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Birth Plans: worth it or a waste of time?

Im expecting 1st baby in May & was considering a birth plan to help me stay focused as well as let dr & his staff know how i would like my labor to be. I know I cant plan every aspect of it...but jus wanted some guidelines. Is this a good idea or am I wasting time????

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Asked by mommyw2010 at 1:23 PM on Feb. 17, 2010 in Pregnancy

Level 3 (17 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Its a good idea, but just know, if something goes wrong its best to listen to the doctor. They will take care of you.

    Answer by BrittanyD07 at 1:24 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • 100% worth it!

    (Especially with signatures!)

    Answer by MamaK88 at 1:28 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • It's a good idea for you to research and know what you want. Most doctors don't do anything with birth plans and hospitals do whatever the doctor's standing orders are. Of course you can try to refuse things but they will keep bugging you and keep sending more people in trying to talk you into doing whatever it is they want to do. They they may resort to threats.

    The best bet is to give birth in a place where it is routine to have births like what you want. To have care providers that practice the way you want.

    If you can't do that then hiring a doula is a great idea. She will go over your birth plan with you and care. She will be an advocate for what you want. While you are in labor it is hard to try and deal with people trying to bully you. Just having a doula there helps.

    Answer by Gailll at 1:30 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • waste of time. It will be how the baby and your body decide it to be. Other choices you can ask your doctor. (cutting the cord)

    Answer by texasmamaof3 at 1:31 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • Yeah, it's a great idea. If you happen to pass out, or are generally grunting too much to communicate basic wishes, the labor and delivery staff have it written down for them.

    I was able to communicate the whole time, but it was still nice having them say things like "it says here you want your husband to cut the cord..." so I could just focus on my lovely new baby instead of needing to answer their questions.

    Answer by mogencreative at 1:32 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • I think it's a good idea but disagree with the previous poster. I had one and the drs. and nurses ignored it. They started me on pitocin an hour after my water broke (I now know they could have waited at least a couple of hours to let my body go into labor on its own.) The contractions were so hard, I couldn't walk around so that gravity could help move my baby into position and help me dilate faster. After dilating 4 cms in 9 hours, I caved and got the epidural. When I finally tried to push, the monitor said my baby's heartrate fell, so they rushed me to the OR. His Apgars were 8 and 9 when he was born, not exactly "fetal distress" as they claimed, more like "it's midnight and Doc wants to go home". I think education and really knowing your options are just as important as a birth plan.

    Answer by bethany169 at 1:35 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • I personally don't do birth plans. I get an epidural and I trust my doctor to do what he needs to do to get my baby out safely.

    Answer by amy31308 at 1:37 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • It is worth it to take to an appointment and talk to your doctor or find a midwife if you want to be a little more natural with your birth. As for at the hosptial though I personally think it actually works the opposite of how it is meant to. It often pisses the nurses and other staff off and then they try to undermine you and bully you into things. I personally would come up with a list of stuff that you want to try to do (like no pain meds, different positions (not in bed) etc) and take it to your early appointments and then later on to remind the midwife or doctor. If you can afford it hire a doula.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:39 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • Depends on the hospital. My hospital was excellent and on admittance, asks for a birth plan or any other special instructions. The nurse then inputted it all into the computer so it was right there for everyone to see. I had talked to my doctor beforehand as well, and she knew what we wanted from our birth experience as well. So far, we have been listened to during both of our hospital births and everything followed as closely as possible. It was actually kind of funny because with out second he started having issues during the labor so they wanted to hook me up to an IV. The nurse knew I didn't want any IVs at all so she 1st apologized and let me know why they wanted to start the saline drip and then went against procedure to put it in the pit of my elbow instead of the back of the hand. After delivery, she continued to apologize for the intervention! Sadly not all hospitals are this wonderful and will ignore you. :(

    Answer by deeyore486 at 1:45 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • WORTH IT!!!!!!!!

    Mostly because it gives mom & dad an education on their MANY options, prenatally.
    But also, they can have conversations with their care provider, getting an idea of what the provider prefers. (Although not their choice!)
    And because there are so many strangers coming & going from the labor room, it's great to share via paper, mom & dad don't need to be disturbed as often. (Important for coping!)
    AND it's really great to have mom's preferences on record in the event that there should be a concern over malpractice. It *can* be used to help mom prove she did/didn't consent/desire something.

    Answer by doulala at 1:47 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

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