Are you or someone you know pregnant? Have you considered writing your birth plan and understanding just how powerful it can be when we get really clear on our intentions and desires. If you’re interested in hearing how I write my birth plans keep reading.
Why write a birth plan?
I believe in life everything comes down to our intent to reach a desired outcome. Setting strong intentions for how you envisage the birth of your baby is so powerful and can help guide and manifest how your labour goes.
The power of a birth plan isn’t the actual plan, it’s all in the process of becoming educated about your options and also your deep personal desires for the birth.
A birth plan isn’t about unrealistic expectations, nor being ridged or inflexible but being completely open, surrendering and having clear communications with yourself and the birthing team allowing everyone to have a thorough understanding of the mothers birth desires.
You may have read my IG post “The birth Sharman” where I explain while pregnant and more so in birth our chakras are completely open and we are very open to the thoughts, fears and emotions of others!! So this is why it’s important for our original true desires and choices to be outlined prior and not in the moment of birth.
What is a birth plan?
Clear intentions set by you, communicating your desires and goals for before, during and after labour and delivery.
This is an opportunity to get super clear with yourself and those that will be present on all areas of birth so they fully understand all of your wishes, regardless of the outcome. It’s important to consider all aspects of the birthing experience and how you would like to intentionally manifest and visualise in the weeks leading up to the birth the outcome.
Now of course with birth you need to be flexible and not all birth plans are going to manifest as there is many elements at play, however, going into birth with strong clear intentions will empower you in having the birth you desire and on the day allow you to surrender and have comfort you showed up in the best way you possibly could and what unfolded was meant to be.
Research birth and labour!
The more research you do before developing your birth plan, the more prepared you will be and know what feels right and true for you.
You could attend antenatal classes. (SheBirths, Hypnobirths, Calm Birthing etc)
Ask your carers that will be present at the birth questions
Talk to other mothers who have similar births to what you desire
Read about birthing online
Listen to podcasts
Develop an understanding on options you may have to consider if things weren’t progressing
How to write a birth plan?
1st Stage (Labour):
* Support Team and their Roles
* Place of birth (home, hospital, birthing centre etc)
* Birth preparation completed (antenatal classes, books, podcasts etc)
* People to be present (midwives, partners, children, family)
* Room set up preferences (lights dim, candles, diffuser, crystals, salt lamps, music etc)
* Pain Relief Options – natural or medical. Which one/s?
* Foetal Monitoring preferences – nil, intermittent Doppler (how often?), continuous CTG or baby scalp monitor?
* Vaginal exams – no or yes, and if yes, how often?
* What you desire to be doing during 1st stage (meditating, massage, shower, fit ball, moving around etc)
* How this first stage feels to you
* What will you wear? Clothed or unclothed
* If you are comfortable being alone or want someone with you at all times
* Affirmations and mantras to anchor into
* If you want to be spoken to or not
* If you want suggestions on positions
* If you want phones / wifi off / photos taken
* If you have other children attending guidelines for them
* What you would like to eat / drink
‘Transition’ (Most intense but also shortest phase of Labour)* Do you want emotional encouragement and reminders of your birth wishes?* Cold compresses or massage? * What cues do you need from your support team during this phase? * What are your boundaries in relation to pain management ie: no epidural during transition
2nd Stage (Birth of Baby):
* What you desire to be doing (shower, massage, positioning)
* Pushing –instinctive or guided? How long will you be pushing?
* Do you need an epi? Do you tear?
* Who catches the baby? Mum, Dad or Midwife/Ob?
* Immediate skin to skin contact with mother?
* Vernix to be left on baby?
* Who announces sex of baby?
* Cord clamping and cutting: Who cuts the cord? How long to wait: Before or after birth of placenta?
* Baby to breast to assist with delivery of placenta?
* Exact time of birth recorded
3rd Stage (Birth of Placenta):
* Where you desire to be (on floor, on bed etc)
* Physiological (ie. natural) or Active Management (syntocinon injection, palpation and cord traction)?
* Placenta to be taken and incinerated as waste? Taken home to bury? Encapsulated?
* Where do you desire to be (on floor, on bed etc)
* Baby weight and measurements after initial bonding period
* Vitamin K –nil, oral, or injection?
* Breastfeeding or bottle feeding?
* Hep B Vaccine: No, Yes, or delay until future GP visit?
* Time carers are to leave? (2-4hrs?)
* Food offered?
Complications and the Unexpected:
* Transfer from homebirth to hospital, or from birth centre to labour ward
* Induction and Augmentation
* Emergency Caesarean – *What kind of birthing environment you want to create, do you want music, your partner to be standing next to you or at the bottom of the bed? *skin to skin contact *Seeding? (I’ve only experienced vaginal births, so there is probably more here to consider, do some research, so you cover all basis & are clear.)
Writing your desired birth
How you want to feel the day before and the day of the birth
What you want to have done the day before
Location you envisage yourself birthing
What time your labour begins
How your labour begins Do your waters break
How your initial labour feels
What is the day like, what are the elements like – wind, sun, etc
How long your labour is
How often your contractions feel and how often
What you are doing through each stage of labour
How is your breathing
How long pushing, tearing, pushing?
How the pushing feels?
Overall how the birth feels?
What position is the baby in?
How is the baby feeling?
How do you feel after the birth?
The day before the birth write a complete plan of the day.
The day of the birth write a complete plan of the day.
If you are giving birth in a hospital or birthing centre, take a few copies of your birth with you.
I hope you found this useful!! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out.
Now I would love to hear from you. Did you write a birth plan? Is there anything else you can add to be considered? Let’s all inspire each other with our desired birth plans.