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A birthing plan allows the parents to be involved as much as possible in decisions regarding childbirth. Many hospitals are willing to discuss such a plan if parents request it. Typically, a birth plan tries to accommodate the parent’s preferences and wishes regarding childbirth as much as it is feasible and also that which is...

A birthing plan allows the parents to be involved as much as possible in decisions regarding childbirth. Many hospitals are willing to discuss such a plan if parents request it. Typically, a birth plan tries to accommodate the parent’s preferences and wishes regarding childbirth as much as it is feasible and also that which is acceptable for the hospital. Practical issues have also to be discussed while making a birth plan. A birth plan is not a formal contract, but it is a good idea to write down your plans and wishes after discussing them with your doctor to know what is feasible. Once the labour pain has started, you can take carry it to the hospital and pass it on to the person in charge so that in case your own doctor is not available, the available doctor or nurses in charge will be informed about your plans. 

The following are some of the matters that you may have preferences for which you can discuss with your doctor:
  • The labour room – where is it and how many others will be inside?
  • Drinking fluid once labor has started – Previously, a woman in labor was strictly prohibited from drinking or snacking once labor has begun. The reason is fear of aspiration. Nowadays, some hospitals allow liquids (and even light solids) during active, low-risk labor. Occasionally sipping fluids once labour has begun would help the mother stay hydrated and may keep her energy levels. you can check with your hospital to find out what their practice is. 
  • Personalizing the atmosphere with a music system etc from home.
  • The use of a camera for taking photos/videos of childbirth moments.
  • The use of painkillers and what type of painkillers will be given
  • Delivery positions- The best labour position may vary from person to person. Traditional labour position lying down on your back-  is now not considered the ‘best position’ for labour. Lying down position can slow down labour and there will be some compression on the major blood vessels which might interfere with good circulation. A good position of standing up or sitting with support takes advantage of gravity and may shorten the labour. Squatting or half kneeling is another good position. Some women report that kneeling on all fours gave them some relief. If you prefer lying down in bed, it is a good idea to lie on your left side as this promotes more efficient circulation. 
  • Criteria for inducing labor.
  • The presence of your spouse or a dear one during delivery
  • Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth
  • Breastfeeding immediately after birth
  • Having the father cut the cord 
  • Whether breastfeeding will be supported, and whether bottles can be avoided.
  • The length of hospital stay.

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