Archive | November 2012

A Sample Birth Plan

I know that things can be unpredictable during labor and delivery and ultimately want the health of myself and baby to take precedence.  In all non-emergency situations, I would like to discuss proposed procedures including the risks and benefits to them in order to direct the decision making process with informed consent.

Your help with these preferences is greatly appreciated!


I would like the following people to be present during labor and the birth:  My husband (John Doe) and my doula (Jane Smith)

I would like to maintain mobility as much as possible during labor.  To facilitate this, I would like to have a hep lock and intermittent monitoring of the baby.

I would like to have an unmedicated birth and therefore do not want pain medications offered to me unless I specifically ask for them.


I would like the lights dimmed and hushed voices as the baby is born.

I want to avoid an episiotomy and prefer tearing to having one.

I would like to push instinctively without being told when or for how long.  I would like to push without time limits as long as baby and I are doing fine.

I would like to push and birth in whatever position feels right at the time.  I would like my baby placed on my chest/abdomen immediately after birth for 2 hours to facilitate bonding and breastfeeding

I would like for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is clamped and cut.


If one becomes necessary I want my husband to be present with me at all times during the operation.  I want my glasses with me so that I can actually see my baby.  If the baby is to leave the OR I want my husband to go with the baby and for my doula to stay with me.  I want to breastfeed my baby in the recovery room.

After Birth:

I would like to use my own baby wash and give the baby it’s first bath.

Thank you again for taking such good care of us during this eventful time of our lives!

Birth Plans…

A birth plan is just that… a plan, a blueprint, of how you would ideally like your birth to go.  Are you planning on having an epidural as soon as contractions start?  Would you like to have a birth without an epidural?  Are pain meds something that you feel are necessary to having your ideal birth?  Are you anticipating not needing them?  Are you thinking I don’t want them, but would like the option if it becomes necessary?

The answer to the questions isn’t as important as the thought that goes into answering them.  The important thing about a birth plan is that it shows that you have thought about the birth of your baby and what you would or wouldn’t like to see happen.  A birth plan should be a simple 1 page document highlighting what is most important to you.  Longer than a page and people start to glaze over.  

Birth plans are not set in stone.  They are not a list of demands.  They describe how you would like the birth to ideally go.  The health and safety of both you and your baby is the primary concern for your providers.  When writing a birth plan, keep this in mind.  Being polite is usually a good thing.  Remember that you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.  Most people don’t want to read a list of demands or unrealistic expectations.  Starting off your birth plan with a paragraph of a few sentences in length thanking the staff and letting them know that these things are important to you, but not at the risk of your or your baby’s health. This will go a long way at setting the staff at ease.

Put the things that are pertinent to you in your birth plan.  If your hospital has rooming-in with the baby as the standard, don’t write that you want rooming-in on your birth plan as that is a waste of everyone’s (especially your) time.  I know that at our local hospital it is pretty standard to have an IV placed when you first get there.  If you are not wanting one then writing that you don’t want one in your birth plan makes sense.  You might even choose to request a hep lock or a saline lock.  

A good thing about a birth plan is that it is something that you can take with you to your prenatal appointment and discuss it with your provider.  In fact, you should discuss it with your provider.  By discussing your birth plan with your provider, you can find out how your provider feels about the things that matter to you.  In my last pregnancy it was important to me that the umbilical cord not be clamped immediately, but be allowed to stop pulsating before it was cut.  In talking about this with my provider, I found out that she typically waits for it to stop pulsating.  I was able to see that she and I were on the same page about that.  It should also be discussed with your support team, your husband or partner, your mom, your doula, whoever you are planning on having at the birth.  This way they can help support you in achieving as close to your ideal birth as possible.

Creative Ways to Fund a Doula

Hmm, you want to have a doula but you are not sure where the fee will come from in your budget.  Here are some suggestions for helping you to come up with the needed funds:

  • You could list having a doula as one of your needed/wanted items for your baby shower.
  • Some doulas give gift certificates.
  • Some doulas will accept credit cards or paypal.
  • I give a $50 reduction on overall fee if the full fee is paid by 38weeks.
  • Friends or family members can contribute to having a doula.
  • Hold a raffle, an example would be a 50/50 raffle.  You sell tickets (for example for a dollar).  You keep half the raised amount and the winner of the raffle gets the other half.
  • Hold a yard sale.  Can even ask for donations of items to sell.
  • Host a Bunco event.  Everyone who participates donates a set amount.  (the one I attended was like $10)  The group plays a set number of games.  Have prizes for the person with most Buncos, least Buncos, etc.
  • Use a fundraising website, such as this one

Finding a Doula

So you have decided to hire a doula, but where to find one? There are a variety of places that you can use to find one. There are many places to get referrals for doulas. These include your medical provider, doctor’s offices, clinics, friends, phone book, and a google search just to name a few. A nice resource for finding doulas is here. They have a search engine that lets you search based on zip/postal code and estimated due date. The doulas listed with them update their calendars, so you have an idea when you are contacting the doula whether she is available for your due date. They also have tips on selecting a doula that will help you with identifying which doula may be the best match for you.