Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Birth Planning-Part Two

For last week's "What's What Wednesday", I shared my original hospital birth plan. As I mentioned in that post, complications late in my pregnancy prompted me to devise an alternate birth plan, in case of cesarean birth. There is a misconception that cesarean births are completely out of the mothers' hands, and that mothers who give birth surgically are at the mercy of the surgical staff. Having a cesarean birth plan allowed me to feel empowered and to retain some control over my birth experience.

When I arrived at the hospital the morning that I went into labor, the on-call OB had read my birth plan prior to coming in to meet me. She went over everything with me, explaining what might prevent certain wishes from being carried out, and reassuring me that the entire OR staff would look over my birth plan prior to the birth and follow it as closely as possible.

While I was disappointed that I didn't have the un-medicated water birth I'd been hoping for, I truly believe that overall, my cesarean birth was the most gentle, empowered birth I could have had, given our situation. If you find yourself facing the possibility of a cesarean birth, don't give up the hope for an empowered, gentle birth. While I did not have a doula, I would absolutely recommend hiring one to help ensure that your birth plan is carried out as closely as possible. Every birth, surgical or otherwise, should be focused on the joyous occasion that it is.

Without further ado, my Cesarean Birth Plan:

Modified Wishes for Childbirth
*In case of Caesarean Birth*

Mother’s Name: Joella [Last Name]
Father’s Name: Tyler (Ty) [Last Name]
Baby’s Name: Delilah [Last Name]
Our Family’s Primary Doctor: Dr. [First/Last Name]

Please Note:
Our original birth plan was for a natural, gentle waterbirth. In the event a Caesarean birth becomes necessary, please be sensitive to this fact and patient in answering all our questions and helping us to make the process of caesarean birth as gentle on mom and baby as possible.

We realize that cesareans and other surgeries are a common event at hospitals.   However, we ask that the staff respect that this individual surgery is a unique event in the life of our family. For us, it is neither common nor routine, but rather is an event that will have effects lasting a lifetime. It is our goal that should a cesarean become necessary for this birth, that the entire process be treated as the joyful, celebratory, respectful event that birth is meant to be.

The health and safety of mom and baby are of utmost importance to us. All wishes in this birth plan are assuming no immediate danger to mother or baby. We will be flexible as necessary in the event of clear and imminent danger or emergency.

Language:
We would prefer to avoid the use of the terms “caesarean section”, “c-section”, or “section”. Instead, please use terms such as “caesarean birth” or “caesarean delivery”.

Wishes for Caesarean birth:
Joella would prefer epidural anesthesia.  I do not consent to sedatives, tranquilizers, or amnesiac drugs at any time.

Joella would prefer that the catheter not be placed until the epidural has begun to take effect.

Joella does not want her arms restrained during the surgery. If this cannot be granted Joella would like the restraints removed as soon as the baby has been delivered so she may touch (and if possible, hold) her.

We would like every step of the process explained to us before/while it happens.

We would like to be introduced to everyone in the OR and to be explained what their role in the procedure is.

We do not wish for medical students or interns to be present or involved in the birth.

Joella would prefer the drape be lowered in order for her to view the baby’s delivery.

Please use a double layer suture to close my uterus. Please use sutures rather than staples to close my skin layer. Please take all steps possible to ensure the possibility of future vaginal births.

Tyler should not be separated from Joella at any time. The only exception is that he should accompany the baby at all times if she must be removed from Joella’s presence.

We do not consent to a Hepatitis B Vaccination or eye ointment.

We would like any non-urgent routine procedures (weighing, footprints, etc.) delayed until skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding have been initiated.

We would prefer Vitamin K be administered orally rather than by injection.

Bathing should be delayed until skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding have been initiated. Tyler (and if possible, Joella) should participate in the baby’s first bath.

I would prefer the baby to be on my chest or in my arms throughout suturing, recovery, etc. If this is not possible, we would like the baby to have skin-to-skin contact with Tyler until it is possible with Joella.

We intend to keep the placenta.


We plan to breastfeed and do not want artificial nipples used at any time without our prior knowledge and consent. If NICU becomes necessary, I would like to attempt to put the baby to the breast as often and as soon as possible, and to initiate pumping as soon as possible. In the event supplementation is required, the use of formula should be a last resort only and should be administered using a non-nipple feeding method. First preference is to do all supplementation by SNS.

Tune in next Wednesday for a guest post on planning for home birth! If you are interested in writing a guest post for this series, please contact me at delilahfineandfair (at) gmail (dot) com. Possible topics include birth planning for birth center, VBAC, or HBAC births.


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3 comments:

  1. There are so many points on here I never would have thought of! I'm not pregnant at the moment, but just having read this makes me feel more informed and ready for "next time!" Thanks for sharing!

    Carla

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  2. It's wonderful you prepared this. I was so set on a "natural birth" that I was unprepared for my daughter's cesarean birth, and frankly felt traumatized by the entire procedure. I was thankful that, after more than 48 hours of labor with my midwives, they stuck by me in the OR, but I was distressed at how the surgeons (there were two, one of whom had trained the other) treated my daughter's birth as a routine, and slightly inconvenient, event. In fact, I distinctly remember them "catching up" and trading restaurant recommendations as my daughter was born.

    My advice to moms-to-be now? Prepare yourself for the possibility that, try as you may, some aspects of your child's birth might be out of control. After reading your post, however, now I would add that even when unforeseen events prevent them from having the method of birth that they had chosen, they can still have the kind of birth they want by communicating their wishes with the people who will be assisting with the birth.

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  3. Great post. I went into my son's birth totally unprepared and wound up with a cesarean. I just had an HBAC with my daughter 2 months ago.

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