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Since we became pregnant, women have the day of delivery in our heads. At first as something diffuse and distant, but in the last weeks of pregnancy, it becomes more present and real. Of course, when you think about that day you want everything to go well, that both you and your baby are healthy and happy and for that, nothing better than organize a birth plan for you. Have you never thought about it
Before the moment of delivery, women trust the people who are going to care for you. But giving birth is not only left in the hands of professionals, there are many things you can decide and that can change enormously. Not only your experience of childbirth, but also its evolution: from things that may seem very simple (but not less important) such as what clothes to wear or if I want to listen to music, to others related to pain relief or baby care. Where do I want my baby to be born? Do I want to be accompanied? What to do when it is born? Will I only breastfeed?
To think about all these options and decide which ones you want for yourself, there are birth plans. The birth plan is a document in which you can state what your wishes and preferences are for the time of delivery and the days after. You can find several models online, and the hospital you choose to give birth may even have its own, but it is not necessary to write it in an official format. It is just as valid if you write it your way, in your own handwriting, so that it is totally personalized and unique.
When it comes to doing this, you will have to think about how you want to be cared for throughout the birthing process. If you haven't considered it until now, this may be a good time to learn about the different options available in terms of managing dilation, delivery, pain relief, etc.
For this it is essential that you inform yourself well, that you seek different opinions and professionals. You can ask your midwife, your gynecologist / obstetrician, but also the women around you: knowing first-hand experiences can help us to 'put yourself in the situation' and imagine what you may need at all times and what situations you would like to avoid.
What can you include in your birth plan? Actually, you can put everything that is important to you, but here are some suggestions that can help you:
- If you want to be accompanied, and by whom.
- If you want to bring personal items that help you to be calmer: clothes, music, candles, photos ...
- What would you like to eat or drink during dilation.
- How do you want to deal with pain, that is, if you want to use physical methods (heat movement, shower), pharmacological (medication or epidural analgesia) or others (relaxation, visualization ...).
- How you want your baby's well-being to be checked: in most hospitals a continuous monitor is used, which listens to the baby's heart all the time, but it has been proven that it is just as safe to do it with intermittent monitoring (in periods of about twenty minutes every hour) or auscultation (listening to it every 15 minutes), as long as there are no risk factors.
- In what position would you like to receive the baby.
- What to do with the umbilical cord: let it beat, clamp it and donate the blood, cut it yourself or your partner.
- That all the care or baby tests are done in your presence.
- How you want to feed him.
It is also a good time to think about what you do not want, for example, to have a venous line channeled, to be given an enema, to be separated from the baby or to speed up the process by breaking the bag of waters or with drugs.
These are just a few suggestions, but you can include whatever comes to mind, as long as you don't put your health or the baby's health at risk, of course. Ideally, you should be able to present the birth plan (at the consultation, or at the Patient Care service) and discuss it with the team that will assist you, if possible at some point during the last weeks of pregnancy.
And if not, at least the same day of delivery. It will help professionals to know what is important to you and to act accordingly. Of course, you can change your mind at any time during the process; and there may also be situations that require a change of plans. Do not feel guilty if this is the case, we cannot control everything, and it is not the same to think about things from the sofa at home than to be really living them.
Even so, having drawn up the birth plan will have helped you to think calmly about that day, to inform yourself, to ask yourself what you and your baby need. And that is too much already. So, do you dare to write yours?
You can read more articles similar to The importance for the pregnant woman and the baby to have a birth plan, in the On-Site Delivery category.