PregnancyBirth preparation

Moon and Stars Birthing

BIRTH PLAN MASTERCLASS 

How & why to create a birth plan for A,B,C & D

The Environment you Give Birth in is HUGELY Important 

Some key factors that are conducive to a smooth labour and birth are:

  • Feeling calm 
  • Being comfortable 
  • Feeling safe 
  • A sense of privacy 
  • Dim lighting 
  • Quiet 
  • Freedom to move around NOT being on your back 

Oxytocin 

Oxytocin is key to a smooth and efficient labour. 

  • This is the hormone that facilitates labour and makes your uterus contract which causes your cervix to soften, thin and open enough for your baby to pass through. 
  • The more you have, the better your labour will be! 
  • You can produce more Oxytocin when your environment feels: 
  • Safe 
  • Dark 
  • Warm 
  • Private 
  • Comfortable 

This is because we are mammals and our brains are wired to give birth in that kind of environment as its deemed the safest way.

You can boost your oxytocin production via your senses with anything that feels familiar. 

Smell – have your favourite scent with you via a room spray/pillow spray/diffuser/bringing your pillow to the hospital. 

Hearing – create a labour playlist of all your favourite songs you associate with your favourite memories/listen to relaxation MP3’s. 

Sight – have photos/watch videos of your favourite memories/places/people as familiar items in an unfamiliar environment can really help.

Dim lighting also helps you produce more oxytocin so NO BRIGHT LIGHTS.

Touch – light stroking/massage/kissing/cuddling I like to refer to these as oxytocin boosters.

Pain relief options 

  • Gas & Air 
  • TENS Machin
  • Birth Poo
  • Pethidine
  • Birth Ball
  • Epidural 

The main things to think about for your birth plan 

Where? Home, Midwife led unit/birth centre or hospital? 

Environment Preferences – music/lighting/privacy 

Monitoring/vaginal examinations (these are not compulsory) 

Comfort measures –birth ball/relaxation mp3’s/breathing/essential oils/massage/cold flannel  

Pain relief – What would you like? Do you want to be offered or would you prefer to ask/not have any ?

Who do you do & don’t want in your birth space 

How – In a birth pool/on dry land/c-section 

How do you feel about interventions such as augmentation of labour/breaking of your waters/forceps/Ventouse

Post birth: 

How do you want your placenta to be delivered?

Cord clamping

Gender reveal

Skin to skin

Vitamin K

Bottle or breast feeding

The Third Stage of Labour – The third stage of labour is when you expel your placenta. This can be done two ways, either by something known as ‘Active Management’ or ‘Physiological Management.’

Active Management -An injection of a synthetic oxytocin is given into your thigh, usually as you give birth. The cord is clamped and cut between 1 and 5 minutes after the birth. The cord is gently pulled by the midwife to help the placenta come out (once it has separated from the wall of the uterus). 

Physiological Management – No injection is given. The cord is clamped and cut once it has stopped pulsing You push the placenta out with contractions, which can take up to 1 hour.

Delayed/optimal Cord Clamping – When the clamping and cutting of the cord is delayed until it stops pulsating, the baby receives up to 30% more nutrients, blood and iron supplies which they can store for up to 6 months. This is obviously very beneficial and should be facilitated if you wish. The NICE guidelines recommends that cord clamping is delayed by 1-5 minutes but you can request to wait until the cord stops pulsating (which could be longer than 5 minutes) Delayed Cord clamping can still be facilitated with a Caesarean birth. The only reason it might not be able to be done is if you or your baby need urgent medical assistance.

Skin to Skin

The first hour after your baby is born is called ‘The Golden Hour’ and you should be left alone with your baby and your birth partner for at least one hour to bond/get to know and quite frankly, stare at your baby! 

Skin to skin is magical for babies and helps:

  1. Makes baby feel safe. secure & loved 
  2. Regulates their heart rate, temperature and blood sugar levels 
  3. Makes baby feel calm 
  4. Helps you produce milk 
  5. Lowers stress for you and your baby 
  6. promotes bonding for you and your birth partner 
  7. You can request immediate skin to skin with your baby before they are weighed and cleaned up 

Vitamin K – Vitamin K is offered for all newborns here in the UK to prevent a rare but serious blood clotting disorder called Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. 

Babies are born with a very small amount of Vitamin K, so supplementing it helps to prevent VKDB. 

This condition can cause severe bleeding inside or outside of the body but it usually happens in the intestines or the brain. Vitamin K is usually offered & given within the first hour of your baby’s birth.

Vitamin K is usually offered & given within the first hour of your baby’s birth. 

Vitamin K can be given via an injection or orally. When given orally, the baby will be given drops in several doses over the first weeks. 

It’s up to you if your baby has Vitamin K, and it is up to you how your baby receives it.

