Preparing a birth plan is important and helpful in the course of safe birthing. A birth plan is a short-page statement of your preference during and after the birth of your child. A basic example of a Birth Plan may include the place (hospital or lying in) where delivery should take place, means of transportation, person/s in-charge of the house when you and your husband are away, needs of the mother, needs of the baby, and anticipated expenses.
It would provide an effective opportunity for everyone involved in the birth to understand your hopes and desires for the most memorable and life-changing event in your life—giving birth. It may contain your wishes during the labor including pain management, your choice of companion and the assertion of your right to Unang Yakap protocol. You may also state in your birth plan how you would like your baby to be treated after birth and the things you want to happen in case of unanticipated events.
It may also serve as an agreement between you and your health care provider to protect your right as a mother. Though you have to keep in mind that the process of labor and delivery involves so many variables and you can’t tell exactly what will happen. However, a birth plan helps the people in your surroundings to realize what is most important to you in the birth of your baby.
Fathers also play an important role in the birth plan. He must engage himself in creating the plan and make sure that everything goes well during and after the labor. When the mother is not able to, he must be the one to communicate with the health care provider to make things stated in the birth plan viable as much as possible.
Here is my wife’s birth plan, as inspired by my son’s godmother:
- I would like my husband to be by my side during my birthing time. You may speak directly to him in case I may not be responsive to questions and other decision-making.
- It would be appreciated if he will be allowed to photo and video document the delivery of our child.
- Please do not offer pain medication or ask me if I am in any pain. I will ask if I need it.
- I would appreciate a minimum vaginal examination.
- I would prefer to be hydrated by drinking water and juice. Please NO IV, unless complications arise.
- It is my strong desire to allow my birthing to proceed upon its natural course, in the absence of complications, without restriction to time.
- It is my intention to make every effort to avoid an episiotomy. Please HELP me by giving adequate time to push, allowing me to respond to my urges, and offering me perennial support/ massage during delivery. If an increase of oxytocin becomes necessary, I would like to use natural method before my consent will be given to use synthetic oxytocin.
- I appreciate your patience in waiting for the placenta to detach naturally.
- We request that all procedures be explained in a way we can fully understand so that we can give informed consent prior to any procedure.
- Please observe ESSENTIAL INTRAPARTUM AND NEWBORN CARE (EINC) Evidenced-based Standard Practices which includes the following:
- Continuous maternal support by a companion of her choice, during labor and delivery.
- Early Skin-to-Skin contact between mother and the newborn.
- Properly-timed cord clamping and cutting. Please do not cut the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing.
- Let us experience the Unang Yakap (First Embrace) for early breastfeeding initiation.
I want my baby to be roomed-in with me after delivery. If ever there is a need for my baby to be observed, it would be appreciated if the procedures will be done with my baby next to me.
- I would insist for exclusive breastfeeding. Please do not give any formula milk, sugar water or any supplement for our baby. In case that I will be unconscious or becomes groggy after delivery, please have my husband latch my baby on to me to feed. It would also be appreciated if a nurse/staff could assist my husband in doing so.
Please observe and apply the aforementioned preferences even if I undergo C-section operation. Any non-natural methodology and/or supplement that may be used to my delivery and to my baby must be avoided, in the absence of complications.
Birth plans may also vary from one person to another. It may be helpful to communicate with your medical provider (midwife or doctor) to get more information on what you can include in your birth plan.
Birthing is a blessing and must not be traumatic for every family especially for mothers and the child. We must always ensure that the experience should be securing to a mother—that she feels loved and respected.
Good luck expectant parents!
-Daddy Jaime de Guzman