How to write a Birth Plan
First pregnancy ? It is all new and wonderful and slightly scary. There is so much preparation and shopping to be done! How to get organised and prepared? A good place to start is writing your birthing plan, once you get started you may find the rest is easy. Knowing what is important and not so important is essential, we will try and help in this blog.
Why do I need to write a Birth Plan?
A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth.You don’t have to create a birth plan, but if you would like one your midwife will be able to help. Discussing a birth plan with your midwife will give you the chance to ask questions and find out more about what happens in labour. It also gives your midwife the chance to get to know you better and understand your feelings and priorities.
Do your homework!
Before you start to fill in your birth plan , get informed about the topics you’ll need to consider, such as pain relief, where you would like to give birth, who you would like to have with you, and how you feel about intervention such as forceps or ventouse (vacuum) delivery
Home, Hospital or Birthing Centre?
Talking to your midwife is essential ,patients have a lot more choice today compared to when our mothers had their babies, she will be
able to tell you which local hospitals or birthing centre you can choose from. A good idea is to go and visit your local antenatal ward or
birthing centre to see if this is where you would like to bring your baby in to the world.
How do I know I am in labour?
Know the signs .
You’re likely to recognise the signs of labour when the time comes, but if you’re in any doubt, don’t hesitate to contact your midwife.
The main signs of labour starting are strong, regular contractions and a “show”. A show is when the plug of mucus from your cervix comes away.
Other signs that labour is beginning include your waters breaking (rupture of the membranes), backache and an urge to go to the toilet, which is caused by your baby’s head pressing on your bowel.
What does a contraction do? What does it feel like?
When you are having regular, painful contractions that feel stronger and last more than 30 seconds, labour may have started. As labour gets going, your contractions tend to become longer, stronger and more frequent.
During a contraction, the muscles in your womb contract and the pain increases. If you put your hand on your abdomen, you will feel it getting harder. When the muscles relax, the pain fades and your hand will feel the hardness ease. The contractions are pushing your baby down and opening your cervix (entrance to the womb), ready for your baby to go through.
Your midwife will probably advise you to stay at home until your contractions become frequent. When your contractions last 30-60 seconds and occur every five minutes, call your midwife for guidance. If you’re planning to have your baby in a maternity ward, phone the hospital.
Your waters usually break during labour if your waters break before labour starts, phone your midwife or the hospital for advice. Without amniotic fluid your baby is no longer protected and there is a risk of infection.
What about a Forceps or Vacuum delivery?
These procedures are usually used when the baby’s head it tilted or in an awkward position to deliver. Both ventouse and forceps are safe, and are only used when necessary for you and your baby.
Caesarean section, would I need one?
Sometimes the safest option for you or your baby is to have a caesarean section. As a caesarean section involves major surgery, it’s only performed when there’s a need for this type of delivery. This may be necessary if the baby is in a breech position after 36 weeks and a manual turning of the baby is not successful.
Ultrasound Direct offers a presentation scan after 35 weeks, to determine position of your baby ( presentation) estimated weight, growth measurements, placenta and amniotic fluid check all in a printed medical report. See link below for more information:
Pain relief during labour
Labour can be painful, so it’s important to learn about all the ways that you can relieve the pain. It’s also helpful for whoever is going to be with you during your labour to know about the different options, as well as how they can support you. Ask your midwife or doctor to explain what’s available, so that you can decide what’s best for you.
This is just a synopsis of all the information out there. To see and print a blank Birth Plan and more information on your
choices visit the link below:
If we can assist in any way we are available by phone on 02380 233225 online 24/7 at ultrasound-direct.com
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