Our Birth Plan & Why We Chose Natural Birth

by starleewhite

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With the birth of our baby girl just weeks away, I thought it might be interesting to share our birth plan and why we are choosing to have a natural birth using the Bradley Method. (Warning…long post ahead!)

*The ‘style’ of birth each woman/family decides to have is an extremely personal choice and there are so many factors to consider. I’ve tried very hard throughout my pregnancy not to judge others b/c I now know just how hard of a decision this is. Of course we all want the best for our babies and that’s what Daniel and I have sought, weighing all the options we researched, and then just going for it!*

First off we had to decide whether we wanted a natural birth, to use a midwife or an OB,  and lastly to birth at home, in a birth house, or in a hospital.

Natural birth (or medication/intervention-free) is something that has interested me for a while. I’m not a fan taking medicine if it’s not absolutely necessary.  I have a fear of what unknown long-term effects meds have on us that we aren’t aware of.  That factor along with our faith lead us to choose natural birth. I believe our God is an intelligent creator who fearfully and wonderfully designed the woman’s body to grow and deliver a baby. It blows my mind when I start thinking about it! And for hundreds of years woman have been birthing babies without any unnatural pain management. So with all that in mind, Daniel and I began to pray about this option as well as sign up for a 12 week birthing class.

I was recommended the Bradley Method by several people in my pre-natal yoga class. The focus of the Bradley Method is husband-coached natural childbirth. This was appealing to me b/c I want Daniel involved in the process of pregnancy and delivery as much as possible. He knows me inside out, what puts me at ease, what makes me uncomfortable. No doctor is going to know my nuances better than my husband. So we chose this style of natural birth education. During labor, it is encouraged to find deep relaxation throughout contractions remembering that they are a productive thing! A contraction means your body is doing what it was designed to do when the baby is fully cooked…get that thing out! 😉 So instead of tensing up and fighting contractions, relaxing through them will cause them to be much more productive.

I wont’ go into all the awesome Bradley details, but all of that to say…I’m SO glad we decided to take the classes. We’ve learned not only about delivery, but the process of pregnancy, exercise, diet, staying low risk, post natal care, breast-feeding, and so much more. Being educated has helped me stay more calm, feel more confident, and stay low risk throughout my pregnancy. I also feel prepared, which for me is HUGE. I’m a planner and prepare-er by nature, so understanding what my body is going through and having a ‘plan’ just puts me at ease! I would encourage any pregnant woman, no matter what type of birth you are wanting…educate yourself!

After deciding on a natural birth, we then decided we want to deliver in our local hospital here in Wichita. Thankfully they have an amazing birthcare center that is next to, but separate, from the main hospital. Each woman is able to labor, deliver, and recover all in the same room and there is even an attached side room to the suite where family can wait. Given the less ‘sterile’ feel of this birthcare center and all the amazing reviews we heard from other couples, we feel like they will honor our wishes and take great care of us. With this being our first child and everything being unknown, Daniel felt better birthing at a hospital where there would be immediate care available if something went wrong.

That being said, we did seek out a doula who is the mother of a close friend of mine. We had heard/read that doulas help in lots of ways, like advocating your wishes at the hospital and giving lots of support and positioning techniques during labor.  With the help of a doula by our side, we feel like achieving a natural birth in a hospital setting will be much more achievable.

We met with Deidre right from the beginning of our pregnancy and she suggested an OB that is a huge fan of natural birth (not all of them are). She really enjoys working with this OB and they have a ‘team’ approach to labor and delivery. This was also very important to me b/c I don’t want any unneeded tension in the deliver room between staff. For my pre-natal care I’ve been able to alternate seeing my doula and OB every other visit. I’ve loved this approach b/c I’ve gotten the best of both worlds! The doctor’s office runs tests and does sonograms, and Deidre focuses a lot on my nutrition, exercise, and my emotional state. I’ve felt very well cared for the last 9 months with a more holistic approach.

Given all the appointments, classes, reading, research, and preparing…here is our birth plan. I realize that having a ‘plan’ for birth is a little ironic b/c you never know what might happen. But no matter what does happen, I will be glad we made a plan, glad we met who we met along the journey, and the things I’ve learned have left me a changed woman. I’m more in awe of God and his AMAZING design. I’m more in love with my baby as I understand what changes she is going through. I have more respect and love for my husband as he has been guided on how to support me. And I’m honestly proud of myself! For seeking out these positive things and trying my best to be the best momma for my little girl.

White Family Birth Plan – Welcome to the world, Flora Lee!

Mother: Star White     Baby: Flora Lee White    Coaches: Daniel White , Laurie Little

Midwife: Deidre DeGrado

Birthplace: Wesley Birthcare Center

Goal: A healthy baby and momma

Vision: To have a natural medication-free birth with as little intervention as possible. We have spent several months preparing for a natural birth by attending Bradley classes, reading, exercising, and eating well. We feel confident in God’s design of the woman’s body and the amazing natural miracle of childbirth.

The expertise of medical professionals is also very important to us, and we understand the need may arise to deviate from our preferred method in order to ensure the safety of Star and Flora. We appreciate your support, expertise, and patience in the event of an altered plan or complication.

Environment:

  • If possible, we would love to work with a nurse while at Wesley who is familiar and supportive of the Bradley Method style of natural birth.
  • Calm environment with low lights, peaceful music, and soft voices.
  • Please allow us undefined and unhurried time for each stage of labor.
  • Verbal support and encouragement rather than the offering of pain medications.

Labor:

  • Freedom to move around during labor, trying different positions like walking, squatting, shower, bath, etc.
  • Limited external monitoring and vaginal exams to as few as possible.
  • Avoid internal monitoring.
  • We prefer using natural induction techniques first if necessary to induce or speed up labor.
  • Star plans to stay hydrated with clear liquids during labor and would like to avoid an IV.

Pushing:

  • Please allow Star to breathe and push with her own urges rather than on a count.
  • No forceps or vacuum extraction unless a critical situation arises in which it is absolutely necessary.
  • Star would prefer a natural tear over an episiotomy. If the baby is in distress, a pressure episiotomy is preferred.
  • Please coach Star to stop pushing at crowning to allow Flora to be born in a slow controlled manner.

Birth:

  • At birth, place Flora immediately on Star’s abdomen and chest with a warm towel over both. Star and Daniel will help wipe the baby off.
  • We request initial care of baby be done while Flora is in Star’s arms and all other procedures wait for 1 hour after skin-to-skin time.
  • Star desires to breast feed as soon as possible.
  • Delay the cutting of the cord until it has stopped pulsating. Use powder provided by mother for end of cord.
  • Natural detachment and delivery of placenta (no Pitocin, please).
  • In the event of a Cesarean, please allow skin-to-skin time as soon as possible as well as breastfeeding.

Baby Care:

  • Baby to remain with Star and Daniel at all times.
  • We ask that ALL tests and procedures be communicated and approved by parents first.
  • We choose to waive the eye ointment and vitamin K injection (unless there is a complication with birth)

 

After we give birth, I will be back with our birth story and how this all went!

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