Family Health: ‘Birth plan’ guides delivery

A “birth plan “is just that: A basic plan for something you have little control over when the time comes for labor and delivery of a baby. But it gives a woman the options to be in charge of certain things that she may or may not want to have happen when the time comes.

With a birth plan, you can always put into place opportunities to change your mind or take the plan in a new direction. For example, you might not be planning on pain medication during your labor, but if during labor you felt you needed it, you could change your mind and provide the nurses and doctors with information on how you would like to make that decision. The birth plan gives nurses and doctors a clearer picture of your desires – what you want for pain, who should be in the room, who can hold the baby, who should cut the cord, how you want the room lit and maybe even what music you want playing in the background.

At Community Medical Center we offer a Jacuzzi for soaking during labor and a monitor that can help the nurses see the baby’s heart rate in or out of the water. We also have the option to monitor the baby’s heart rate while the patient walks the hallways. This allows a woman to be up and moving in and out of her room while in labor. All of these options are things that you might want to include in a birth plan.

It is important to discuss your birth plan with your doctor. There may be something in your plan that your doctor doesn’t agree with and should be discussed. Often, if you discuss these issues early on your doctor can help you come up with other ideas. It helps if everyone is on the same page at the time of labor and delivery.

There are even options for those women who will have a Caesarean section. She can provide the nurses and doctors with a plan. She may want to include who will attend the surgery with her, how she wants to see or hold the baby right after delivery, music in the operating room and how she wants to be told about the sex of the baby. All of these could be included in a birth plan. At Community Medical Center, the nurses will even put the baby on the mother’s chest in the operating room if she so desires.

Birth plans are a great opportunity to plan for your important event!

Cindy Wolverton is a registered nurse and the manager of the Women’s and Newborn Center at Community Medical Center.