We are at 34 weeks today and moving full steam ahead. Every day is a plethora of tasks to prepare for our baby girl’s big arrival. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like to stay busy, but I’m also reminding myself to listen to my body. So instead of tackling the tough tasks (thanks, David), I’ve made a shift in my focus. I have my focus on the birth plan.
I quickly discovered how fast and furious these last few weeks can go by. Along the way, so many moms have stressed the importance of having a birth plan. I’ll be completely transparent and honest, at the start of this whole journey I always assumed it was simple – you show up and have a baby. Boy, I couldn’t be more wrong! After our prepared childbirth class, I immediately made mental notes on what my birth plan would begin to look like. Along the way, I came up with a few nifty tips to share with new moms that may be helpful.
Birth Plan Tip 1 – Plan Early
We took our prepared childbirth class back in late February. A lot of concern was expressed that it as too early, but if you really know me you’ll understand why this was perfect. I’m a planner. Always have been and always will be. David is notorious for receiving full printed itineraries of plans if I’m going to be out of town.
It’s never too early to start planning and I encourage you to do so. Make notes of every detail that you want to take place from the moment you first start laboring at home to the point that you are at the hospital getting ready to head home with a baby. Birth plans go well beyond just being at the hospital. Plan according to what you see fit for the following months with your newborn. For me, I’m looking very closely at the 12 weeks that I am planning on taking off from work.
Birth Plan Tip 2 – Enlist Help
As a soon to be new mom, I’ve had to humble myself and just remember that at this point in my life it’s ok to ask for help. Typically before this journey, I wasn’t really the type of person to ask others for help. I’m the person who drops everything to help others. With the end of pregnancy looming, you learn that you quickly can’t attempt to do everything you use to do.
The tasks that you’ll need to complete in those last few weeks becomes long and daunting, rely on your people. From a meal train and/or meal planning, helping to tidy the house, or gathering those last few items you need before your little one’s arrival – just ask for help. Who’s going to tell a pregnant lady no?!? And if they do so no, they don’t need to be your friend!
Birth Plan Tip 3 – Labor, Delivery, and Setting Parameters
This is probably the most important tip to pay attention to, so I’m going to break it down into 3 simple components: labor, delivery, and setting parameters. Let’s look at all of these separately and then revisit why they are all so important together.
Birth Plan for Labor
Who do you want in the room while you’re battling contractions? Who will help you with your decisions for your medical needs? Plan all of these things out in advance! Make sure that you’ve got all of your people prepping the essentials to make your labor process as stress-free as possible. In our birth plan, we are including a comprehensive list of the items we’ve packed that are crucial for our labor and delivery experience. This is to make the process as seamless as possible for everyone involved.
Birth Plan for Delivery
I’ve experienced labor with one of my sisters and it’s not for the weak hearted. My nerves got the best of me being positioned as the designated right leg holder. As soon as they gave her the green light to push, there was no backing out and the money shot was unavoidable. I remember talking the fastest I have ever spoken in my life and questioning every little thing with no answers coming my way.
Make sure you know the following for your delivery:
- How many people can you have in the delivery room?
- Who are you most comfortable with sharing this intimate experience with?
- Who is going to provide you with the best support?
You will need a support team that will assist you each and every step of the way. This “go team” needs to be non-judgemental or second guessing the decision that they are about to see you on a completely new personal level. In addition, you need to be sure that you are comfortable sharing that level of personal comfort with the people supporting you.
Setting Parameters within your Birth Plan
We have expressed that our circle will be extremely tight knit when it comes to delivering our sweet girl. It’s what I’ve been calling the “need to know basis.” I’ve got a specialized running list of people who “need to know” what’s going on when the big event kicks off. My “go team” has clear instructions on who gets text messages, phone calls, and other pertinent details in regards to the arrival of our little one. Avoid the hoopla of having 67 people in the hospital waiting area for you to give birth to your baby! Designate a single person from your “go team” to control the information you want to share with the “need to know” group.
Another important part of setting up parameters is the power of social media. Make sure you communicate ahead of time what you will and will not have shared on social media. We’ve discussed this in a previous post about the privacy I wish for my daughter to have. You hear horror stories all the time of parents being robbed of sharing their new bundle of joy with the world. Be transparent that you will not have someone else spoil your announcement by them sharing it before you have the chance. Set those rules now.
Why are these 3 components critical?
You want a stress free labor and delivery. This is a special moment in your life and you don’t want to have to worry about any of these. It’s so important to plan ahead! These three components are a huge piece of welcoming your new bundle of joy. You want it to be on your own terms with the special individuals who are going to take care of your needs. By having these three components in order, you are well
You’re ready to EXECUTE your Birth Plan!
The countdown to baby is real and now you’re ready. Remember that no birth plan is perfect, so be sure to plan for any other circumstances (i.e. c-section, support team being out of town during labor, etc.). Have plenty of copies of your birth plan to share with your “go team” and hospital staff. Make notes that you would like for your nurses to adhere to, in order to make the experience run smoothly. Our hospital encouraged us sharing our birth plan as soon as we are situated in our L&D room. Most importantly, enjoy the fact that you’ve got a new baby on the way!