So you have chosen your childbirth location, and are starting to think about how you want to delivery.  But before we consider this, let’s take a look at how to make a birth plan.

Making Your Birth Plan:

I remember planning for my two births like it was yesterday – Sam is 17 and Michael is 7!  The first one didn’t go according to plan, but from the lessons learnt, the second one pretty much did. Your delivery intentions can change due to unforeseen circumstances, so having a birth plan is another way for Mum to feel in control over her choices and at ease for the birth ahead.

What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the delivery.  It lets your midwife, doctor and birth partner know what preferences you have for delivery, and how you want to be treated during labour. It also sets out how you would like your birth partner to be involved.

A birth plan isn’t set in stone (you can change your mind about your choices for labour and birth at any time), and you don’t actually have to create one. But if you do it will help you feel prepared for labour, birth and baby.

Talk to Your Midwife

Chatting with your midwife allows you the chance to ask all sorts of questions and to understand what actually happens in labour, especially if this is your first time.

Your midwife will also get to know you better, understand your feelings and priorities, whilst allowing you time to think or discuss things in greater details with your partner, friends and relatives. 

Your Personal Circumstances

Making a birth plan becomes personal to you. Each one is different, because each pregnancy is different.  However, what you would like depends upon certain things such as your medical history, your particular circumstances and what your maternity service provides.  Bear in mind that what may be safe and practical for one Mum-to-be may not be a wise choice for another.

The NHS has a great birth template which you can use or follow as a guideline for your plan.  Click here to download one.

Sometimes there may be room in your notes but it is always a good idea to keep a copy of your birth plan with you.

Once in labour, your midwife will already know your plan. Or if you are in a hospital, then your maternity team will then discuss your wishes so that they know what you want. 

Be Flexible

Giving birth is not always as straightforward as we might wish, so you need to be flexible and be prepared to do things differently from your original birthing plan.

When I had my eldest Sam, I had my birth plan all worked out. I wanted a natural delivery with no pain relief. I practised my breathing and mindset techniques, kept fit and healthy, had all my birthing aids at the ready and was raring to go. But I didn’t account for the fact that my waters would break early and that the contradictions which were starting to come, would then elude me and stop altogether. Which meant the next morning I had to be induced, ending up with a long labour and an epidural.  My birth plan had just gone out of the window.

However, not all was lost. We had prepared and we were still able to make use of the techniques we had learnt during pregnancy to help calm ourselves. We accepted the fact that circumstances had changed and eventually I gave birth to a very healthy 7lb baby! 

So be flexible if complications do arise, or the particular location you want to use doesn’t have a birthing pool available.  Remember your midwife or maternity team will always tell you what they advise in your particular circumstances. So find out as much information as you can and don’t be nervous to ask questions.

Things to Consider

  • Where to give birth. Check out my previous blogs for more information on Home Births and Hospital or Midwifery Units
  • Pain relief
  • Forceps or ventouse (intervention or instrumental delivery)
  • Caesarean section
  • Your baby after birth

I will be covering these topics in a later blogs.

For other useful information on creating a birth plan check out this link from C&G Baby Club. They have great information and it is always worth checking out more than one source!  There is so much information out there. As Mums-to-be you no longer need to be in the dark about where or how to give birth. It’s literally at a click of a button, or here on my blog page.

As a personal trainer I need to know this information, especially when a new Mum returns to me after her 6-8 week or 12 week (for c-section) check-up.  The hows and whys of a birth affects the way I will train a new Mum. Plus I love to keep up-to-date on what is happening out there in the birthing world!

Happy Body, Happy Mind, Happy Mum-to-be! 

References:

  • NHS.UK
  • C&G Baby Club