Important Things to Consider When Creating Your Birthing Plan
One of the biggest experiences in a woman’s life is giving birth. It is such a magical experience, and one that brings both great joy and new love. However, it’s not always the perfect circumstances we all hope for.
After all, birth is painful, to say the least, and can come with some very serious medical complications. Preparing for various issues that may arise during labor and birth can help you feel a bit more equipped to deal with them when the tie comes. It’s important to know what to expect to ensure the whole experience goes more smoothly.
There are lots of decisions to be made when considering the delivery of a baby, and each woman will need to consider these well in advance of the big day, which is why it’s important to create a birth plan.
Not too sure what needs to go in your birth plan? Here are some great suggestions.
First of all, think about starting to create your birth plan as soon as possible. In fact, some women start theirs immediately after they find out that they are expecting. This also gives you plenty of time to change your plan it if you need or want to in a few months’ time.
You will learn a lot, hear countless stories, and get a ton of unsolicited advice about giving birth and being a mom. Consider the advice you receive, but don’t take it as gospel. You’ll hear suggestions you want to try, and you’ll hear suggestions you’ll dismiss–and both are ok. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your doctor to do what YOU choose to do.
Starting your plan early gives also provides you with enough time to research the various aspects of giving birth so your decisions are as well informed as it can be.
Don’t Forget AFTER the Birth
One thing many expectant mothers forget to add to their birth plan is the final portion that takes into account the time immediately after the birth.
Some things to consider are how you will transport your newborn home, installing the car seat correctly, where any out-of-town visitors will be staying, who will help you care for your other children (if you have any),etc.
It’s also super important to remember your physical limitations after the birth. Pregnancy and labor is tough on the body, particularly the muscles in your midsection and back. There are steps you can take to help your body recover. You can learn more at www.momsIntofitness.com.
Your birth plan should contain a list of all the important people who will play a role during the birth of your baby. This, of course, includes you as well as your partner, and your older children. You should also list the names of your doctor and the partners in their practice if there are any. If you’re using a midwife or doula, add that information as well.
Think About Where You Will Give Birth
Where do you want give birth? Your decision will largely be based on how likely to are to experience any complications of difficulties during the birth. If you want to give birth at home, for example, this needs to be part of your plan. If you want to give birth in a hospital, add the details in your plan. If you prefer to give birth at a birthing center, include that information.
If your labor looks like it should be straight forward, it’s generally alright to create a plan to give birth at home. It’s absolutely essential to discuss your options with your doctor and have a backup plan in place in case unexpected issues arise.
Consider Your Preferred Method of Pain Relief
Labor and birth hurts. A lot. You do have choices when it comes to pain relief, and it’s good to plan ahead in order to avoid making decisions when you’re in pain.
If you prefer to give birth naturally, you may want to avoid pain medication altogether. However, for many women, the pain of labor becomes too much, and they change their minds last minute. Keep in mind that if you’re at home, your options are limited.
If you give birth in a hospital, you may choose to have an epidural, which will reduce the pain from contractions almost to the point you won’t feel them at all. This can make labor slightly more complicated as you may not feel the sensation to push, but a your nurses, midwife, or doula will help you with that.
Be sure to document any allergies or past medical issues you’ve faced as well.
Think About the Atmosphere
Some women like to create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere during labor and birth. If you plan to give birth at your local hospital, you can still take in most anything you’d like, such as scented air fresheners or music. However, it’s possible you may not adjust the lights. Some women like to dim the lights as it can create a more relaxing atmosphere. If you want any special birthing balls or small pools, you should also include this in the plan as well.
If you’re planning anything too elaborate, though, keep in mind that your hospital may not approve. Another consideration is that everything you bring to the hospital before your birth also needs to be taken back out after your birth–along with the baby, formula and diapers the hospital generally provides, flowers and gifts from loved ones, etc. You may be surprised how quickly your hospital room accumulates things, and you certainly don’t want to create any extra stress on yourself during this time.
Activity During Labor
In the early stages of labor, some women like to try to stay active. This can help minimize the pain from contractions (a little) and may even speed up the labor process in some cases. The majority of women will simply walk around their room.
However, there are other things you might want to try, such as using birthing balls, swaying on a rocking chair, or meditation. Once you’ve decided on how you will stay active, you should make a quick note of it in the birth plan so that everyone involved knows what to expect.
The items above are not an all-inclusive list of possible issues that may arise. Every birth is different. Even if you’ve already given birth, things happen and the situation may change quickly. Consider each step of the birthing process from before your baby arrives, while your baby is arriving, and after your baby arrives.
Most important is that you write down important information and provide that information to anyone involved. This will ensure when it comes time to have your baby, you can limit your stress and focus solely on bringing your little one into the world.
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