Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Birth Plan – Oxymoron, Wish List, My Voice….All of the above?

I need to write my birth plan. But how does one “plan” for birth, the inevitable but uncontrollable event that marks the end of pregnancy?

I’ve had contractions described to me, but I don’t really know how they’ll feel and how I’ll cope with them. I’ve heard of women who want a natural birth with candles and massage for pain relief but decide to go full throttle on medical intervention when push comes to shove. I’ve heard that you need to be prepared and informed, but flexible, and that your “plan” can’t be set in stone. I’ve heard a lot of things.

It feels a little strange to put pen to paper when something as intimate as birth is the subject. Will what I write seem pedantic….or perhaps just plain mundane?

But I need to get over that. Although I know my birth plan may not go as planned, it’s my way of playing an active role in my birth and letting the midwives know Chris and my preferences, our birth wish list of sorts. At my NCT ante-natal class they suggested that where you have your baby and who you want at your birth are the two most important decisions that you can make. I know we are going to try for a home birth, and that Chris is my birthing partner, so hard job done.

So what do I know/hope for?

I know I want to try for as natural a labor as possible, full of upright positions, yoga breathing and as little intervention as possible. If I do opt for more assistance in the moment, I have ideas on what I’d like offered to me and how I’d like it discussed. I know I want skin to skin contact with baby as soon as she is born. And that I’m fine with the Vitamin K injection, but want to try for a natural third stage. Chris hopes to cut the cord. Unless I plan on having a cozy chat about this while in the throes of contractions, my birth plan along with Chris will be my voice.

Here’s a useful birth plan from the Boots Parenting Club. It’s short and sweet but provides a good outline of things to consider. I’ll let you know how I get on.
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