When I was pregnant with my first baby I made a birth plan. It was three pages long and covered many aspects of birth and events after birth that I didn’t even know about prior to forming the plan. It was lengthy and the whole thing made me rather nervous…realizing how many decisions I needed to make and trying to keep them all straight in my mind.
With my second baby I still made a birth plan, but I was able to reduce down from three pages to just a few key bullet points. In fact, this time the birth plan didn’t even make it into the hospital, but instead I just kept mental notes of the things that were important to me and made sure my caregivers knew about them. It was a lot less stressful.
My son was induced, nine days late. I checked into the hospital before any contractions had come and my baby boy was born just 15 hours later. My daughter arrived 5 days late, all on her own. She was born 9 minutes after we pulled up at the front entrance of the hospital and around 30 seconds after her daddy walked into the delivery room from parking the car and over an hour before my doctor even arrived at the hospital. Countless things about their births were different but the important things remained the same. New life entered the world and each experience was beautiful in its own way. I have no regrets about either birth.
It is so important for moms to think carefully about all the various choices that you have to make before baby is born. Every birth is so unique and different. They rarely go 100% according to plan, but it makes the whole process easier when you go into it knowing your options and what you’d prefer for various things.
Whether you do the full printed birth plan like I did for my first, or go into it with main ideas of how you want things to go, these are things you’ll want to consider.
Medication – Do you want medication for pain of childbirth or not? This is an important decision to try to make prior to birth because in the moment you will definitely want it! Deciding beforehand either way will take a lot of stress out of that time for you.
People in the room – Sometimes friends and family members like to invite themselves to the birth room. Crazy, but it’s true! I’ve heard some really wild stories about this, so it’s certainly something to discuss with your doctor and significant other so that they can enforce the rules of your hospital room for you, so you don’t have to worry about it while in labor.
Nursery time – Do you want your child to sleep in the nursery after he/she is born? Do you want your significant other to go with the baby to the nursery while the nurses check the baby or ask for initial checks to be done in room with you? Lots of options you can ask about!
Cord blood banking – This is one I wish I would’ve looked into more when my kids were born! This is the only time of life you have the choice to cord blood bank so it’s important to look into while you are still pregnant. What happens is, the remaining blood leftover in your newborns umbilical cord is saved. This blood has young stem cells that have amazing powers to heal. As of today it can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases, including certain cancers, genetic diseases and blood disorders.
No one likes to think about the possibility of their kids getting sick, but this is a great measure that can be taken for extra peace of mind! ViaCord has been collecting and storing cord blood stem cells for over 20 years with over 350,000 newborns’ cord blood banked with ViaCord. There is so much to learn about stem cells and it seems that more and more uses are constantly being discovered. You can watch a quick video about cord blood banking with ViaCord here to help you decide if this is the right choice for your family. Be sure to discuss your options with your Doctor too!
Your hospital bag – last of all, think about what you want in your hospital bag. I always packed mine a month early so I’d be ready and then ended up not needing it until a week later since my kids were all late. Here are some tips on how to pack your hospital bag.
Regardless of your decisions on each of these things, I want to encourage you… don’t hold too tightly to your birth plan. Regardless of how your birth goes, to plan or not, it is YOUR story. Embrace it and love it, because it is how your precious little one entered the world. There are no perfect moms or perfect births but we all have a beautiful story to share!
Remember that these are personal decisions and it’s up to you to make the right choices for your family. You don’t have to do it the same way that other people in your family have done. Choose the way that works for you, with the help of your medical provider.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.