Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Birth Preferences"

This is very boring (hey, wow, another boring post! who'd have guessed???) but I thought maybe y'all would have feedback... or if not, maybe it would be helpful to someone else who is thinking about a "Birth Plan."

And for what it's worth, I called it "Birth Preferences" because I have a feeling that calling it a "Birth Plan" makes the nurses get all snarky and say, "yeah, well, we'll see about THAT."

So I hoped that calling it "Birth Preferences" would be a little less irritating to them. Though I am sure it will still inspire eye-rolling a'plenty.

(Names of labor coaches were included on the actual document but omitted on this blog post... but then I added back the names of the midwife and doula on the argument that they are awesome and so, hey, why not give them a little free advertising? I also sent this to my sister and friend with stern warnings NOT to tell my mother that she has been listed as an alternate labor coach. I listed my mother in case my sister has to leave for Florida before Lentil decides to make her appearance... but I see no point in getting Mom's hopes up at this point!)

Birth Preferences

The following are a list of my preferences regarding labor, delivery, and postpartum/newborn care… recognizing that the care I am given will be adapted to the unique circumstances of my birth.

Thank you for doing your best to honor my preferences!

  • Please don’t offer pain medication. I will request it if I need it.
  • Please allow me to labor out of bed… therefore, please allow intermittent fetal monitoring (instead of being tied to a monitor) whenever possible. 
  • I prefer to avoid the use of Pitocin unless absolutely necessary (both during labor and immediately after birth)
  • Please allow me to take fluids by mouth, and to avoid IV fluids. I am an “easy stick” and prefer to avoid having a hep-lock as long as possible.  
  • I would also like to eat, if desired, during labor 
  • Please do not allow any uninvited people into the room without checking with me first. The following people will be present (but won’t all be there at the same time):
o   Catherine Clark – midwife
o   Chloe Campbell – doula
o   name omitted to protect the innocent  – sister, labor coach
o   name omitted – friend, labor coach
o   name omitted – mother (baby’s grandmother), alternate labor coach
  • I prefer my pushing to be self-directed with gentle encouragement from others, and to avoid breath holding/Valsalva  
  • I prefer to push in whatever position is comfortable, but to avoid lying on my back
  •  I strongly prefer to avoid an episiotomy, except in case of medical emergency
  • I would like immediate skin-to-skin contact with the baby, without having her cleaned off first.
  • Please avoid deep suctioning unless she is having breathing difficulties
  • Please delay the erythromycin eye ointment at least one hour.
  • Please wait to cut the cord until it has stopped pulsating (I am not banking cord blood)
  • If a C-section is necessary, please lower the screen as much as possible so I can see her birth. Please allow my friend or family member to hold the baby until I am able to… and let me hold her and breastfeed in the delivery room
  • If there are medical issues requiring the baby to go to the nursery or NICU for more intensive medical care, please allow my doula or labor coach to go with her.


  • I do not want the baby to go to the nursery at any time. She will room-in with me.
  • Please perform any required examinations or procedures in my presence. If there are medical procedures that must be done in the nursery, myself, my doula, or one of my labor coaches will be with her at all times.
  • Please do not bathe the baby. I would like to bathe her myself, preferably after birth. Otherwise I will wait until we get home. 
  • No bottles please. Pacifiers are okay.
  • No Hepatitis B vaccine.
  • I prefer to wait and see how I am feeling before deciding when I would like to be discharged 

(I don't know why the font/formatting looks a little wonky. I think it's a Blogger issue... shouldn't affect the actual document.) 


  1. I love your birth plan. Best of luck!

  2. That's great. I hope that the nurses respect your well thought-out choices and that things go according to plan, I mean, preference. :)

  3. Sounds like a great set of preferences. Hopefully, I'll get pregnant and can use this as the basis of my birth "plan"

  4. You might be surprised - my nurse actually asked for my birth plan and they followed it with NO prompting from me. Yours is great - straightforward and easy to read. Perfect!