Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bradley Class #8

Sean got to lead the relaxation technique this week. This was a challenge for Sean because he is pretty shy in groups. He did so well though! The technique this week was sensory recall. The coach guides the mother through a pleasant experience recalling all of the five senses. This helps her keep her mind on happy relaxing things during a contraction. Sean talked about our honeymoon and how great it was to just be the two of us with nothing to worry about and the long walks we would go on at night. It was really relaxing.

The class was centered around writing our birth plan. A birth plan is a statement of your preferences for the birth of your baby.  A copy of the birth plan is to be given to our doctor to read and put in our chart. Also we are told that it is best to bring copies to the hospital on the day I go into labor so that every person involved in the birth will be aware of what we want. Of course the main goal is to have a happy healthy baby. Although Sean and I both want and are preparing for a natural labor and birth we realize that complications could occur and that our plans may have to be changed depending on the situation. So it is important to address emergencies in the birth plan as well and how we would like the doctor to handle those situations. It is suggested that as we write our birth plan that we are careful to phrase things in a positive and polite way rather than making it a list of demands. This will make the hospital staff more at ease with working with us. No one wants to work with someone that makes them think they know better than them. For this reason instead of titling our birth plan as such we are titling it "Our Birth Wishes". This gives it a non threatening appeal.

In class we went over our many options to do with labor and birth. Then we were told to talk them over with each other (spouses) and decide which things are our priorities. Sean and I discussed all of our options and made a list of things we have decided are important to us in the labor and birth. Then we wrote out our birth plan. We plan to have it for our next (not the one tomorrow) doctors appointment and go over it with him. During childbirth, many women feel like they are losing control. Having this plan helps me to feel confident and in control and I know that if anything unexpected happens I will feel part of the decision making. I sure hope everything goes as planned! Here is our birth plan:

Birth Wishes
Mother-to-be: Deana Ann Howell                              Father-to-be: Sean Howell
Obstetrician:   Dr. Hazzelrigg                                    Due Date:  August 8th 2011  

This birth plan expresses our preferences and desires for the birth of our baby. We fully realize
that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. Thank you for making this a memorable and positive experience for us.    

First Stage (Labor):
-Request all natural birth, no medication of any kind unless medically necessary
-Would prefer Heparin lock instead of IV
-Request wireless monitoring
-Please do not offer pain medications unless medically necessary
-I would prefer not to have waters broken until I am 8cm dilated
-Would prefer to keep vaginal exams to a minimum
-Would like access to shower or bath
-Maintain mobility (walking, rocking, up to bathroom, etc.)
-Eat and Drink to comfort
-Would like music provided by Husband in room
-Positioning as desired
-Hope to have my husband, mother, and two sisters present during labor and delivery
Induction and Augmentation:
- I would prefer to use natural methods to start labor
-I would prefer to walk and use natural methods to speed labor
Second Stage (Birth):
-Please allow me to change positions and try squatting, I would prefer not to be lying flat
-I prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby's safety
-No vacuum or forceps if they can be avoided
-Discuss in advance procedures to be performed
-I prefer my mother or sisters to support my legs when pushing
Baby Care:
-I do not want an injection of pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta
-Delay the cord cutting until after the cord has stopped pulsating
-Place baby on mother’s chest, skin to skin
-Wait to do weight and measurements until after baby has first feeding
-Breast-feeding only, no formula supplements please
-I would like to have the baby evaluated in my presence
-I would like to meet with a Lactation Consultant
-I would like the baby to be circumcised before checking out of the hospital
If an Emergency Cesarean Birth is necessary:
- Spinal/epidural anesthesia
-Husband present
- Explain the surgery as it is happening
- Place the baby on the mother’s chest before taking it away
- If separation is necessary then the father will stay with the baby at all times
- Please perform a low transverse incision in the uterus
- Please keep in mind our desires for a VBAC with any future pregnancies
- Please use a double-layer stitch for the repair of the uterus
If Baby is Sick:
-Breast-feeding as soon as possible
- Unlimited visitation for parents
- If the baby is transported to another facility, move us as soon as possible  



  1. That looks like a great birth plan to me! Very concise and easy to understand. You two look like you understand things very well and are willing to be flexible (important in any situation since no one knows what could happen). I'm so excited for you guys! I wish I had done the kind of research you've done in preparation for Noah. My first birthing experience wasn't the best (it wasn't a nightmare, but it wasn't what it could have been) and I think part of that was my lack of knowledge. My second experience was perfect in every way for me. Good for you for doing that with your first!

  2. Thanks Melissa! Yeah Sean and I are working hard to have all the information there is available to us. As they say "knowledge is power". It makes things less scary for me to at least know the options and variations of what could happen.


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