Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Foxy Birth Plan

We brought 10 copies of the Birth Plan - and separate copies of the 'in the event of a section Birth' plan . Because we'd originally planned a homebirth I did not have an OB in advance of arriving at the hospital. I did however have a chance to review it with him before we started the induction. He was very kind and explained what he might have a problem with and what he would be fine with. It was helpful for me to share my desires, but also to know what might not be possible. The nurses were also very kind and willing to listen to my wishes and explained what they might have a problem with. 
From the very beginning I was very clear about my right to refuse to do anything I was not comfortable with. I let them put the hospital bracelet on me, but then I took it off. I brought my own clothes (nightgown and robe and slippers) to wear. I brought my own blanket for the bed. We put up a sarong covering over the light and clock. We set up battery operated candles and brought our own music.  We claimed the space as our own. 

There are 4 full pages of nurses notes documenting every time the "patient refused" monitoring or iv port, or some other procedure. We kindly acknowledged that it was her job to ask, but never forgot that it was my right to decline. I think that part of what made my birth experience so positive was that I remained in control of what happened to my body.  

I understand that not all facilities are as accommodating. We were very respectful of the nurses and doctor, but also very clear about our anxiety being in the hospital and our desire for as natural a birth experience as necessary. I've also had feedback from others (in the medical community) that my birth plan asks for WAY too much, but it worked well for us and our situation. 

Without further ado... I share with you:

A Foxy Birth Plan 

It is our goal that that the entire birth process be treated as the joyful, celebratory, respectful event. We ask that the staff respect that for us this individual birth is neither common nor routine, but rather is a very special and long awaited event. After experiencing years of infertility treatment this child was conceived in love with the help of IVF. This birth represents the long awaited dream of starting our family. 
I strongly desire for my husband and doula to be with me AT ALL TIMES. I do not consent to being left alone without my husband and/or doula at ANY time for ANY reason during my hospital stay. 
I love and respect my husband. I trust him and give him full authority to make decisions on my behalf.
Please take the time to slowly explain things to me and my husband, listen to our questions, and obtain our consent prior to taking any action. We are apprehensive about being in the hospital and appreciate your patience to ensure that we understand why procedures are being suggested.
Pain Management:Please do not ask me what my pain level is or offer me pain medication. I am aware that it is available  and will ask for it if I need it. 
Delivery:I do not consent to an episiotomy. Please use perineal massage (with olive oil I have provided) and coaching for slow birth of baby’s head as well as varied positions for pushing to help avoid tearing. 
I strongly wish that the father be the person to announce the baby’s gender after birth.
I strongly wish that the father be the person to cut the umbilical cord after it has stopped pulsing. 
I would like to see and keep my placenta. My doula will take possession of my placenta after it is delivered.
Newborn Care:
I strongly desire for the baby to be placed STILL WET on my bare chest immediately following the birth. Please cover us both with with warm blankets as necessary and perform any essential newborn assessments while the baby is on my chest.  
If for any reason the baby cannot be placed on my chest, I strongly desire for the baby to be placed on the bare chest of its father. 
Bulb suctioning only unless baby shows signs of problems.  Any deep suctioning to be performed with a mobile unit while I hold baby or at my immediate side.
I do not consent to weighing, foot printing, PKU testing, Vitamin K injection, or other routine non-medically necessary tasks for the first five hours after birth. 
I do not consent to hospital staff bathing or cleaning the baby at all.
I plan to breastfeed. I do not consent to the use of any artificial nipples, formula, or sugar water for the baby.
I do not consent to the administration of eye ointment or hepatitis b vaccination.
I do not consent to the baby being removed from my presence at any time. If the baby must go to the NICU or nursery for necessary medical treatment, the father must accompany the baby at all times.
Recovery and Postpartum Care:
I would like to be able to eat real food following the delivery so that I have the strength to nurse & care for my new baby.
I would like access to the baby’s & my medical chart.
Please limit the number of times staff enter our room and please respect our desire to decline certain standard procedures. We will sign any necessary disclaimers.
We would like to be discharged as soon as possible. 
Thank You for helping us welcome the arrival of our baby!
We realize that cesareans and other surgeries are a common event at hospitals. However we ask that the staff respect that for us this invidividual surgery is neither common nor routine, but rather is a very special and long awaited even that will have effects lasting a lifetime.
I request that everyone in the OR be introduced to my partner and I and that we are explained what their role is.
Please place the IV in my left hand/arm.
I do not consent to tying my arms down unless I am unable to control them. I strongly wish to have at least one hand free to be able to touch the baby once the baby is delivered. If needed, release my right arm after the baby is delivered.
I prefer epidural anesthesia.
I do not consent to tranquilizers, sedatives or amnesiac drugs being administered. My husband or I will ask for these drugs if we feel they are necessary.

During the Cesarean:
I would prefer a low transverse incision.
Conversation between staff kept to a minimum (no casual chatter unrelated to the birth) with focus being on making my partner and I feel as at ease as possible and kept informed as to what is taking place.
I strongly wish that the father be the person to announce the baby’s gender after birth.
I strongly wish that the father be the person to cut the umbilical cord.
I strongly wish to see the baby being born either by lowering of the drape or providing a mirror.
I do not consent to a single layer suture to close my uterus.  A double layer closer with dissolvable stitches must be used.
I do not consent to staples to close my skin layer and instead want sutures.
I do not consent to my husband being separated from me even in the case of general anesthesia. It is important that the birth of our child be witnessed by a family member even if I am not in need of support at that time.
I do not consent to any students, interns, or unnecessary staff watching or treating me at any time.
I strongly desire for the baby to remain on my chest or in my arms throughout suturing, recovery, etc.
We intend to keep my placenta.  Please keep it clean and refrigerated.


  1. Wow, I'm surprised that anyone told you the birth plan asked for "way too much." Your outline seems pretty similar to the birth preferences we had when we had our hospital birth, and everything was definitely respected! For me, we had a midwife assisted hospital delivery, & most everything on our birth preferences worksheet was how my midwife preferred to deliver anyway!

  2. We had a birth plan and nothing seemed to really go as planned because I ended up with an emergency C-section under general anesthesia. Please tell me (just because I'm curious) why wait 5 hours (just a very specific time) and why not bathe? I like both ideas and just want to know the reasoning behind it. I really want to avoid a lot of the unnecessary things if I can this time around. ICLW here!

  3. Hi from ICLW! I love your birth plan and how specific you were with every thing you wanted. I'm glad it all worked out for you, which is all that matters anyway!