I'm interested in how written birth preferences are received in maternity hospitals. For some reason I get the impression that it's a bit of an eye roller for consultants and midwives! Am I wrong in that? How were your preferences received and what were they? Were they adhered to where possible?
Anne Cordelia Shirley
I didn't have written preferences either time. I think obstetrics is unpredictable and it can be difficult to write down that you want X or Y without knowing what's going to happen. I never planned to have two c sections before I got pregnant but that's what happened.
I think its far more important to get your birth partner on board with your preferences and to fight your corner if needs be. My husband had to be very strong on things like breast-feeding. He knew I wanted to and had to refuse offers of water and formula for the babies both times when I was in recovery. He also had my back big time on my second pregnancy when I was waiting for my consultant to come back to follow my agreed plan of action. Another consultant was putting me under serious pressure to follow a different course of action but my husband knew it wasn't what I wanted and stepped in when necessary. You can be very emotional and a bit fragile during pregnancy and labour/birth.
Most hospital policies are there for a reason, such as the overdue or induction policy, but you don't have to agree to everything. If you know you want something or have a strong preference for something, no harm in mentioning it frequently in antenatal appointments and when it all kicks off.
Midwives will listen, the good ones will anyway!
I think it's very important to have your preferences on paper, but to also be aware that things change...
For example, if you want physiological management of the third stage, say so... but be aware that for certain reasons you may need to have active management...
If you wish to wait to state when you need pain relief rather than having the midwife constantly asking you and offering it to you, then state that too... it's very easy to give in and take pain relief that you don't need yet just because it's offered....
I say, go for it!!
I didn't write one
my main thing was get baby out safe
on DS I was induced and it was a slow process
when things kicked off I was asked my birth preference and at that stage it was get me an Epi quick!!
I didn't write one. The anaesthetist had recommended I get an epidural from the get go (previous medical reasons) in case they needed to get the baby out in a hurry. It was not something I felt comfortable deciding in advance and had discussed this with my husband, consultant and a couple of midwives before labour who all agreed with me.
I was very much in the play it by ear category. I had done a lot of reading and was aware if what I would like the do in different situations if they arose but was also willing to take advice on board. I think it's important to make your partner aware of your wishes and make sure you have them do the talking for you if you feel you aren't being listened to.
I ended up having one after 30 hours of labour before they gave me oxytocin to speed things up, purely because I couldn't take the pain any more. My husband knew my plans and just made sure I was happy with the decisions I was making as we went along.
Had written birth plans both times and they were adhered to entirely. Both labours were fairly straightforward thankfully. It gave me confidence to put down my hopes and preferences on paper eforehand but it's wise to remember these can go out the window too depending on how things go. You're not really thinking of your plan I found when you are in the throes of it, you're thinking of getting through the bloody thing!
what I would suggest is know as much as you can so when something happens you know what is going on. They didn't cover emergency c sections at all during ante natal so if it had happened to me I knew nothing about how it would proceed & would have been very frightened. Also second having your birth partner on board. I found the mid wives great though in olol they checked with me on my preference for position cord clamping and third stage and skin to skin.
It can all be so unpredictable, my birth plan was me panting "cord pulsate" to the midwife
Weird Cat Lady
I didn't have a plan, written or otherwise, for any of my pregnancy. Hadn't read about them until I landed on WOL. Are they an American import?
The closest I got to a plan was a wish to stay in a darkened room, all by myself, without any well-meaning, but ultimately ineffective, 'birth partner' annoying my head. Needless to say, it wasn't adhered to. Unfortunately.
I know what you mean about midwifes rolling their eyes at birth plan. I knew what I was aiming for as did my DH but didn't write it down. Like someone said the plan was baby out safe first and me looked after second. I was lucky to have a straightforward birth with no interventions but a wonderful epidural. My DH felt v awkward and in the way and I was annoyed at him after for not speaking up more but he felt useless so I had to try understand his feelings. He's very easygoing and doesn't like a fuss made but it did come a point where i needed him to speak up. I think you're time would be better spent reading all the possibilities and coaching your birth partner and u then need a certain amount of trust in your midwives. I figured id never had a baby before and they'd delivered hundreds
I personally dont feel they're necessary. At the end of the day all anyone wants is a safe delivery for baby and that mum is ok too. It was my preference to have a natural birth, if that wasnt to happen then so be it. It was my preference to have an epi, I asked for it and got it. It was my preference to breastfeed, no problem there either. Other than that I dont really know what else would have been on the birthing plan. I followed the lead of Mid Wife and consultant and I had a natural delivery (just about), I had an epi and I breastfeed.