A birth plan guide is a wonderful idea for expectant parents. It breaks down the many moving parts of labor and delivery and provides a roadmap for the medical and support team (including friends and family). When the mother is in the throes of delivery, questions about medication, who should cut the cord, if cord blood and tissue will be harvested and more can be answered by quickly referring to the birth plan guide.
We have a birth plan guide template available for free here. Included with our birth planning guide is a hospital bag checklist. This checklist ensures nothing important is left behind on your way to give birth. Labor may come on suddenly or there may be complications. Mothers do not need to be worrying about what to pack when they are having labor pains. Being organized with a checklist (and packed a few days ahead) can ease the stress of the big event.
So, how does breastfeeding fit into all of this?
Planning for Breastfeeding in Your Birth Plan Guide
If the mother chooses to breastfeed, she must plan ahead. Nursing is not as simple as latching the baby; quite often, both mother and baby need some assistance in achieving the latch and being successful with nursing. The choice to nurse should be on the birth plan so the care team can provide support. Other things about breast feeding that can go into the birth plan, the hospital bag checklist, and that should be addressed beforehand include:
- Pack nursing pads for milk leakage
- Learn about colostrum and its benefits
- Learn about the challenges of breastfeeding and be prepared with solutions (cream for sore nipples, a pump to relieve oversupply, etc.)
- If on the fence about breastfeeding, pack formula just in case
- Find and include on the birth plan guide the number of a local lactation consultant
Is Breast Best?
There are many advantages to breast feeding, but it is not for everyone. The choice to breast feed is a personal one and includes many factors such as health, milk supply, personal beliefs and more. Formula, for those that choose it, is safe and effective. However, another alternative many do not know about is donor breast milk.
Note, however that donor breast milk is unregulated. Without first vetting and researching milk banks, the supply could be tainted with bacteria. If interested in including donor breast milk on your birth plan guide, talk to your doctor or the NICU department to connect you with a trusted milk bank. Do not use or purchase donor milk from private sellers.
Include HealthBanks in your Birth Plan Guide
Choose to include HealthBanks in your birth plan guide. For under $20 per month, your child’s cord blood can be safety harvested and stored for later use to help overcome more than 80 serious diseases – including some cancers. You want the best start for your child, which is why you should look into all your feeding options. Keep providing the best with insurance against disease later in life. See our birth plan guide and learn more about cord blood and tissue banking by exploring our website.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD