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Course Highlights:

How the mind and emotions affect the body | Why labor hurts and why it doesn't have to | Releasing fear the enemy of labor | Preparing your mind and body for birthing | Avoiding artificial induction and episiotomies | Developing ultimate depth relaxation | Understanding the stages of labor | Preparing your Birth Plan | Tapping Nature's own relaxant | Breathing your baby down for birth

Class Content »

Hospital/Birth Center Birthing Plans, Preferences and Options

The most important aspect of planning a hospital birth is choosing a care provider (doctor or midwife) who shares your beliefs about birth. If you believe birth is a normal, natural, safe process you need to choose a provider who believes the same (and acts that way). Actions really do speak louder than words. Find out your provider's induction, episiotomy, epidural, c-section, and circumcision rates. That will tell you what your provider really believes (since some providers may say one thing to you but really believe another). Also find out the statistics for your hospital. If your provider is not supportive of your birth preferences, switch to a provider who is! It's never too late to switch unless the baby has been born. I know that the idea of switching providers may seem scary or might even feel disloyal to the provider that you've been seeing. Don't let this prevent you from making the choices you need to make in order to have the safest, best birth for yourself and your baby. Your baby gets one birth. Make it a good one.

Due to hospital policies it is sometimes difficult to have a truly natural, no intervention birth in a hospital setting. It is imperative that you have a supportive provider who will excuse you from potentially getting into confrontations with the nurses by signing off on a birth preference plan that includes things such as eating and drinking while in labor, not having an IV, intermittent monitoring, and laboring in the tub even if your membranes have released. That said, remember that you always have the right to refuse an intervention. It's your body and your baby. It's just easier to have a calm and peaceful hospital birth if your provider is supportive of your desires.

Nevada Statistics on C-sec, VBAC and many more peri-stats

Back to Birth Plans and Preferences

Informed Consent Questions (what to ask to make sure an intervention is really needed)

Sample Finished Plan

Hospital or Birth Center Birth Preferences Worksheet

(links will pop open in a new window)

Mother's Name:

Birth Attendant's Name:


Mobility (To learn the benefits of changing position during labor click here.)

Monitoring (To learn why a baby's heart rate is monitored, click here. You do not have to be monitored continuously. To learn more about intermittent monitoring click here. To learn about internal and external monitoring, click here. To read about a study showing that continuous fetal monitoring does not improve fetal outcome, click here.)

I would like:

Using a(n):


Vaginal Exams (To learn more about the risks and benefits of vaginal exams, click here and here. An experienced birth attendant can assess the progress of your labor without vaginal exams.)

IV's and Hydration (Click here to learn more about Heparin/Saline locks and IVs. Click here to learn who needs an IV. Click here to learn more about what you can safely eat and drink during labor.)

Labor Augmentation and Induction

Comfort Measures during Early and Active labor (For more information on ways to cope with labor naturally, click here.)

  1. relaxation
  2. massage
  3. meditation
  4. visualization
  5. Water Therapy (Shower or Tub)
  6. HypnoBirthing® (self-hypnosis or guided relaxation)
  7. birth ball or rocking chair

    Comfort Measures for the Second Stage Labor (Pushing)

    Delivery (For more information on different birthing positions click here.)

    Perineal Care (For information on episiotomies, click here.)

    Third Stage (delivery of the placenta) (For more information on managed vs. natural approach to the third stage click here.)

    After Birth Procedures (For more information on after birth procedures click here.)

    1. eye drops (For more information on eye prophylaxis, click here.)
    2. Vitamin K shot (For more information on Vitamin K, click here.)
    3. Hepatitis B vaccination (For more information on Hepatitis B Vaccination, click here.)
    4. PKU/Metabolic screening test (For more information on PKU testing, click here.)

    Informed Consent Questions (what to ask to make sure an intervention is really needed)

    Here is a list of questions to ask when interventions or unplanned procedures are proposed at any point during your pregnancy or the birth of your child:

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    Birth Preference Plan for Xxxxx Xxxxxx

    Spouse: Xxxxx Xxxxxx

    Doula: Xxx Xxxxxx

    Doctor: Xxxxx Xxxxxxx

    Thanks for being part of our baby's birth. I've written down my birth preferences because it will be difficult for me to relay all of this information to you while I am preoccupied with my labor. This is my third baby. I am planning an unmedicated birth using the HypnoBirthing® childbirth method. If there is a nurse that is familiar with and/or especially excited to attend HypnoBirthing women, I would love to have her. I used HypnoBirthing with my second baby with excellent results and in the absence of special circumstances I imagine this baby's birth will go just as well or better. These are my preferences assuming my baby and I are experiencing a normal labor and birth.

    General Requests

    Because I'm using hypnosis, it's important for everyone to avoid use of the word "pain". You may ask me my comfort level or what sensations I'm experiencing if you are curious. I understand you're supposed to ask me what my pain level is. Whisper! And then mark me down at a one. I'll let you know if I'm experiencing pain and if I want medication.

    Because I am using hypnosis please postpone asking me questions or talking to me while I am having a surge (contraction). I will have my eyes closed during a surge, but between surges I will open my eyes and be available for conversation. It is likely that I will not hear you while having a surge anyway. Thank you for using a calm, quiet voice and entering the room as quietly as possible in order to maintain the air of relaxation.

    Labor Requests

    No IV for me, thanks. I'll be drinking water and juice, etc. to prevent dehydration. I do love ice, so feel free to bring lots of that.

    I prefer intermittent monitoring (10 minutes per hour) rather than continuous. It's unlikely that I'll labor in the bed, so you might need to bring in a Doppler. I'll probably spend a good portion of my labor in the tub or on a birth ball.

    Because vaginal exams are uncomfortable to me, I would prefer that they be limited to one at admittance and then only one every few hours, depending on the length of my labor. Please ask for my permission before examining me as I will want to wait for a time between surges. Helpful things to say would be release and relax and open for your baby.

    Second Stage Requests

    I will probably choose to birth in a hands and knees position. Please ask before adjusting the bed or attempting to change my position. If I'm comfortable, I won't want to move and an attempt to move me or the bed would be quite distracting.

    Please refrain from any coaching to hold my breath while I am birthing my baby. I have my own techniques that I will be using and any instruction to hold my breath and push will be distracting (and likely annoying as well). Please remind me to keep it slow by saying "listen to your body" and 'breathe your baby down" and "open for your baby".

    Please remind me to slow things down as the baby is crowning by saying "listen to your perineum". My perineum may be saying something different from my body. I'd prefer not to tear even if it means taking a bit longer to get the baby out, so if there's a conflict between what my body ("get it out!") and perineum are saying, I want my perineum to win.

    Please wait to clamp the cord until it has stopped pulsating, or possibly until the placenta has been birthed.

    After the Birth/Baby Requests

    We'd like to delay cleaning, measuring, and weighing until after bonding for a while and after we've initiated breastfeeding. If I require a repair I may have my husband hold the baby.

    We will be skipping the vitamin K injection and Hepatitis B vaccination. Please have any required waiver forms available . We'll delay the eye drops until after bonding and breastfeeding (we can do it with the weighing, etc.).

    I will be keeping the baby in my room with me. If the baby needs to go to the nursery (such as for the PKU and hearing test), I will go with him or her. If for some reason I am separated from my baby, please do not give him or her any artificial nipples (pacifier, bottle).

    If we have a son, we will not be circumcising. Thank you for not attempting to retract or manipulate his foreskin.

    Thank you for making this a positive experience!

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