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Old 01-30-2013, 09:31 PM   #21
mollym
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Re: Birth Plan for Hospital

Others are right: it's way too long and nurses aren't going to read it. Imagine--they have other patients and a lot going on. This is too much. So consider this your personal plan, review it with your birth team (husband, labor coach, doula, whoever). And then write a Cliff Notes version for the nurses.

My birth plan was really brief. It started with a nice, respectful intro that basically said, "I've put a lot of thought into what kind of birth I want to experience. I would like to avoid any unnecessary medical intervention, and this plan is designed to help achieve that. I understand that plans may change to make sure everyone turns out healthy, so I'll be flexible if necessary."

Then I made a bulleted list of just four things, in about 20-point font:

* I don't want pain meds. Please don't offer to me. If I change my mind, I'll let you know. I have prepared a whole bunch of alternative pain management techniques: bouncy ball, massage, etc.

* I want to be free to move around and try out different positions. I'd prefer not being hooked up to anything that limits my motion.

* When the baby is born, I want to hold him/her immediately. Please delay all non-essential tests for at least 30 minutes.

* I want my husband to announce the sex of the baby.

All of the above is paraphrased from memory, but you get the idea. Those four lines basically encompassed the most critical parts of the birth for me. A lot of other things (circumcision, breastfeeding, pacifiers, shots, etc.) had a standard hospital policy that meant I'd have to give approval or have the option to deny so no one was going to do anything without my consent.

As it was, I arrived at the hospital 10cm dilated (whoops!) so a lot of my very short list was not even applicable. Still, it helped that I had a long list (for me, husband, doula, and discussed with doctor in advance) and the nurses understood from my short birth plan that I was both informed and reasonable.
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