My second baby’s “guess date” is drawing near and anticipation of our healthy VBAC delivery is growing! I am a true believer that birth isn’t just one day in someone’s life. It is so much more. I feel my first birth experience was laden with bullying, misinformation, and little respect for me, my body, my choices, my requests, or my baby. Because of this, I have given countless hours and many sleepless nights to planning my next birth.
All of the research I have conducted, all of the women I have met and all of the birth stories they have shared coupled with my first experience have pushed me to demand better. I will be submitting the following to my OB, midwife and any other practitioner who provides any type of service to me during my VBAC delivery:
Chelse’s VBAC Birth Preferences
Dear Healthcare Provider,
Thank you for assisting us in the wonderful, miraculous birth every mom and new baby deserve. I believe with my entire being that we will enjoy a successful, healthy VBAC and have chosen you due to your support in this. I recognize that this is your job and hope that you will remember that this is MY delivery. You will get to go home and never consider this event again if you decide. I will live with the choices, experience, and outcome of this time for the rest of my life. Because of this, I appreciate your consideration of my Birth Preferences:
1. I am human. It may take me, my body or my baby longer than you would like to do the things you would like. Please, be patient and treat me as a human being.
2. I am using the Hypnobabies program and my birthing day preferences include:
|Hypnosis for Comfortable Birthing||Eating & Drinking During Labor|
|Low Lights & Quiet Voices||Intermittent Fetal Monitoring|
|Positive, Empowering Language||Few Vaginal Exams|
|Mother Directed Pushing||No Offers for Pain Medication|
|No IV||A Sense of Privacy with Support|
3. Unless there is an emergency threatening our lives, do NOTHING to me or my baby without the consent of me, my husband, and my birth assistant. Expect to be asked about the benefits, risks, alternatives, doing nothing, and time to discuss, plus decide, any intervention suggested.
4. Please use moist compresses and perineal massage to help reduce the risk of tearing or episiotomy during 2nd stage labor. I do not want an episiotomy, but am willing to discuss it if a medical necessity arises.
5. Please provide any assistance at the time I ask for or need it. Please do not let the time on the clock or personal bias hinder the honoring of my requests. For, I cannot know ahead of my birth what I will or won’t need.
6. Please do not clamp or cut the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing and wait for the placenta to detach naturally after delivery.
7. Place the baby on my chest immediately following birth. My baby will benefit from my body heat and my loving embrace.
8. I will nurse my baby within moments of delivery. We will enjoy the initial moments of new life here on earth together as mother and child.
9. Baths, measurements, medicine, and all other interventions will wait for that immediate, precious and irreplaceable bonding time. I will decide when my baby can be taken from me and what will be done. When this time comes, my husband will remain with the baby every second.
10. I will not sign, read, or consider any type of paperwork during labor without my husband and birth assistant present.
This is my attempt at having a respectful, evidence based, and “baby friendly” birth. I also love the idea of a more visual, less wordy representation of birth preferences. I’ve considered using something that looks like this:
My first birth experience taught me some precious and valuable lessons which will not go in vain. I am stronger, now, and more knowledgeable than ever before. I know what is right for me and my next baby. What would you add or omit to strengthen this birth plan? I’d love any suggestions you may have!
*Featured Image by BOKA
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