My birth preferences

I’m open to going with the flow of labour, but I have things I’d prefer to avoid if at all possible. I get that birth is unpredictable, but I felt that it was important to educate myself on my options ahead of time. I took some time tonight to write out my birth preferences.

I prefer the term “preferences” over “plan” as we all know you can’t plan how exactly your labour and delivery will go. For example: If my Step B test were to come back positive, I’d have to be open to IV during labour. Or if the baby was in distress, we would consent immediately to a c-section to bring him safely into this world.

Here’s what I’ve got for our write up to bring to the hospital:

Birth Preferences for Lindsey

Support people: Michael (husband), Jesska (doula)

Thank you for taking the time to read our wishes for the birth of our son. This is a very special moment for us. Our son was conceived via IVF after going through infertility and a pregnancy loss. We are very grateful that he is about to join us and can’t wait to welcome him into our world.  

My ideal birth would be one where I am cared for physically and emotionally with as little interventions as possible. We understand that birth can be unpredictable; therefore, we will be flexible in our choices.

Environment/Pain Relief/Monitoring

  • Dim lighting
  • Utilize Hypnobirthing techniques for pain management
  • No guests except required medical personnel, Michael and Jesska
  • Intermittent fetal monitoring
  • Little to no medications used

Labour

  • Freedom to move around and try multiple labour positions
  • To be consulted before the introduction of any medical procedure
  • Avoid the use of vacuum, forceps or episiotomy
  • Delayed cord clamping
  • Natural delivery of placenta. Please keep it for us as we will be encapsulating it.

Newborn Procedures

  • Delay routine procedures to facilitate bonding
  • Delay cleaning of baby to allow vernix to be absorbed
  • No ointment in baby’s eyes
  • Breastfeeding only

In the event of a Caesarean birth:

We would like immediate skin-to-skin contact. If Lindsey is unavailable, Michael can provide skin-to-skin.  Breastfeeding in recovery.

In the event the baby is sent to the NICU:

Michael will remain with the baby and do skin-to-skin if possible. Please no introduction of bottles or formulas without consulting us.

We thank you in advance for the excellent care you will give us. Your kindness and desire to make this day special for us will not go unnoticed.

With appreciation,

Lindsey & Michael

I wanted to try to keep it as concise as possible – limited to 1 page. What are your thoughts? Is there anything I’m potentially missing? I plan on reviewing it tomorrow with my doula to see what she says as well. 

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33 thoughts on “My birth preferences

  1. This is a great list! One thing you might want to request is not having pain medications offered without you requesting them specifically. I’ve had friends tell me that they haven’t been able to resist when offered but wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise.

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  2. Looks pretty similar to mine. I also added that I wanted to be free to labour and/or deliver in whatever position I felt most comfortable. Some hospitals regardless of the pain meds you’ve taken will try and get you on your back. If that’s something that may not sound comfortable to you (or maybe you’ll surprise yourself and want to labour on the bed on your side/back…who knows)…and maybe you’ve already talked it over with ur doula and husband.
    I also asked that my husband surrender his cell phone once things got rolling. I asked my doula to ‘hold onto it’ haha. She said more gals are asking for this to help keep the partners in the moment and attentive vs rubbing ur back with one hand and texting with the other. I think I would have lost it if the Viking had have done that.

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    • Oh great idea. I actually snapped at him one day this week that he better not be checking sports scores and texting buddies at the hospital. I find its a common distraction for him. I think I’ll propose the doula keeps it on lock down until after our son has arrived and we’ve spent some time with him. One ironic thing about my feeling the baby could arrive early is that there is an OB on call the weekend after my guesstimate who is really adamant on laying on your back for delivery. Our hospital uses an OB rotation so you never know who you might get. My hope is the baby comes when that OB is not on schedule.

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  3. I am planning to put the finishing touches on mine this week. Looks good! What about being checked for dilation? I’m requesting that be limited to when I request it. Or, if they HAVE to do it to just tell hubby so I don’t get hung up on my progress/lack of. Also not to offer pain meds, but wait for your request. And did you put in there to deliver in whatever way is most comfortable for you?

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  4. I love it. I will be honest. I had a very brief on (only a few sentences in bullet form) and was so embarrassed I didn’t just trust the medical staff whose only job is to make sure you and baby are safe that I threw it out as soon as we got there.

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    • My friend works at the hospital and says they always make fun of all the mothers who come in with ”plans”. I’d like to have it with me even if we are the only ones who hold onto it. I know you don’t know how things will go but at least it’s a refresher for me if I need it.

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      • Absolutely. And I think that the process of making those decisions now while you’re not in the middle of labor and have a sound mind will help when you get to that point. I remember after 24 hours of labor and an hour and a half of pushing telling them I didn’t care how he came into the world that I was done. An episiotomy and vacuum assist later and my little guy is here and healthy.

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        • It feels like everyone I know who had given birth this year has done episotomy and vacuum (my sister, my best friend, a few IVF friends)! I know in the end I may change my mind if it means getting him here safely. That’s our ultimate goal.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. It looks awesome! I loved my L&D and the staff was super respectful of our wishes. Just remember- your body, your baby- you call the shots. If you wanna eat, eat, if you wanna drink drink…. Can’t wait to hear your story!!

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  6. I’m thinking about the eye ointment and whether I want to turn it down. The way I see it, I’m having a c-section so I’m not sure how the baby would be exposed to STDs (which btw I don’t have) in my vaginal canal. Secondly, because we are doing cord banking, I have to do a whole STD panel anyhow on that day so they would know for sure I’m negative. On the other hand, I don’t see that it really does any harm so I don’t know…

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    • Yeah I want to ask my doula and my OB more about it. I’ve read some recent Canadian news saying that it really doesn’t do much. I definitely don’t have any STDs either and the chance of an eye infection from other causes is very low.

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  7. Pingback: Setting boundaries for birth | Awaiting Autumn

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