Natural Labor And Delivery Plans

My Natural Labor And Delivery Plans

Written by Courtney @ A + Life (originally published in April of 2015)

My Natural Birth Plans

I don’t have plans to take these to the hospital with me. I’m not going to be the girl who shows up with a bullet point, high lighted, step by step birth plan….. mostly because my plans are “hands off, please”. But, that’s easy enough to say, and not necessary to be printed out on a piece of paper.

I remember when I got pregnant with my first daughter, Abigail. Even though it had taken us a year to get pregnant with her, I was still fairly blissfully naive when it came to all things baby. First time parent, ah quite youthful, and just a bit uninformed. It was well into my 6th month or so, I was almost in third tri, when I was in Virginia to be a bridesmaid for one of my very best friends. We all got to talking about labor and delivery, and up to that point, I had planned to do whatever my Dr. told me and OBVIOUSLY get the epidural. Mostly, because I just hadn’t given it much thought. But the more we talked, and more and more of the women shared their stories about home birth, zero interventions, refusing induction and epidurals, the more I got to thinking….perhaps I should do some research myself?

Keep in mind that this was 2010, so it was basically the technological dark ages.

I got my hands on a copy of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and it completely revolutionized the way I thought about childbirth. From that point on, I knew that I was going to have a intervention free delivery and made all of my plans based off of that choice.

And if the years of praying and waiting for our second gift, Mabel, and the years of being a mama and taking care of a little one have done anything for me, it has been this: the pendulum of “crunch factor” has way swung and I only continue to up the ante on myself as I have choices.

The first time I read Ina May I totally, totally got her points. They made absolute sense to me, but I was like, DANG these people are weird as all get out. But rereading it this time around? I’m like, how can I get to “The Farm”(her “commune” for those of you who aren’t familiar with her) and live in a cabin and give birth there. Like, today. So, as I’ve said, it’s fairly obvious to see that I’ve continued down the all natural road and have no plans of putting the brakes on it anytime soon.

So, here is what I am already doing:

(This is all from consultations and advice from my naturopath)

  • Prenatal + Iron
  • Vitamin B Supplement
  • Vitamin D Supplement
  • Probiotic
  • Tons of water
  • Sitting on the birthing ball for a few minutes every evening
  • Rereading my birthing books(bonus if it’s while I’m on the birthing ball!)
  • Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • And I’m starting to select birth affirmations and bible verses to start meditating on to prepare my heart and mind for labor and delivery.

The Plans For Me: 

  • Refusal of all pre-labor cervical checks
  • Refuse any and all induction- obviously, to a reasonable extent. My first daughter, Abigail came on her due date, so I have no reason to think that this should be an issue. But, I’m perfectly ready to go up to 42 weeks if Mabel needs it.
  • Once labor begins, labor at home for as long as possible. On the birthing ball, in the tub, eating and drinking, staying calm and composed.
  • Once labor progresses to the point where we think it is wise to head to the hospital, then we will head that way.
  • Once at the hospital, no IV(will concede to a heplock), no constant fetal monitoring(if possible), and laboring how it feels best.
  • And that is basically it! I ended up wanting to push while reclining, that felt the most comfortable to me and my water didn’t break until completion so those were two non-issues last time that I hope will be the same again.

I mostly just want to be left to labor with Jim, my Mom, and my good friend who is a doula.

For Mabel: 

To me, this is the section with the biggest changes from my previous delivery. I didn’t do a ton of research as far as what baby goes through and what the standard procedures are in the hospital after baby is born with Abigail. Obviously, it all turned out just fine, but there are certainly things I want to do differently this time around.

After Mabel is delivered, if all is well:

  • I want her to be immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin and nursing.
  • Delayed cord clamping
  • Delayed bath
  • Refusal of eye ointment
  • Delaying the Hep B shot until a later pediatrician appointment
  • Requesting that any and all checks, vitamin K shot, or other things be delayed until after the first nursing session or while she is on my chest.
  • If possible, not use pitocin to expel the placenta and let it deliver when it is ready.
  • And of course, keeping Mabel in the room with us at all times. Jim can go with her if they need to take her anywhere.

I’ve had a few different talks with my OB about my plans and she has been nothing but sweet and understanding about my ideas. Thankfully, I am a 100% low risk, textbook patient, so there isn’t any reason to worry much about how things will go. She also delivered Abigail and is aware of my previous labor and delivery, which I think helps keep our communication open. The hospital where I had Abigail has since closed it’s birthing center, but a brand new hospital just opened in March, so I should be using all new state of the art equipment and have been told that their birthing rooms are very similar to my previous experience(labor, deliver, recover all in the same room + room in with baby).

As my OB and I talked through my “plans” she just suggested that anything I say to the nurses about my desires to preface it with “Dr. B and I have already discussed this and she is aware of my wishes” or if she is present, just have Jim or my doula remind her of my plans(such as delayed cord clamping) so that we can achieve a great birth together.

So, at this point, in these last few weeks of waiting, I’m really just trying to prepare my heart and mind for what is coming. With Abigail, I was fiercely determined. And not so much nervous. This time, I feel anxious and scared because I can remember it hurting so badly. But, I know that it is what is best for me and for Mabel and I’m happy to choose it and do it the same way as I did with Abigail. I just need to get my head in the game before hand!

One verse that has particularly stood out to me that I have been memorizing in preparation for her delivery is a verse that showed up during this semester’s ladies bible study(we’re studying 1st and 2nd Thessalonians):

“We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that He has chosen you.” 1 Thessalonians 1: 2-4
It is a labor of love indeed. And I just keep pinching myself and thinking, that I really, honestly, truthfully, can’t believe that I get the joy and privilege of getting to go through this again. What a gift. I want to cherish every single second of it(even the hard parts). 

Did you have a birth plan? What did it look like? 

About Courtney

Courtney is a former hair stylist turned stay at home mama living in Joplin, Missouri with her husband, Jim and their two little girls, Abigail & Mabel. She can't function without her daily vanilla latte and regularly shares the ups and downs of every day life on her blog A + Life. There you'll find everything from Abigail antics and homeschooling, to DIY and home decor, secondary infertility and loss, reviews of Courtney's favorite products, a lot of laughter, a bit of sarcasm, a bunch of grace, and a whole lot of family.