Consultants attitude to Birth Plans

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glitterbug2011 Posts: 33
Hi all Been ages since I've been on - but have been keeping up to dates with posts. Just had a query about birth plans/preferences and your consultants attitudes to them. I am semi-private in one of the Dublin hospitals, and recently broached the issue of birth plans with my consultant. His attitude was "dont bother" - he said that his opinion was that they werent necessary and that was the opinion of most of the staff there. Basically what happens on the day happens on the day - and that I should just put myself into their hands ;o) I didnt challange him on it - but am certain he could see from my face that I would be making my own mind up about it. I chose my care when I found out about my BFP - but probably didnt know enough about the system at that point to make a sufficiently informed choice, now, having read a lot about the subject, done a hypno class etc., I would have a preference for a home birth or a midwife led unit experience. I know that the hospitals have their own agenda - but am shocked at this attitude - anyone experience this from their consultants - either in private or semi-private clinics? Would it be too late to change to midwife led now??? Thanks!
Salander Posts: 1639
i think in fairness to the consultant births don't always go to plan and a lot of times they don't see the women whose births do go to plan, they usually see the ones in difficulty! i do think you should look into the midwife led unit if thats what you want. And do your research and have a list of preferences i.e i would prefer not to have pethadine or whatever, but you have to be a little bit flexible. A lot of women have birth plans and I am in no way against them as long as people remember that sometimes babies just do their own thing and you will be relying on the midwife/consultant - i don't mean that in a bad way, but i had imagined a nice natural birth, the usual pushing etc but thats not what happened, I ended up having a C-section as dd just didn't want to come out - i dialated to 9cm and pushed away but she wasn't moving down at all. So do up a birth plan and have your list of preferences but I would just have an open mind that if you need to change it on the day depending on circumstances you will and they are usually happy enough with that. best of luck with everything.
glitterbug2011 Posts: 33
Thanks for your reply Salander - I agree entirely that things may not always work out the way you want and have a very open mind about what might happen if things happen differently on the day. It probably is true that consultants see more dramatic than smooth births on a daily basis. However - I'm pregnant - not sick, and to date have had a very healthy pregnancy. If everything goes normally on the day, I feel that we should be encouraged to make our decisions for ourselves - simple things like not rupturing membranes or not having continuous monitoring. The chances are that the consultant wont be anywhere near me on the day - and if he has to be there then its likley that the birth plan will be out the window already! Suppose it just made me think about the attitude that conventional medicine has to birthing . . .
Salander Posts: 1639
A lot of the midwives are more open to birth plans than the consultants are. I know what you mean, a lot of medical professionals seem to think you lose the ability to think at all when pg! Hopefully you get a good midwife and thats half the battle! My 1st midwife wasn't great but the second (after shift change) was great very encouraging and relaxing. She would suggest things such as pain relief etc but she was suggesting rather than forcing, was very good.
GentleBirth Posts: 750
Hi Glitterbug, I bumped up the Active Mangement of Labour thread for you as that is the standard birthplan for Mums attending consultant led care in H.Street. TBH it's a bit of a lottery - some consultants are hugely supportive of Mums being a partner in their own care and others aren't - the same with Midwives. I remember one consultant who had spent a lot of his time in Australia and he was telling me that most Australian women he took care of would want to discuss their birth plans - but in his 8 years of working in Ireland only one Irish woman asked him about it. Give the Community Midwives a ring and see if they could take you - but afaik they tend to book up very early. Best of luck !! Tracy
jackic Posts: 195
Hi glitterbug, Well I went s-p in Rotunda and in the ante-natal classes they said birth plans were a good idea. Here was my experience 1st Doc I mentioned it to-laughed and said, "thats a recipe for a c-section" and that the midwives hate plans. So I got kinda told off really 2nd doc I said it to said she thought they were a great idea, so I nervously showed her my hand written note basically saying "please do not induce unless absolutely necessary, please no ARM if not necessary, please no episiotomy if no need, and taht I would like to avoid an epidural and would like to try gas and air and pethidine if needed for pain relief". She said it was very reasonable and signed it. She agreed that most of the above interventions are not necesary and they put you on a clock, but if your waters didn't break and you were progressing somewhat they didn't usually intervene. What happened to me? Well my waters went spontaneously 2 weeks early and active labour started the following morning. Midwife must have read plan cos she never even mentioned epidural, she got me through it (as did DH) just with encouragement etc. I think though the labour went quite quick so I was lucky. At the pushing stage I did stall and they were going to get a doc so I might have had episiotomy or forceps but luckily in the meantime the head crowned adn I got my DD! so although my birth went quite different to what I expected (quicker, earlier etc) I think having the plan gave me some peace of mind cos when you are having contractions quick and fast your brain isn't quite there! anyway good luck!
glitterbug2011 Posts: 33
Thanks JackieC and Gentle Birth for your input :thnk . I have decided to write my plan anyway - and to make an appointment with a midwife to go through it with her. I am not good under pressure, and feel that a plan will at least help my DH to have something to go by. I feel really strongly about the type of birth I want - and the post on the Active Management of Labour puts me off HS. I am not the type to accept that the doctors and nurses know best, especially now having read so much on the time pressures that exist in the hospitals. All going well, I will be labouring at home for as long as possible - so hopefully will be well advanced when I do go to hospital, and that the artificial methods of speeding up labour wont be necessary anyway. If things differ from my plan on the day, then there will be a reason for this - I figure that if the consultant is there then all bets are off - as am SP he wont be there unless a) there is an emergency situation and b) he happens to be on at the time. I am not going to talk to him about it at all - and wont be attending his clinic again, either SP or private. If we are ever lucky enough to fall pregnant again I will be looking into alternative types of care. Thanks again for the feedback - GB x
Daff Posts: 11644
I was SP in HS. Never even mentioned my birth plan to consultant cause as Salander said unless something is wrong you won't even see a doctor. I was so lucky in that it was just myself, DH and one midwife. I was pretty open about things but did do a birth plan with a wish list. Even though I didn't like the midwife at all and felt she was against me alot she did try her best to stick to it. When I mentioned I had one I sort of dismissed it cause I was pretty distressed at that stage but she took time to read it. Simple things were that she let the cord pulse as long as she could before cutting, I had immediate skin to skin - well once I remembered to open nightie, I didn't want an episo at all and said I'd prefer to tear - I know she found this had to watch but adhered to my wishes which I was delighted with even if I did accuse her of cutting me :o0 I also wanted to BF as soon as. She didn't help with this at all or offer encouragement but she didn't stop me and let me too it - I was very lucky that it all went well and DD had a 20 min feed in the labour ward so when we got to post natal she slept and I got to finish my book :o0
glitterbug2011 Posts: 33
Thanks DM - sounds like your experience was good, despite the midwife not seeming to be 100% on board. Just re-read my last post and it comes across as being quite confrontational - that wasnt my intention - hopefully it will all be straight forward and medical staff will be on side! Thanks again! GB
GentleBirth Posts: 750
[quote="glitterbug2011":1stnhx1a] hopefully it will all be straight forward and medical staff will be on side! Thanks again! GB[/quote:1stnhx1a] Yes focus on best case scenario - there are some fantastic Midwives in H.Street and hopefully you'll get to meet them :stork: Tracy
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