There’s a lot of talk on my July birth board right now about when to pack hospital bags, what to put in them and what to write on your birth plan. I find it interesting to read other people’s birth plans, some of them are crazy-detailed, like specifying the direction of cut they would prefer if they need an episiotomy. When I had the boy I had one of the those heavily detailed birth plans. I think it was about three pages long and it covered everything from pain relief to what should happen if I suffered a post-partum haemorrhage. I may have over thought it a little. I was trying to micro-manage the experience.
Now that I’m on my 4th pregnancy I think I have finally distilled the art of the birth plan down to the stuff that is actually important to me. It’s about 6 lines long, and I’m going to share it here.
- Do not offer me pethidine or any other opiate-based pain relief.
- Do not rub down or otherwise clean up the baby when he/she is born but pass him/her directly to me
- I want delayed clamping and cutting of the cord
- I want a physiological third stage (so no syntometrine injection)
- I want the baby to receive vitamin K orally, not by injection.
- In the event I need to have a c-section I want the baby passed directly to my husband for skin to skin contact.
This to me is the important stuff – no heavy drugs, no interfering with the process unnecessarily and no invasive procedures for baby, but heaven help anyone who tries to argue with me about it.