Being pregnant comes with a lot of ups and downs. There are those adorable moments when you feel little kicks & baby hiccups…. and then there is morning sickness. There is the growing heaviness, but also the amazing feeling of life growing inside you. Nine months later there is a baby to hold and love – but in between pregnancy and holding the baby is the actual birth; and as many women can attest, there is no way to tell if that birth will go as planned. Our free birth plan guide can help you get ready for the process now and adapt on the fly as the situation unfolds.What is a birth plan guide?
A birth plan is a guide you create for the hospital staff, your partner and yourself. It outlines what kind of childbirth you would like to have and how the baby should be cared for after it arrives. Common elements of the birth plan include but are not limited to:
- Who is in the room to support you?
- Whether or not you would prefer pain management medication
- Allergies, fears, paranoias, or overwhelming concerns
- If you will be breastfeeding right after the birth
- Who can visit right after the birth and if they can hold the baby?
- Requests for handwashing/sanitizing before holding the baby
What the birth plan is not
You are an expecting mother about to give birth and you have a right to express your needs and desires – however you do not have a right to boss around your support team or the hospital staff. The birth plan should not dictate who is on staff because you happen to like a particular nurse. You should not demand special things to be brought into the room that may not be allowed due to allergy or fire risks (candles, flowers, etc.). Also be prepared for the care team to try to save your life or the life of your child if things go awry. You may not want a caesarean section, but it may be necessary. You may also be adamant about processing your labor while sitting on a yoga ball reciting a mantra, but in the end find yourself very desirous of pain medication and a soft bed to curl up in. Be flexible, reasonable, and respectful with your birth plan guide.
An important thing to include in your birth plan guide
The collection of cord blood and tissue can be a part of your birth plan guide. When arranged ahead of time, the parents-to-be receive a kit that contains everything needed for the collection and a number to call to arrange for fast and efficient delivery to HealthBanks. At our facility we use automation to process and preserve the highest number of viable cells, so you can use them for your child later in life to combat 80+ diseases, including some forms of cancer. When using the lifesaving resource of cord blood banking, be sure to include this in your birth plan guide. Learn more about HealthBanks by clicking here.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD