My Labour and Birth Plan
With our due date fast approaching it’s been time for us to sit down and think about our labour and birth plan for baby Theo’s arrival.
I like to feel ‘in control’ and organised and so writing up a birth plan, or at least my wishes for his birth, has really helped me to feel more prepared.
We were lucky enough to have a planned home-birth with our first child, Lily. I was a young mum but felt like our decision was, for the most part, completely supported – we had an incredible team of midwives who were 100% behind our decision to have her at home.
My labour itself was definitely a much more positive experience because of the fact that I went through it at home – we had minimal monitoring (in fact the midwives only arrived 15 minutes before Lily did!) and it was so much more relaxing.
Of course it hurt *duh* but I felt strong and in control the entire time – I only had Scott and our midwives there and it was an amazing experience.
If I can I would really like to have the same with Theo.
At the moment my plan for a home birth has been approved but this little man has been a bit troublesome and is still transverse so we will need to wait and see if the hospital are still happy to have the home birth team assist me.
I also know that birth plans don’t always go to plan – babies have a way of arriving exactly when and where they want to after all!
The Labour Environment
I’ve been reading a lot about hypnobirthing and the power of environment during labour. And no I’m not some kind of hippy but I completely understand the science behind the theories.
Our environment has such an impact on how we feel in general that I can 100% see how it would affect labour too.
Even if I do end up needing to transfer to hospital it is for this reason that my first wish is to do most (if not all) of my labouring at home.
I have created a little ‘birth kit’ which is in a bag in my wardrobe – it’s got a few things that I feel would benefit me and help to create a positive and comfortable environment during labour. I’ll do a full post on what I’ve packed in my hospital bags later but in this little kit are the following things:
- Candles and matches
- Massage Oil
- Essential Oils – lavender, citrus and clary sage
- Microwaveable wheat bag
I know that I find candlelight and warmth to be relaxing and comforting and so the candles and microwaveable bag were the first things I put aside. To save any fumbling around for matches when I’m in labour I put a small box in there ready.
At home we also have a Himalayan salt lamp which lets off a really lovely warm light so that will be switched on.
With my first birth most of the pain that I felt was in my back – my hot water bottle was a life saver but I hated how quickly it went cold and then how long it took to refill – the microwaveable wheat bag I’ve purchased is so much quicker to use.
Massage helps stimulate the production of endorphins which are natural pain killers and help your mood. I’ve put in a base carrier oil (almond) and some essential oils that are safe during labour.
Some essential oils need to be avoided so make sure you do your research if you plan to use them.
I’ve got lavender for it’s relaxation properties, clary sage which can help make contractions stronger and citrus which I find energising.
Having my hair down during labour will only make me feel hot and bothered so a few hairbands were a must, I’ve packed some simple ties and an alice band to help keep my hair off of my face.
Some women find that silence is golden during labour, whereas others like having music playing in the background.
I’m not sure how I will feel and so I’ve created a playlist that can be played if I feel like it – obviously if I want quiet then I can have it switched off.
At the end of the day my essential goal is to deliver our baby safely. Everything else is a positive on top of that.
And so this is a list of ‘wishes’ for during my labour – these are the ideals for me however I appreciate that should circumstances change so will our plans.
1st Stage of Labour
I would like:
- To remain as active as possible with the freedom to walk around, change position, use bath or birthing pool (still not decided on whether or not to have pool!).
- Monitoring of the baby to be kept to a minimum unless there is cause for concern.
- Intervention to be kept to the minimum.
- All possible interventions should be explained and discussed.
- I would like to go without pain relief apart from massage and water.
- Only my husband and midwife around me.
Transition and 2nd Stage of Labour
During transition I would like:
- Minimal intrusion.
- Gentle but firm support and guidance.
Throughout the 2nd Stage of Labour I would like:
- To be able to find my own comfortable position for pushing.
- To push instinctively, in my own way, in my own time.
- I do not want an episiotomy unless vital.
- Freedom to give birth in whatever location I choose – including in the water.
- I would like to hear words of encouragement and to be told where I am in labour.
- To be reminded to relax and breath the baby down.
- To hold the baby straight away after birth for skin to skin contact.
I would like:
- The cord to remain attached until it stops pulsating and for my partner to be offered opportunity to cut the cord.
- I would like to deliver the placenta naturally if possible.
- Skin to skin contact.
- To have the baby in the room with us at all times.
- Anaesthetic if stitching is required.
We appreciate that labour might not go to plan and that we may need to transfer to hospital for care during or after labour.
I would like to discuss all issues if and when they arise and make informed choices for myself and baby. If I do need to transfer to hospital I would like my husband and midwife in the ambulance.
I would like to avoid the use of forceps or a caesarean section. If I do need a C-section I would like to discuss pain relief options to help make an informed choice.
My husband should be with me in theatre. After a C-section I would like immediate skin to skin contact and baby to be kept with us at all times.
And there you have it – my labour and birth plan.
Hopefully we get the labour that we want – and I’ll certainly be sharing that story with you once he’s here!
Did you have a birth plan? Did you get the labour you wanted?