How to Plan a Natural Birth
More and more women are turning to natural birth plans in order to bring forth their new little bundle of joy with as few artificial and potentially hazardous interventions as possible. However, many of the women who want a natural childbirth are meeting resistance at the hospital due to a number of different problems with their birth plan. Here is a list of things that you need to know in order to ensure that your natural birth plan is followed.
Keep it short.
It is important to respect the people you want to respect your wishes. The best way to do this is to keep your list of requests short and to the point, highlighting the items that you really aren’t negotiable on rather than submitting a two page dossier of things you’d like to have happen, but aren’t as committed to.
Regardless of what kind of birth you plan to have, it is important to have an advocate at your side. This is why having a doula is so important. A doula is someone who is experienced with the birth process and can help you get your wishes communicated more effectively to the hospital staff. Having a doula present will not only help you communicate your desires but can also bring peace and organization to what can become a disorganized, chaotic mess.
Here is a sample birth plan you can use for reference
Prefer no IV. Most hospitals will initiate IV access to any patient that is admitted into the hospital for any reason. This ensures that there is venous access to administer medications in the event of any emergency. If your hospital insists that you have an IV for safety reasons, ask that they not hook it up to fluids or anything so that you are able to walk around unencumbered. This can help speed up labor.
Wireless baby monitor only if necessary. While not having a fetal monitor is best, many hospitals require them in order to maintain an eye on the baby’s condition during labor. Wireless monitors don’t require an electrode to be screwed into the scalp of your baby, hence is the safer option.
Minimum vaginal exams – no students please. Having regular vaginal exams introduces bacteria into the vagina, which can cause your baby harm. Inexperienced exams carry a higher risk of infection.
No (urinary) catheter even if epidural is administered. – Urinating after birth is important to ensure that damage hasn’t been done to the bladder. However, a catheter isn’t necessary to ensure that urination is occurring.
No stripping of membranes (manual breaking of water). Mother Nature will rupture the membranes when it is time. And, babies are often born inside amniotic sacs, which can be broken later.
If Cesarean, I would like double-layer stitching only- Double layer stitching or suturing carries a much lower risk of uterine rupture than single layer.
Deliver placenta unassisted. The placenta needs time to separate fully and be birthed naturally in order to not damage the uterine lining.
Please save placenta, I would like to encapsulate it. There are many theories about why taking encapsulated placenta pills makes sense, from boosting breastmilk supply to providing a guard against postpartum depression. If this is something that you want, put it in your birth plan.
Delayed Cord Clamping. Delayed cord clamping offers your baby the benefits of getting the last bit of cord blood, which can help if the baby is anemic. It only takes a couple of minutes and is definitely worth asking for.
Immediate skin to skin contact with baby. Skin to skin contact with the baby begins the maternal/paternal bonding process. Ask that the baby be placed on your chest after delivery for a few minutes.
No Hep B. There are many reasons that support delaying vaccinating babies.
Room-in at all times – no nursery time.
No First bath. – Taking your baby home to bath will ensure that you can use the gentle, non-toxic soaps that you want rather than the stuff the hospitals use.
Use this sample birth plan to help you develop the natural birth plan that will help you welcome your baby into this world in a way that works for you.