Question on birth plans..

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2009
Question on birth plans..
Sat, 03-28-2009 - 5:11am

Hi everyone. :)

I am new here, so bare with me. My name is Jennilee. I am 21 years old. I am pregnant with my 2nd child (both boys). I had a planned c-section with my first for medical reasons, and the hospital here does not do VBAC's so my only option was a repeat c-section. (Which is okay with me).

Anyways, I have been reading up and gaining a lot of useful knowledge here and one topic I thought was very interesting was a "birth plan". I guess my main question with this is why don't doctors or nurses discuss this with you? I have never heard of it. (I wish I had known I had "options" the first time around being so young and uninformed.) I am glad that I found this place because I had never heard of, for example, EMLA cream before an IV and never thought that you could make requests for the dr/nurses to do things differently then what they are used to doing.

I remember for my first, I exclusively breastfed and we had to tell the nurses there repeatedly that we did not want any bottles/pacis given to our baby and whenever they'd take him from our room he'd come back with a bottle and paci with him. My fiance and mother were so angry with the nurses but there were always new nurses on and didn't know. After the 2nd day, they actually posted a paper sign on his little cart that said "NO bottles or pacifiers for this baby". It was very frustrating and I am wondering if this time around they will be ignorant to that one request, let alone a whole list of them.

So is a birth plan something you work on with your doctor beforehand? And do you actually type it up and take to the hospital with you before your c-section?? Do you sign it and is it a legal document or what? Can the doctor refuse to honor your requests? How many people actually write birth plans? And wouldn't it annoy the dr. a little to have to make all those exceptions for a patient as opposed to doing it their way to someone who doesn't have one (I know they aren't obviously annoyed because they are there for us, but you know what I mean I hope). I don't have a close relationship with my dr. because there are 3 at our hospital and we aren't assigned to one. Instead, a patient meets with all 3 throughout the duration of the pregnancy and then you randomly get one of them for the c-section.

Okay, I will quit rambling, but since the "birth plan" is all new to me I was really hoping any of you could inform me more about them.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2009
Sun, 03-29-2009 - 1:12am

First of all, you need to check the hospital where you're planning to deliver your baby. Find out if they promote breastfeeding. Most hospitals do now, so there are a lot of options if the old hospital you went to doesn't promote it yet.

Second, you need to communicate with your OB because you will be leaving your life and your baby's life into his hands on your due date.

About birth plans, read this vital information on it as these will be helpful for you:

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2009
Sun, 03-29-2009 - 8:02pm

Hi Jennilee -

Congratulations on expecting another little boy!

I'm not sure I can answer all your birth plan questions, but I'll give it a go and then hopefully others will join in and add a bit. If you have follow up thoughts or questions, feel free to post back.

So, my take on a birth plan is that it really is a discussion generating tool for you and your doctor(s) -- if you are doing the research about what you want and don't want and take the time to write it down, it can be a great tool to walk through with your doctor (or in your case, doctors!) all the things that you want for your procedure. There might be some things that you request that the doctors will simply tell you can't be done (due to hospital protocol, your medical condition, etc.) but at least you've had the conversation... right?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2007
Mon, 03-30-2009 - 4:46pm
I never made a birth plan, but I did make a list of questions to ask my midwife to find out what the protocols and policies were relating to all the things that were important to me. I was happy with the standard care at my hospital, so I didn't feel like a plan would be productive for me. As Heide said, the important part is to communicate so there are no surprises. You want to know what's normally done, and they need to know if you want anything different. If you do, it makes sense to write it down so people can refer to it, pass it on to others, etc. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2003
Mon, 03-30-2009 - 6:53pm

I've never done a birth plan, but I have made my wishes on the biggies known.

Avatar for springolife
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2003
Wed, 04-01-2009 - 10:40am

I only recently heard of birth plans for a C as well, and plan to do it with my next one. I think it's a must since I have had 5 horrible hospital experiences and want to minimize the trauma.

My first C was an 'emergency' at 32 weeks. The second was early, preterm labor at 34 weeks and breech so no VBAC. The third and fourth were done the day after my apt so I didn't have much time to prepare for them either. Still, I had no idea that you could have a c-section birth plan.

Now, with my fifth I was attempting a VBAC and did make a birth plan for VBAC as well as for c-section if my baby was breech (as all my others were.) The baby was head down, but I had an emergency C following placental abruption (and later uterine rupture) so there was no chance to use my birth plan.

For breast feeding, this was one of the major problems I had and there WAS a note on the bed that the baby was to have no bottles or paci. So, I'm changing hospitals. I had the hardest time getting my baby out of the nursery, even though the hospital has 'rooming in.' They thought that 5 hours in the nursery for a breastfed baby was fine. I had to threaten to call the police and tell them my baby was stolen.

My new hospital has the policy that only babies with health issues stay in the nursery unless mom is having problems. The bathrooms are large so you can take the bed in with you for showers and toilet. You may sleep with your baby in the room even if there's no one else in the room. Much better policies then my old hospital.

Your birth plan may also include lighting in the OR (I have heard of having dimmer lighting with the exception of the lighting above mom that is necessary) as well as choice of music that may be played. I will be having general anesthesia so this won't be a factor but I am going to request that my husband get to be there and see the baby born as he wasn't there for my first or fifth.

GA is in my birth plan. I had very bad issues with spinal/epidurals and won't do them again.

In the recovery room you can request that the baby be in there with you and your husband. I am going to request that the lighting be dim as the recovery room for my second third and fourth were dim and it was much better.

I also have the lights dim when I get into my room. You need things as less stimulating as possible.


Remembering Ozanzan 80%
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-04-2009 - 10:51am

A c-section birth plan is one of the most important documents you will write and discuss with your doctors and the or staff. This is the easiest way for you to get your questions answered and make your demands known.

Take a read through the c-section birth plan from this board. It will give you ideas on what other c-section moms felt they should have asked for as well as what turned out to be not so important.

Best wishes to you and congrats on your upcoming birth.


dionne siggy 2008

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