Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Birth Plan


I am very confident that my wishes will be respected with the Midwives I have chosen. I sought out my Providers based on their similar philosophies about Birthing and medical interventions. I have total faith in them.

BUT, having had a Home Birth that ended up with both of us transferred to the Hospital, I totally get how unpredictable Childbirth can be and the importance of being flexible (and having your Hospital Bag packed, even if you are planning a Home Birth). My Midwives have required me to submit my Birth Plan next week.

I'm not stressing too much over it. But, I thought I would share my Birth Plan with you, especially for those first-time Mama's out there who may be confused as to what one might put on a Birth Plan. One tip I received was to keep it short and succinct.

My Birth Plan with my first child, did not mention my wishes in regard to the possibility of having a C-section. I have been coming across numerous mentions recently about the rise of the "family-oriented C-section" or a "gentle C-section." I think it is imperative for Mamas to include very specific wishes about having a C-section, particularly, if you are first-time Mama giving birth in a Hospital.

In Northern Virginia the C-Section rates at all the Hospitals (excluding Loudoun) hover around 40%. In 2010, INOVA Alexandria's C-Section rate was 38%, Fair Oaks was 38.1%, Fairfax was 41%, VA Hospital Center was 40.5%. Loudoun's was 29.4%, thanks to the Loudoun Community Midwives who work out of the Birthing Inn at the Hospital.

The Unnecesarean is doing great work pressuring Hospitals to be more open about their C-Sections rates. Educate yourself, know your options!!!

Here is my example of a Birth Plan....

My Birth Plan

We would like an unmedicated, vaginal birth. We would like for my labor to progress as naturally as possible as long as there are no health problems for Mother and Baby.

With this in mind we request the following:

  • No offering of drugs
  • Intermittent, external fetal monitoring (10-15 minutes an hour)
  • Minimal Vaginal Examinations (use of other protocols to determine dilation…i.e. the Purple Line)
  • No IV (Saline Lock if needed)
  • Unrestricted mobility including use of shower and/or tub
  • Various labor positions
  • No episiotomy
  • Breastfeeding and Baby on Chest Immediately
  • Delayed Cord Clamping
  • Routine Procedures delayed for the first hour
  • No formula, pacifiers or glucose


If  we have agreed that a C-Section is medically needed, we request the following procedures in order to have a “gentle” or “family-oriented” C-section:

  • immediate skin-to-skin contact in the operating room
  • slow delivery (with the intent to mimic the “vaginal squeeze”)
  • placement  of IV catheter, oximeter and blood cuff all on the same non-dominant arm (the left arm) to allow a completely free arm for maternal contact with baby
  • placement of ECG leads on the back, to allow a free chest for early maternal skin-to-skin contact
  • intraoperative breastfeeding

We would like the following people to be present during my labor: my husband, my Doula (Birth Assistant) and my Birth Photographer.

We realize that events may arise that require medical intervention. In such case, our full cooperation will be given after an informed discussion of all risks and benefits has taken place.

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