Birth plans are a topic often discussed in birth classes. There are SO many things that could be put onto a birth plan that sometimes it is difficult to sort out the most important. I encourage couples in my classes to complete two different “values clarification” exercises to help them include those things on their plan that are MOST important to them, rather than trying to cover everything on a one page birth plan. They often ask what I think is important to include. So, recently I started thinking that if I needed to create a birth plan for a birth in hospital that was as normal and natural as possible and could only include five elements, what would be most important to me, my baby, and a normal birth?
These are my top five after first going into the hospital as late in labor as possible (this isn’t included on my birth plan and doesn’t need to be on anyone’s birth plan–“I plan to labor at home as long as possible”–because it isn’t relevant by the time you get there and people are reading your plan. It belongs on your own personal plan, but not in your “official” plan):
- No pitocin.
- Minimal fetal monitoring and preferably with a Doppler only.
- Freedom of movement throughout labor (stay out of bed, use it as an active tool rather than as a place to lie down. Stay upright during any necessary monitoring.)
- Push with the urge in whatever position works best for me (NO coached, directed, or “cheerleader” style pushing).
- Baby immediately to me. NO separation.