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Birth Plan Help

Posted by on Dec. 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM
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Okay, so I am not actually pregnant yet, but we are hoping to be soon. I am a super-planner...I like to know what I am doing well ahead of time so I know what to be prepared for.

My first pregnancy ended in a still birth at 5 1/2 months. My second was a week early because he had gotten so big that he was compressing my lungs to the point that I was having extreme breathing issues. I was concerned with how much I was having to use an inhaler and the effect it would have on him. So, a week early my doctor decided to induce labor. Turns out, if she hadn't induced, I wouldn't have gone into labor at all. My hips are shaped oddly and the way they turn, unless I have a teeny tiny baby (we're talking under 6lbs) a baby simply will not come down. My hip bones block the head. Because of this issue, I had to have a c-section and will have to have them for all future births. My son was 9lbs 4oz and 22inches lol he was a big boy!

Anyway, since I know I will be having a c-section that part is pretty much taken care of. However, I was wondering what I could request of the hospital, and how to implement some guidelines for the nurses, for after the birth. For instance, I plan on going with cloth diapers. I'm not sure if I should start that at the hospital (I would like to, but I realize that means hand washing diapers in a sink for several days and I am not sure if it is wise) and request that the nurses put the baby only in the diapers I provide, or allow the disposables while there. Also, I do NOT want the baby fed with a bottle or any formula or given a pacifier. I am not willing to comprimise on that unless the baby has to be taken to NICU for some reason. I also do not want the baby out of mine or my husband's sight...not with how many times you hear about mix-ups and people attempting to kidnap.

So my question is, how do I make these things known to the hospital staff without coming off as a demanding bitch...because I'm really not. I just want a few basic things. I will never get to experience a natural birth so there are those few things that I want to be firm about for my child's benefit. The bottle is the most important. Last time around, they gave my son a bottle of formula while giving him his first wash down. I was not happy because I wanted him SOLELY breastfed. I know a little formula didn't hurt him, and he latched on like a champ and we had no issues (though he quit BF at 6 weeks for some reason).

Sorry this was so long, but I would really appreciate some advice on implementing some sort of after-birth plan. The hospital and staff are wonderful and pretty much open to anything. I love the nurses and OBs at the center I am using. They suggested I have a plan in writing for them to put in my file when the time comes, I am just not sure how to go about it. Thanks ladies!!

by on Dec. 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM
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by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I prefer to have things planned, but I'm also relaxed and go- with-the-flow, understanding that sometimes things change... Personally, I'd wait to introduce cloth diapers at home. It's easier and more sanitary in a hospital environment to go with disposable - it is convenient, sure, but more that there's certain protocol hospital staff need to try to maintain for infection and contamination risk reduction etc. The nurses usually open a pack of disposable diapers and use from that, then send the rest of that pack home with you. I'd recommend keeping it just in case of emergencies - if you never need to resort to the back up pack at home, great! You can always donate the remainder to your pediatrician's office for other babies later. As far as a birth plan goes, keep it simple so it doesn't get lost in the fuss. You can communicate your wishes directly to nursing staff, offer a copy for your chart and maybe tape one to baby's bassinet and the door to your room. Also, talk to the staff, communicate and be willing to explain why you prefer certain things, usually they're accostomed to working with parents to meet the needs of the family as best they can. Usually they are more than willing to respect your wishes by not offering bottles or pacifiers. You can also request that the baby remain in your room at all times unless accompanied by either you or your husband, this was encouraged at my hospital! I was blessed with great staff and a great experience. I had the only baby girl on the floor too - lol - first girl in four months, so the nurses loved to hold her and give her lots of attention. She even had a bracelet that sounded an alarm and locked down the maternity ward if she was too far away from my bracelet or if she would have been matched to the wrong mom bracelet it would sound an alarm also. I was impressed by the security! My alarm went off when I was two steps out of my daughters range using the bathroom once! Lol... Anyway, nothing wrong with a birthing plan, but I'd try to simplify:

Personally, again, I'd start cloth diapers at home for sake of ease and sanitation in the hospital environment (less to pack for your hospital bag too) but of course, this is ultimately your choice...

Copies of birth plan printed on bright fluorescent paper (more noticeable) 1 for bassinet, 1 for door, 1 for chart, maybe 1 in room in a noticeable place, and 1 for your records. (5 total) And keep the information included short and sweet, for example:

baby is to be kept in our room at all times, as much as possible.

baby is to be attended by a parent at all times especially when out of the room for any reason.

baby is exclusively breastfed, please do not offer formula or pacifiers.

Anyway, hope this gives you a little bit of perspective from someone who's a mom and has worked for hospitals for 7+ years and can give perspective from the staff side too. Good luck & God bless!

by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Thank you so much for your advice. I hadn't really considered the issue of hospital cleanliness in regards to the diapers. I don't know why that didn't occur to me.

I am a really easy-going person and am more than willing to compromise in regards to what I can and cannot do at a hospital because of regulations. That's why I wanted advice well ahead of time lol I didn't want to go in with this big elaborate plan and the nurses look at me like I had lost my ever-lovin mind.

The hospital I delivered at last time was terrible. The nurses during the day were rude and acted annoyed if you asked for anything. The night nurses were great though. I switched to a different OB and new hospital and I just love the maternity nurses. The hospital has a birth plan policy that they have to have a written copy before the birth so they can approve it. Basically, because they are somewhat limited in what services are available and they dont want women coming in expecting to try laboring in a bath when they simply do not have the service even available...things like that. They go over the plans and tell you what, if anything, cannot be done there so you have the chance to either modify your plan or find a facility to meet your needs.

My actual birthing plan is already set because of my medical problems, so I already know what that is going to look like. I just didn't know how I should word my after-birthing wishes. Should it be a letter or a simple list of requests? I want to be as clear as possible without being demanding and pretentious. I know how hard nurses work and how terrible some patients can be. I did home health care for a while but I haven't worked closely with hospital nurses much and I simply don't want to be offensive in my approach. Thanks again for your advice!

by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:11 PM

From the sound of your new OB and maternity staff, I doubt they'd be offended :)  I think a list that's an easy read at a glance would be more effective than a letter they would need to stop and read through and might be less likely to do so - you could put the details in your main birth plan. Also, maybe a quick thank you included on the bottom of an after-birth list would help avoid having it seem demanding (as you seem worried about) and definitely send a thank you to the nursing staff afterwards too!

P.s. inside tip: munchies like treats, a sandwich tray, or fresh fruit are always well-received by hard-working staff that don't often get the chance to take uninterrupted breaks for meals! ;) 

by Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:09 AM

Good idea with the thank you notes! I never thought of that the first time around. Of course, we were considering suing at that point too. Because of one group of nurses, I was forced to labor for 10 hours with my son's head crooked in my hips. When the OB pulled him out during the c-section he said that if he'd gone much further the contractions could have broken his neck. I knew something was wrong and kept telling the nurses to get the doc and they would tell me they were going to, and then they simply wouldnt and when he would ask how I was doing, they would say just fine. In 24 hours I didn't dialate past 2cm and they were told from the start that if I didn't get past 3 in the first 5 hours they were to come get him because he wasn't sure I would be able to deliver vaginally. Instead of suing, since it wasn't about the money anyway, we simply took down the nurses names and reported them to the board so they could get some training or something so it wouldnt happen to somebody else and something worse happen to the patients.

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