Birth Plans

Options for a Birth Plan

Starting Labor

Options for starting labor range from doing nothing, to using a combination of mechanical and chemical dilating tools. Would you like to wait for labor to start on its own (spontaneous)? Or do you prefer to have labor started through either natural or medical stimulation techniques? In some cases your health care team may recommend starting labor medically to prevent problems. Here are some things to consider about the birth plan options you may have for starting labor.

Managing Pain

You may want to consider what method of pain relief you would like to use and when you would like pain relief. For non-medical pain relief ideas, check the list of comfort measures. Keep in mind that your decision in this area has tremendous impact on your other options. Using medication can reduce your mobility, require IV fluids and continuous monitoring, and prevent you from having clear fluids during labor. Here are some things to consider about the options you may have for managing pain.

Monitoring of Labor

There are several ways to monitor the health of baby and mother during labor. However, othee dicisions you make or circumstances of your labor may reduce the variety of options you have. Pitocin, Epidural and Spinal require continuous fetal monitoring, and depending on the situation, your midwife may recommend internal monitoring. Here are some things to consider about the options you may have for monitoring of labor.

Labor Environment

For most women, the environment in which they give birth has a tremendous impact on their ability to remain relaxed and comfortable while laboring. There are many options available for the environment, and many options will still be available if you choose to use medical interventions. Here are some things to consider about the options you may have for the labor environment.

Pushing

There are different styles of pushing, different positions for pushing and you have options for how you would like to prevent damage to the perineum. Here are some things to consider about the options you may have for pushing.

Newborn Care

You do have options about how your little bundle of joy is cared for while in a hospital. Never forget that you are the parent, and as such it is your responsibility to make decisions that affect the health and emotional well being of your child. Here are some things to consider about the options you may have for newborn care.

Special Circumstances

Cesarean

Having a cesarean does not remove the fact that you have choices for how things are handled. Here are some things to consider about the options you may have for cesarean surgery.

Abuse Survivors

Women who are survivors of abuse, especially sexual abuse, will find some additional birth planning helpful in preventing history from causing problems in labor.

Home Birth

Giving birth at home requires home specific planning.

Hosptial Birth

Hospitals provide a unique birthing environment that may challenge many plans for a natural birth.