I suggest every mother to be to make a birth plan.
Sit down with your partner and talk over these key things:
-Who’s your pediatritician?
Visit local pediatricians and ask them tons of questions, if they get annoyed or roll their eyes, on to the next one. Once you find a decent human being to be your pediatrician, you’ll feel a lot less stressed about the times ahead. If they can’t make it to the hospital when you have your baby, the baby will be seen by the pediatrician on call at the hospital. All records will be forwarded to your office when you go for your first visit (1 or 2 weeks after birth, typically).
-Do you want a midwife or doctor?
Complicated pregnancies call for doctors 99% of the time. If you’re healthy and have a head down baby, a midwife might be an awesome option for you (I wanted a midwife so bad but my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I was hoping to win the lottery when I found out). A lot of hospitals have midwives, some do not. If you have a midwife from day one and start experiencing complications at any point, see a doctor. The midwife will tell you that, but I’m telling you again. Midwives go through 8 years of schooling and are more in tune to natural births.
-Do you want a home birth?
If you want a home birth, everything is normal, and you have a midwife/doctor, you probably have already discussed all of these things.
-What to bring to hospital
Your birth plan (couple of copies, one to give to nurse, one to doctor, one for you)
Installed Car seat (I have a Graco Snugride 35 and I love it)
Blanket (they’ll give you one but if you have a special one, pack it!)
Onesie for baby (I brought my baby home in a Daddy’s Princess one and it was too cute! If it’s cold bring warmer clothes but babies sweat a lot in fleece. It’ll have you questioning if he/she peed all over himself/herself)
clothes for you and husband/boyfriend/partner (Make sure you do not bring prepregnancy clothes, they will not fit! I’ve heard of women doing this and I feel bad for them. Who knows what they wore when they left.)
tooth brushes, shampoo, conditioner, soap (they will give you these if you forget, I forgot. Out of all the things x.x My skin and hair felt awful till my first shower at home)
book, music, things that will calm or entertain you while in labor
-What you want to happen
Not everything goes to plan, I am the example of that. I wanted an all natural birth and ended up very drugged with a c section. I cried the whole precedure and even harder when I heard my daughter cry. Hopefully this will not happen to you (unless you want it to). Having a birth plan will make your requests easier to fufill for the nurses, and midwives/doctors.
-Who do you want there?
This is a huge question. HUGE. So many people might want to be there and you may love that or hate that. The important thing is sticking to what you want. If you want it to be just you and your partner, you need to make that very clear. When you check into the hospital tell the nurses you do not want anyone to know what room you are in, this is the safest way to make sure no one unannounced comes by (I thought we told the nurses this when we had our baby and apparently not. 7 people tried walking into my room not even 3 minutes after I got out of recovery. I was not pleasant. They didn’t even get in the room, Mr. Blue Eyes stopped them). If you want someone else to be there make sure you ask them a couple months in advance, they may have to give work notice of what is going on.
-Do you want a tub?
Some hospitals have birthing tubs, where you can give birth or just relax during labor. If you get in a birthing tub you most likely will not be given an epidural. You may have to request a room with a tub since not all rooms will have them.
-What position do you want to give birth in?
Everyone thinks of a woman laying on her back to give birth. I’ve heard from a lot of people this is not the easiest way, but it is popular because most of the time you need to be on your back to get an epidural. You can get on all fours (what I wanted to do), or squat. You must let your doctor/nurse know if you want an alternate birth position, and they will work with you.
-Do you want music?
-Do you want a birthing ball?
-Do you want an epidural?
Epidurals are extremely popular in the USA. They help with the pain of contractions. You will feel pressure instead of pain, until you’re pushing your baby out. You will feel your vagina stretching and the pain that comes with that. Epidurals elongate the labor process, and statistically makes a c section more likely. Many doctors do not want women to labor more than 12 or 24 hours, just know this is very common. Plenty of doctors will suggest a c section, and it is your right to say no.
-Do you want other pain drugs?
These drugs will affect your baby more than an epidural will. You can take these if you want a water birth, want to labor in the tub, or don’t want an epidural.
-If you have a c section who do you want to be with you?
Most people choose their husband/boyfriend/partner but if you’re single or don’t think they can handle it maybe you want your best friend or mother.
-Do you want people to be able to visit after the birth?
This is important. If you tell the nurse yes, all people can come and go from your room. If you don’t want people there the nurses will not give people your room number (tell them when you check in!). If you want to be selective, have everyone call and tell them your partner will bring them to the room when you’re ready.
-What are you going to name your child if it’s a girl/boy?
This is mostly for people that don’t know the gender while they are pregnant. If you pass out does your partner know what you want to name your child? Most of the time you can agree on two names and be fine, but some people want to see the baby before they name him/her. In this case make a plan just in case you are sleeping/extremely drugged.
If you have any other concerns make them clear to your partner. Having a baby is an extreme experience and there is a lot of pressure on you. I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred birth stories by now and are waiting patiently (or not) for your own. Do not get overwhelmed with other people telling you what will happen or what to do. When it comes down to it, these are your decisions, not anyone else’s!
**I am not a doctor, nurse, midwife, or pediatrician so all of my suggestions are strictly based on my personal experience and research.