Now that we're approaching our pregnancy halfway mark, Michael and I have been thinking a lot more about how we'd like to approach the birth of our sweet E.
We’ve done a lot of research, and put a lot of thought into it, and come up with a birth plan that we’re really looking forward to discussing with our midwife. If all goes as planned (fingers crossed) we’ll be bringing our June baby into the world with a natural, midwife assisted birth at a nearby birthing center.
After many discussions, we’ve put our focus on the things we feel most passionate about and have come up with some must-have occurrences throughout the birthing process. Here’s the gist of our plan:
I don’t want to be confined to a bed.
One of the most important things to me during my labor process, is to not be limited in my movement. Which means, I don't want to be hooked up to a million monitors and IVs. I want to be free to roam and use the many amenities my birthing room has to offer, and utilize as many natural pain-relieving techniques as I can without limitation. I want to be comfortable. It's the primary reason we made the decision to birth with a midwife at a local birthing center, opposed to at the hospital.
I’d like to forego medicinal pain management measures.
Mainly for selfish reasons, my plan is to decline pain medication. It’s important for me to be able feel my body giving me the cues to push, and when to stop. Additionally, I’d like to avoid the possibility of any unnatural side effects after giving birth if possible.
We’re delaying cord clamping.
A no-brainer, really. We plan to delay clamping until pulsating ceases so E can receive as much blood volume as possible and so we can further prevent complications during placenta delivery.
Skin-to-skin contact is our first priority after birth.
So long as there are no complications, I want my baby with me. I want any exams or procedures delayed until our E has had at least an hour of skin-to-skin contact with us. Birth is traumatic for baby and mama, and skin-to-skin time promptly after birth can serve as an incredibly important bonding experience and give us some rest in-between the chaos. Not to mention it has about a million-and-one benefits for both mom and baby including; pain relief, better heart and lung function, temperature regulation, and the transfer of good bacteria to baby.
We don’t want our babe being bathed.
That gunk all over our baby's skin... is reaaaaallly good for her! And there's no reason it has to go. Vernix helps regulate baby’s blood sugar, prevents infections, and is incredibly moisturizing and beneficial to baby’s skin. So, we’ll be saying no thanks to baby’s first bath after birth, and rubbing that vernix in!
No one’s cutting me.
Perhaps one of the things I feel strongest about, is the fact that no one is snipping anything on my body that isn’t the umbilical cord. Studies show that episiotomies are far more likely to result in third and fourth degree tears than natural tearing (which is typically very minor.) Routine episiotomies can also result in long term perineal, vaginal, and anal sphincter damage. No thanks. There’s evidence that shows that proper perineal support during birth can result in significantly less tearing and can even diminish it all together. Not to mention recovery from natural tearing is far less painful and risky than that of an episiotomy. I repeat: NO ONE IS CUTTING ME!
Natural birth is something I’ve become increasingly passionate about, but when putting together our birthing plan, I noticed many guidelines and templates just didn’t fit our natural birth needs. So, I created my own template I thought I’d share with my fellow mamas-to-be in hopes that it could be useful to others too!
It covers many key birthing points from Labor to Postpartum, and even allows you to get down to the Nitty-gritty of specifics and emergency precautions.
At the end of the day, we know not all things go as planned when it comes to having a baby and that things can quickly change! But, by having a birth plan set out in advance, we can adequately discuss our desires and expectations for birth, and keep the line of communication open with our midwife- increasing our chances at a successful birth!
If a more natural style birth is something you’re interested in, download my free natural birth plan template and see if suits you! I’d love to see how it helps you plan!