(This is what I wrote based on examples on the interweb plus conversations and thinking. I reviewed it with my midwife who provided prenatal care and with my doula, and then I had 5 copies in my birthbag to give to everyone who attended the birth.)
Support Person: Denise (birth prep teacher, Birthing From Within)
Due Date 5/4/06
Pre-Natal Care Provider: Kerry McCabe, CNM
To our Healthcare Providers:
Thank you for taking the time and attention to work with us and our birth preferences. We have discussed this set of birth preferences fully with Kerry McCabe. We fully realize that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. However, we hope that barring any emergency circumstances you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options.
I am really excited about having a natural, medication-free, intervention-free birth.
We’ve done our best to educate and prepare ourselves to use relaxation & breathing techniques as well as a variety of labor and birth positions. We’ll be attended by our birth prep teacher as well as our doula. Please don’t offer me drugs or an epidural—I won’t forget they exist and I will ask for one if I feel I need it. I would like to be feel unrestricted in my mobility and in accessing any sounds I might need to make during labor. I am hoping to protect my perineum & am preparing by doing lots of Kegels & planning tear prevention techniques—I would prefer to have no episiotomy and risk tearing. Throughout labor, please encourage me in whatever position I am trying.
When the baby crowns, I’d like to see it in a mirror and touch with my hand. We would like for Bill Curry to catch the baby. When the baby is born, please delay all procedures (testing, washing, eye medication, etc) until after the bonding and breastfeeding period. Please put my baby skin-to-skin with me, with a warm blanket on us, and do the APGAR tests there if possible. When the cord has stopped pulsing, we would like Bill Curry to cut it. We intend to breastfeed exclusively; please no separation, bottles, or pacifiers.
Thank you for your skills and your support!
Labor & Environment:
Vaginal exams: minimal or at my request
Monitoring: intermittent & external
IV: not unless medically necessary
Membranes: spontaneous rupture
My own clothes
Mobility & frequent position changes, including with a birth ball
Eat and drink to comfort
Relaxation techniques (breath awareness, non-focused awareness, other BFW techniques, vocalization or co-chanting, shower, heat & cold packs, massage, aromatherapy, hypbirth techniques
Photographs by our doula and us
Glasses on the whole time
If a Cesarean birth is not an emergency, please give us time alone to think about it before asking for our consent.
My husband and support folks are to be present at all times during the operation.
Ideally, I’d like to be conscious during the procedure, would like to view the emergence of the baby, and would like to have my hands free to touch the baby.
I would like the baby to be shown to me immediately after it’s born and to have skin-to-skin contact with the baby as soon as possible. If I can’t hold the baby immediately, he/she should be given to Bill Curry immediately upon birth.
I prefer a low transverse incision on my abdomen and uterus.
Cesarean birth recovery:
If my baby is healthy, I would like to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby and nurse him/her immediately in recovery.
Please discuss with me what I can expect to feel immediately following the procedure.
Please discuss my post-operative pain medication options with me before or immediately following the procedure.
I don’t want an episiotomy.
To prevent tearing:
o Hot compresses
o Perineal massage
o Encourage me to breathe properly for slower crowning
Second Stage Labor:
I want to try many different positions for labor:
o Hands and knees
o On the toilet
o Side lying
o Whatever feels like it’s working
No stirrups please
Spontaneous pushing & no time limit on pushing unless emergency
I would really like to see the baby crowning in a mirror & I’d like to touch the baby’s head when it crowns.
Delivery & Baby Care:
We would like Bill Curry to catch the baby.
Please delay all procedures (testing, washing, eye medication, etc) until after the bonding and breastfeeding period.
Please put my baby skin-to-skin with me, with a warm blanket on us, and do the APGAR tests there if possible.
When the cord has stopped pulsing, we would like Bill Curry to cut it.
I would like to hold/breasfeed the baby while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made. I don’t want pitocin to deliver the placenta. I would like to see the placenta after I deliver it.
We intend to breastfeed exclusively; please no separation, bottles, or pacifiers.
Immunizations: please delay until a later time.
If our baby has any problems, we would like to have Bill Curry be present with the baby at all times if possible. If the baby is transported, we’d like to be moved as soon as possible. If the baby’s health is in jeopardy, I’d like to breastfeed or express milk/colostrums for our baby.
We’d like to photograph and videotape the birth.
Again, thank you very much for your skills and your support.