Making a Birth Plan that's right for you
Making a plan for how you might like your labour to be is a really good idea. You may have discussed things with your midwife already, but as it’s possibly she won’t be with you when you go in to labour, it’s important you have any preferences written down alongside your maternity notes.
It’s best to keep your birth plan as flexible as possible, as no-one can predict how their little one will choose to arrive! But you may want to have an epidural or prefer to keep things as natural as possible, so this is your chance to say. Here we have collated a few things to consider when writing your plan.
· Where would you like to give birth? That might be in hospital, at a birthing centre or at home.
· Do you have any preference in terms of pain relief?
· What other equipment/techniques would you like to try during your labour?Perhaps a birthing pool, TENS machine, birthing ball or massage.
· Is there a birthing position you would prefer? For example, on all fours, kneeling or lying down?
· How do you feel about an assisted birth should the need arise? This might mean the use of forceps or ventouse.
· If your labour slows down, do you want to the midwife to try and help speed it up or would you like to see how it progresses naturally?
· Would you like skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately after they arrive?
· Would you like to speed up the delivery of the placenta after your baby has been born or let it happen naturally?
If you have any strong feelings or opinions, this is the time to say, however it is important to remember that ultimately your labour will take its own course, so think of the above as a wish-list rather than a set of instructions!
It might help to speak to other mums who have been through labour or are also about to, perhaps at your ante-natal classes?
You can also log on here for some more guidance: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/how-to-make-birth-plan.aspx#close
And as always, if you’re not sure, please speak to your midwife for further advice and information on making a birth plan.