Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birth Plan for Twins or More




I'm taking a break from Birth Circles today, to talk Birth Plans.

If you have an idea of what you would like your birthing experience to look like, it is a good idea to get those ideas down on paper. Just the process of writing out your Birth Plan, can really help you and your partner become clearer on what is really important for you, and what it is realistic to ask for.

If you know that there are factors outside your control then you are able to plan accordingly. For example, if you know that the hospital you plan to deliver at, allows you to labor but not deliver in a tub, then asking to deliver in a pool or tub is unnecessary!

Also, keep your audience in mind! If you are delivering at a Birth Center or at home, you can get quite specific about the things you request; dim lights, particular music, minimal vaginal checks etc. If you are delivering in a hospital then it may be better to focus your Birth Plan on the things that are REALLY important to you. Is it more important to focus on whether music played or being able to choose your own birth position, wearing your own clothing during labor or nursing as soon as possible after delivery? Focus on what is top of your list!

And once that Birth Plan is written share with everyone who will be involved with your birth, and  talk with them about what is on your plan.

And finally, if there comes a point in your labor and delivery where you need to deviate from your plan, know that it is okay too. 

I wrote two Birth Plans for my own situations, my first was for a single natural labor and delivery, and the second was for the delivery of my twins. Today I'm featuring my own Birth Plan for my twin delivery. Please feel free to use this as a basis for your own plan.
(Please know that this Birth Plan was written based on my husband and I's references; yours may look really different ... please change it as you need!)



Name of Parents:
Obstetrician:
Pediatrician:
Birth Center or Hospital:
Approximate Due Date:

We would like to thank you in advance for being an important part of this special time in our lives.  Please consider our wishes regarding the birth of our twins.  Our goal is to have an un-medicated labor and delivery.

We ask that the practitioner discuss with us any procedures or medications prior to administration and that we be allowed the chance to question such procedures before giving informed consent.

We will be flexible and willing to discuss all of the points below in case of complications.

We realize that this list is extensive, but please view it positively.  We trust in the care that you can offer which is why we have chosen your hospital.  We look forward to this experience and this partnership with the very special people on your staff.  Thank you!

Labor Experience

- Husband not separated from me at any stage of labor or delivery

- Doula(s) should stay with me for the labor process

- Infrequent vaginal exams

- Able to drink clear liquids (including apple juice and Gatorade type beverages) and take honey during labor

- Labor should not be augmented, including artificial rupturing of membranes, as long as both babies and I are fine,

- Natural methods of augmentation or induction only, unless critical

- Intermittent monitoring only, for as long possible

- Do not offer pain medications.  I will ask for it if I need it.

- Please explain all procedures, risks and benefits prior to use

Delivery

- Allow choice of birth position, and change of positions if desired, along with access to a squat bar during delivery

- Spontaneous pushing, with no time limits for either baby

- Deliver over an intact perineum, with a pressure episiotomy only if medically necessary

- My husband should catch both babies, with me helping if possible

- Allow the Baby B to be delivered spontaneously, with no time limits between the deliveries of Baby A and Baby B

- To try turning techniques, if needed, before birth of second baby

- If a Caesarean Section becomes necessary I’d like to be conscious and be able to touch the babies; please leave my hands free.  Please explain the surgery to me as it happens.  Please perform the surgery in a manner that I could successfully have a VBAC with subsequent deliveries.

After Delivery

- My husband would like to cut the umbilical cords of both babies

- Wait until the umbilical cords have stopped pulsating before cutting

- To deliver the placenta spontaneously and unassisted

- Hold the babies immediately after delivery – please place each baby directly on my abdomen after delivery

- Allow us to bond for at least 30 minutes with each baby

- I would like to nurse each baby as soon as possible.

- Both babies’ medical exams should be performed in my or my husband’s presence

First Hours

- Husband to accompany the babies into the nursery, during any necessary procedures

- Please do not wash the babies, my husband or I will give them their first baths

- Exclusively breastfeed both babies; please do not offer any formula, sugar water or pacifiers

- Babies to room in with us

- If either baby is a boy, we do not want him circumcised

- Stay in the hospital should be as short as possible, barring complications, as I feel I will be able to rest better at home.


- If either baby is not well, my husband or I will accompany the baby(s) to the NICU or another facility.  I would also like to breastfeed, or provide expressed breast milk for and hold baby when possible.



Did you write a Birth Plan for your labor and delivery? 
What were your top requests?
Feel free to let me know in the comments; I'd love to hear from you!
 

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