.5 pounds respectively. Second daughter 2 home births and the natural in hospital birth of twins. So you can see I have some experience with the subject. Your birth plan is a solid one. You have done your research and are well educated. When I was teaching childbirth classes, I routinely had couples change doctors at the last minute after they became more educated. A midwife is the way to go. (If you can find a doctor who runs a birth center, even better!) At a free standing birth center if possible. Doctors sometimes will promise you anything you want, but in the end they do it their way regardless. There are a few out there who are not afraid to buck the trend. If you are already uncomfortable with your OB, change now. I think you are in the Bakersfield area? I have a close friend in LA who is a Childbirth educator, Doula, etc. I can contact her for doctors or midwives in your area if you like. Doctors do not suddenly change their thinking at the last minute! You need to change doctors. It is key that you are comfortable with your birth team if you are to be successful with your birth plan.
And most definitely rent "The Business of Birth"!!
If you would like to contact me, I am: Roni at

Marlene said...

Hi Blue Jay, I am glad you are telling me the same thing my gut told me. I did switch. I am very happy I found a midwife. She works at a hospital in a city nearby. I am willing to drive 1 hour to have the birth experience I am looking for. I had the gut feeling my doctor was going to do what you said, just kind of say OK but then later on do whatever he wants. I mean if he did not even want to discuss the birthplan in detail at his office, what makes you think he at the hospital when we are already in labor... Thanks so much for your reasuring comment! God Bless,