The birth plan is a document that shows how you would like health professionals to treat you, your partner and your baby on the day of your labour. Your individual circumstances and the hospital protocol should always be taken into account.
Your birth plan has to show the type of care you wish and the atmosphere that you think will make you feel comfortable. This document will be red by your midwife or gynecologist informing them about your expectations so they can help you to meet them.
Every hospital has its own template for the birth plan published on its website. In case your hospital doesn’t have it, we recommend to use the one for Comunidad de Madrid (you can download it from the bottom of this blog post).
The subjects that all birth plans usually follow are: Birth partners, environment in the birthing room, labour intervention, eating and movement, analgesia, immediate postpartum, feeding and medical tests for your baby. For example, allowing your partner to be with you during the birth, promoting a calming environment keeping it nice and quiet, low lighting, avoiding an episiotomy, the use of epidural or birthing pools, commencing skin to skin from birth, administering vitamin K for your baby, etc.
Many obstetricians and midwifes often discuss that the birth plan should be called “birth wish”, as some times labour diverts from what hospital protocols consider normal progression and we have to change or adapt the plan. That is why it is important to understand that it cannot be seen as a strict plan as things could change at any point.
I think is important to spend time doing your individual birth plan once you have attended your antenatal course. This is the only way to understand different decisions and actions that you could make in order to boost the wellbeing of both, you and your baby.
What you write on your birth plan will never have as much power as your decision at the time of your labour. So, don’t worry, you will only need to request it. We don’t expect you to know how are you going to cope with this situation as we know every labour and every woman is different.
Yes, a birth plan also contains information about the postnatal first few hours. You should decide if you want to do skin to skin, if you want him to be bathed, start breastfeeding during the golden hour, etc.
Pregnant women in London come to the Antenatal Course knowing that the information received during the classes will be useful to complete their birth plan. One of the lasts antenatal appointments with the midwife is entirely focused on discussing this subject. The best way is bringing a project sketch to this appointment and discuss it with her so then you could complete it taking into account all the specific information about the hospital’s protocol.
In Spain, the majority of pregnant women have heard about it but don’t know what it consists on or its aim. All the midwives and gynecologists are obliged to work in line with each woman’s birth plan if possible. The majority of the Spanish hospitals already have a specific system to submit your birth plan weeks before the labour.
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