Generally, we rely on the experts for advice, right? So why should writing up a birth plan be any different? Check out what eight registered midwives listed as their top priorities during labour and delivery.
‘I want to use my own distraction techniques in early labour’
Think about what absorbs you; what keeps you most zen during times of stress, and apply that to your early labour coping strategy.
‘I want skin-to-skin contact immediately after the birth’
Not only is this important for promoting bonding and breastfeeding, but it’s also essential for calming your baby after the shock of birth.
‘I don’t want anyone to talk to me during established labour’
You’ll need all your focus for the final stage of labour. Tune out distraction and zero in on working with your body to bring baby into the world.
‘Only cut the cord once it’s empty and floppy, not while it’s blue and pulsating’
Waiting to cut the umbilical cord allows baby to receive all the nutrient and oxygen-rich blood from the placenta at birth. Delayed cord clamping is recommended by NICE for all maternity units, stating that cords not be cut for at least 1-5 minutes unless infant requires breathing support.
‘I don’t want any early vaginal examinations’
Internal examinations can help your midwife gauge how labour is progressing, but they are optional. Too many exams can be uncomfortable, and increase the risk of infection for your baby. However, medical professionals are sensitive to this, and you can talk about your concerns before going through with any examinations.
‘I don’t want any pain relief’
How you choose to manage pain during labour is entirely your choice. Educate yourself on the options, and remember to keep yourself open to a scenario different from what you expected; you may find you want to ditch your epidural idea once labour gets going, or you may find you want the pain relief you swore you’d never use.
‘I want to expel the placenta naturally’
A hormone injection is typically administered to help you deliver the placenta post-birth. However, your body is capable of expelling it naturally. Just remember that this can take up to an hour, and could incur excess blood loss.
‘I want a headband, a travel fan and a small plastic jug’
Sometimes the smallest of things can bring the greatest relief: don’t underestimate the power of cool down equipment—water bottle and straw included—plus a jug for rinsing the sensitive bits postpartum.