Birth Plan Advice

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Today I’m over at MamaAndBabyLove talking about envisioning your dream birth plan. If you’re expecting, a good birth plan is a must! Here’s a snippet of my post, I hope you, or a friend, can find it helpful:

“When we wrote our birth plan for our first baby, my husband and I were surprised to realize how many things we hadn’t thought about before. Who was going to cut the cord? Did we want our newborn wiped off or just handed directly to me for skin-to-skin contact? Did we want to circumcise? Eek! Those questions hadn’t even crossed our minds yet, and we were so glad that we had a chance to research and consider our decisions before delivery. A good birth plan can be a great way to communicate your wishes to…”

Read the rest here 🙂

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  1. Kathy says

    And then the birth plan gets thrown out the window because your blood pressure is skyrocketing, so you get induced with Cervidil, a Foley cath in the cervix and a pitocin IV, experience excruciating labor pains, give in to the epidural after 20 hours in case things progress, get stuck at 4 cm, and finally have an emergency C-section after 31 hours of labor when all you wanted was a natural birth. I’m still sad about not getting to deliver naturally, after almost three years.

    • Haley says

      That is so similar to what just happened to my SIL, Kathy! Minus the epidural. They didn’t get that far because my sweet baby niece had a poor reaction to the Pitocin and thank God they did the C-section right away because it really did save her precious little life: the placenta had begun to tear. It was really scary and we are all so relieved that everybody is safe and healthy, even if it was not at all what my SIL would have planned. It’s so true that our most well-crafted plans don’t always turn out how we’d hope. I’m so glad you and baby are safe and sound even though it was not the birth you wanted.

  2. says

    I was induced both times. I’m sad about that, but I understand the reasons. Also, my first birth was not what I was envisioning, but I didn’t know until after I had him and had time to process how my experience played out. With my second birth, I was more informed, and my birth STILL didn’t go how I had wanted it. Some places just don’t even try to honor birth plans. 🙁

    Just curious- why no Hep B? Do you vaccinate Benjamin and Lucy?

    • Haley says

      We were very lucky that the hospital staff honored our birth plan both times. We had really supportive nurses and I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been if we were having to fight for what we wanted WHILE laboring. I’m so sorry you didn’t have the experience you’d hoped for.

      As for vaccinations…Ellery, I’m so torn. I do vaccinate my kids pretty much according to the typical schedule. Benjamin did get the Hep B in the hospital but I was very traumatized by it. My baby just came out and you’re giving him a shot for Hepatitis?! How is he even going go contract that as a baby? Does he really have to have it the first day he arrives in the world? It just didn’t feel right to me at all. So round two I opted for no vaccines in the hospital and Lucy received the Hep B a few weeks later at our pediatricians office. I am very concerned about the risks associated with vaccines (and very skeptical of pharmacuetical companies). However, I am MORE concerned about my kids getting Whooping Cough and Measles (or, God forbid, giving it to another child!). So, I vaccinate. I really think one of my biggest motivators to vaccinate is that by NOT vaccinating my kids, I would be making a choice that could affect the health of kids that are not my own and I just don’t feel right about that. However, I do sympathize with parents who refuse to vaccinate and I don’t sweat it if Lucy and Benjamin slobber on the same toys with unvaccinated little friends. So…if you can tell, I am very torn about the whole thing and every year at flu season I have a big decision-making dilemma about whether to do flu shots or not (the kids got them this year because Benjamin has asthma and I’m terrified of asthma complications from flu) but Daniel and I did not. I truly don’t ever know if I’m making the right decision.

  3. Megan says

    Haley, this is so helpful and timely! My husband and I are expecting our first and about to begin the birth plan process. Yours and Daniel’s is such a great example- thanks for sharing it! I second Ellery’s question: why did you opt out of Hep B? Are there any resources you could share that you used to guide decisions about Benjamin and Lucy’s early post-natal care? Thanks again!

    • Haley says

      I’m glad it was helpful, Megan! See my answer to Ellery (above) regarding Hep B. I really think that the most helpful post-natal care resource I can offer is Dr. Sears “Baby Book.” It’s such a great reference for birth to 2 years. It’s the one book about babies/kids that I never lend out because I’m always going back to it. Sears is a proponent of Attachment Parenting which really works for our family. But it’s important to see what’s out there and then see what works for YOUR family (and remembering that every baby is different and that you are the best judge of what your baby needs because you know him/her better than anyone else.) So excited for you and your husband as you become a family of three!!!

  4. Beccy (wifecat) says

    Hi Hayley.
    I just wanted to pop in and say thank you for sharing your birth plan. I’m 32 weeks (as you saw on IG!) and although lots of people have talked about writing a birth plan I’ve never seen an example to get started with – so thank you!
    I’m loving reading your blog; I love the variety of topics and as Lit & History student I’m especially loving your book reviews/recommendations!
    Best wishes, x

    • Haley says

      I’m so glad the birth plan sample was helpful to you, Beccy! Creating one is a great way to figure out your options and what you want. And although nothing ever goes EXACTLY as planned (and in some cases, even close to what we plan), I find them very useful for getting everybody on the same page. Two more months! How exciting! I’m 10 weeks behind ya. (I’m enjoying following you on IG!)

  5. Tracy says

    Neither of my birth experiences went anywhere near close to THE PLAN and I am still a little sad about that to this day. However, with that being said, doing a birth plan for a new pregnancy gives one hope that things may go according to how you originally envisioned your beautiful experiences. It may also help with acceptance of things that happened in the past. I am only mentioning this because I noticed from other responses, not necessarily on your site but others affiliated with the birth plan that some women are hesitant to make a new birth plan being that there heart was broken from a previous experience. As you pointed out, its ” what is safe for you and your baby”, but there is no reason to not hope for the best and continue with what your wants and needs are. Plans are altered in life all the time and change is hard, but when we come to terms with the situation it allows us to move on to make the next experience even that much better . When I was told that I would never again be able to give birth naturally, I was crushed. So I decided I was going to have a birth plan put in place anyway. I wanted the surprise element…. not an appt. to have a baby. We chose to have someone call us at 5am ( I wasn’t the one who made the appt. for the c-section, we asked someone else to do that for us) and tell it was time to go to the hospital to have our baby…I wanted it to seem like I was going into labor or that my water broke and “It was time”. I didn’t want to know the date our baby was going to be born or the sex. That’s just one example of the things we did to make it more natural for us when our Plan A didn’t work in our favor. Having a Plan B does not make it a failure. If you come home or give birth at home and the end result is a beautiful healthy baby then, YOU DID YOUR JOB WELL. I just wanted to give support to those that didn’t have the birth experiences they wanted, that is what we have hope and faith for. We are the advocates for our own health and the health of our children; so make it your way and if where you’re at cant or wont accommodate your wants and needs then you get to search until you find what work for you. This was a great post, Haley!

  6. Catherine says

    Do you happen to have another copy of the article elsewhere? The link included above seems to not be available anymore, and I’d love to read it as I prepare our birth plan for our first little one!

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