April 13, 2011

Let's talk birth plans

I took a copy of our birth plan to our doctor yesterday.  We went over every single item.  She agreed with most of the things I requested, except for a few things, that according to her are just not "physically possible." You may be wondering what?  Well, she says that hospitals do not allow you to burn incense or candles.  That's understandable . There are oxygen outlets in the birthing room.  The other one was the impossibility of letting the umbilical cord stop pulsating while the baby is on my lap.  She says cords are not that long and they need to be clamped and cut right away if I want my baby on my chest.  Well, I'm hoping for a long cord then.

Birth plans are not contracts or a way to control every single thing.  Births are unpredictable, we know that, especially in a hospital setting with all those egos clashing against each other.  The birth plan should be about HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED during this event.  How your feelings and your dignity should be respected at all times. It's about keeping your autonomy and sanity. Let's face it, in the modern medical world, doctors just want things to go textbook perfect at a good pace.  If you have been laboring for a certain amount of time, they think they need to take control over the situation, and this can leave the mother and the father feeling disrespected, cheated and the feeling stays with you until you are ready to try again with another pregnancy.

The most important items on my birth plan are how they are to treat me and what to do with my daughter after she is born. I also don't want an episiotomy.  But hospitals here rarely perform them now. I want to labor in peace and quiet and want my daughter handed to me immediately for bonding.  

Birth plans should not be that long.  This could summarize it in a nutshell.

 “You will treat me with respect at all times and I will maintain the autonomy that I had before entering your hospital. Before you touch me or intervene in the normal course of my labor/delivery, you will discuss it with me and obtain informed consent.”

or in clearer words: F__k off!


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