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Birth plan questions

Forum: Labor and Childbirth


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January 17th, 2012, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9
I'm only 12 weeks pregnant so I know I'm doing this pretty early, but I'd like to start thinking about my birth plan all the same. I've looked at a few multiple-choice types, like the one on this site, but they bring up more questions than anything! Sorry if some of these are a bit gross. I'm guessing, since this is in the birth forum, that won't matter

First of all, a lot of birth plans have two options immediately after labour: I want to hold the baby immediately/have the baby placed on my stomach, or I want to hold the baby only after it's been cleaned. I get that, within reason, you can have pretty much anything you want during labour, but is there an inbetween? I know I don't want to wait around while they give my baby a full-on bath and wrap him/her for me, but I also know I'd just like for his/her face to be clean. Or, when they get the baby clean before they hand him to you, are they only talking about a quick once-over with baby wipes anyway? Can they wrap him/her up for me, even though his/her body won't be clean?

Then there are lots of things that I've never even given a thought to, so I guess I don't know whether they're something that's really important or just something people like to do. Example: the partner catching the baby is obviously preference, because it's not like if he doesn't then the baby will drop to the floor; whereas seeing the placenta might be important because of medical reasons.

So, with all of these, why are they on a birth plan? Even if they're just there because some people prefer it that way, if someone could explain why people prefer it that might help me!

- Cutting the umbilical cord after it has stopped pulsating
- An ENEMA? Good god! (Does it make you less likely to poo yourself during pushing?)
- Different levels of monitoring during labour
- Shaving of the pubic area

Also, I get that sometimes birth plans don't go to plan, so I think I know the answer to this, but do doctors and nurses tend to be ok with you changing your mind along the way? And is there anything that really can't change, or something that I have to specify as soon as I get to the hospital if I even might want it?
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March 20th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Co Host - July 2011 PR
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 946
I think the only thing that you can't really change is if you suddenly want an epidural but it's too late to get one. Other than that so many things can go so many different ways that you have to try and stay open minded.
People opt for and enema because when you're pushing most women do end up pooing on the table (I did). Honestly at that point you either don't notice or don't care. The nurses and the doctors have seen it all and they clean you up constantly anyways.
As far and monitoring goes I believe it all depends on your baby, your labour, and your pain meds. For me I had an all natural birth so the only monitoring that I had was a band around my tummy so they could monitor his heartbeat to make sure he didn't go into distress.
I decided to shave my pubic area a couple days before I gave birth. (It probably would have been funny watching me try and it took a couple hours haha) With the bleeding that comes afterwards I didn't want to have any afterbirth getting stuck in the hair or have any problems cleaning myself and just felt like that would be easier. I know someone who even went to get a brazillian done beforehand if you want to do that too.
They won't give him a full bath before giving him to you but they will wipe him down before giving him to you if you want or wrap him up. The white stuff that's on their skin is actually very moisturizing so even if you get some one you it's good for your skin Skin to skin contact is supposed to be a really good bonding experience in the beginning so if you can get past the gross part that's always a good way to go.
Good luck! I hope all this helps
Thank you tasha_mae for my beautiful siggy!

Proud mama to 10 month old, Charlie <3 !
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May 29th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 138
I thought I would jump in with what I have learned about the questions you asked.

The reason to delay cord clamping is to allow baby as much oxygen through the umbilical cord as possible.

Different levels of monitoring during labor depend (as PP has said) on you and your labor and delivery. If you are going natural, you need to be able to move. It is the most condusive way to get that baby down and out. You can request intermitant monitoring in this case. If you opt for meds, you will need to be monitored to ensure the baby is not in distress. Sometimes they use an internal fetal monitor and that requires they stick a needle into baby's scalp while inside you.

An enema is up to you... honestly, you won't care when the time comes.

Pubic shaving is an OLD practice that is pointless other than for the reasons the PP described. I, too, shaved myself, but it is in no way a necessary part of having a baby.

Can I suggest taking a look at Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. Excellent book full of good, real life info on what birthing is.
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May 31st, 2012, 10:46 AM
Me and Jesus <3 You
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Near the Charleston, SC area
Posts: 204
I never had a written birth plan, but my husband and midwife were pretty clear on what I wanted or didn't want. You just need to think about or ask what their usual procedures are and decide if that's what you'd prefer or not.

I didn't have an enema, and I didn't poop. I'm sure that whoever is there has seen it plenty of times and will have it cleaned up and handled before you even know it happened.

I also agree that monitoring depends on your situation. The only monitoring I had was a temperature check every half hour or so and a fetal heart check every now and then. Some places will automatically hook you up to an IV and multiple devices that aren't always necessary. If you don't care for those things, you should speak to your doctor and include it in your plan or medical chart.

I intentionally DIDN'T shave for a while before I was due because I sometimes get those itchy bumps after shaving, and I did NOT want to deal with that during or after labor. I didn't have any problems with stuff getting stuck, but then it wasn't like it had grown wild by then either.

As for bathing the baby.. My daughter didn't get a bath until the day after we brought her home. She got a quick rinse since she was born in water, but the vernix absorbed pretty quickly and she didn't look cheesy or anything. She also smelled REALLY nice which was surprising. My husband commented that my insides must smell like flowers...odd... I imagine if you have lots of blood or a huge amount of vernix that you could ask for a towel to wipe it off.

You should make sure that you and whoever is helping you (partner, Dr) knows what you want beforehand. You don't want to be correcting people in the moment. You might not notice what they're doing or you may just be too frustrated at the time to get your point across clearly.
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