Most babies who experience VKDB will recover, especially if they are treated quickly so if you decide to decline Vitamin K, ensure you know the signs and get urgent medical care. 

Oral Vitamin K is less effective than the injection but still more effective than no Vitamin K.

Birth Plan Template 

PLAN A – 

Name 

Birth Partner(s) 

Birth place choice – 

Environment (dim lighting, fairy lights, quiet, privacy etc)

Equipment – (Birth pool if available, birth ball, bean bags etc) 

Pain Relief – what do you think you’d like? Would you like to be offered or pain relief or would you prefer to ask if you require it? Do you want to be reminded of your preferences and encouraged?

Labour positions – (would you like to be mobile and moving around) 

Monitoring – discuss with your midwife how you’d like the baby’s heartbeat to be monitored throughout your labour and decide what you’d prefer.

Vaginal Examinations – are you fine with having these or would you prefer not to? You do not have to have a vaginal examination if you do not want to & no is a complete answer. 

Second stage – would you like to be coached to push? Or use your breathing techniques and go with your body?

Third Stage – active management or physiological? 

After the birth: 

Would you like delayed cord clamping?

Vitamin K? 

Undisturbed Skin to Skin? 

Help with feeding?

Vitamin K – would you like your baby to have Vit K and if so, via injection or orally? When given orally, this will done over the first weeks over several doses, this is not as effective as the injection. I have more information on this on my Instagram page and you can check Dr Sara Wickham’s many blog posts and book. 

Students/Midwives/Doctors in training – Are you ok for them to be present? If not, make sure this is stated

PLAN B 

Think about what you’d like if you can’t give birth in your plan A place. Most things should still be able to remain the same. You can request a private room if you’re on a ward for part of your labour and you can also ask if they have pools available if that is an option. If you can’t have a waterbirth think about using a birth ball and getting into optimum positions for birth (more on that in a mo) 

PLAN C – Induction/Assisted Delivery or C-Section birth 

Environment – If you’re labour is induced you can still have dim lighting/your smells/your pillow/ mp3’s/music 

Equipment – you can ask to use of a birth ball if possible 

Pain Relief – you can say that you will ask for pain relief when you want to. If you have an epidural you can ask your midwife to assist you if you want to feel your baby being born, they can advise you on how to do this

Labour Positions – You can state that you would like to be as mobile as possible – some hospitals facilitate mobile epidurals – discuss with your midwife. 

Some fantastic positions for a smooth labour and birth are:

Second Stage – If you have an epidural, you can ask to be able to feel the pushing stage – your midwife should be able to support you with this 

Third Stage – Delayed cord clamping can be facilitated in most scenarios, unless you or your baby need medical assistance. 

Immediate skin to skin should also be facilitated unless there is a medical reason not to. 

You can also request who does a gender reveal if you don’t already know x

In the event of an unplanned C-Section you can request: 

To have music playing and or your relaxation MP3’s 

The lights to be as dim possible to facilitate the production of Oxytocin Immediate skin to skin unless there is an urgent medical reason The surgeons to talk you through what’s happening or not Have your hospital gown on so it opens from the front to enable skin to skin more easily 

The electrodes to be placed to one side so as not to interfere with breast feeding/skin to skin 

Delayed cord clamping/Lotus Birth 

The screen can be lowered if you’d like to see your baby being born 

If you know you are having a planned cesarean, you can discuss all of the above with your midwife.

PLAN D

If you are in a situation where you have to give birth without your birth partner due to COVID here are some things that can help – think about which ones you’d like or anything else that you feel may help you feel calmer and more positive. Remember if this happens, you will have highly skilled and wonderful midwives with you to support you. I do have a blog post with more detail about this if you would like more info – www.moonandstarshypnobirthing.com 

Bring a pillow case from home, familiar smells can help you feel a lot calmer and more relaxed. 

Have a recording of your partner’s voice and listen to them – this could be them saying encouraging words, being silly, singing, reading affirmations/a relaxation script, anything really! 

Have your birth partner with your virtually on Facetime 

Wear or bring an item of their clothing with you to the hospital 

Dim lighting and music or relaxation MP3’s can really help labour progress as you release more oxytocin which is the hormone that facilitates labour.

USE YOUR BRAIN B – Benefits R- Risks 

A – Alternatives 

I – Intuition 

N- Nothing 

If at any point during your pregnancy or labour you are asked to make a decision about something, you can use this framework to help you. Ask what the benefits and risks are of doing x,y,z and what the benefits and risks are of NOT doing x,y,z. You can then ask what the alternative options are (one of these might be better) and then use the facts and your intuition to weigh it all up. N is for nothing which means if it’s safe to do, ask for some time to think about the scenario and make your decision.

If you’d like to learn more, you can book a birth prep class with me, simply click on the contact button on my profile. 

My class is a full antenatal class plus breathing and relaxation techniques. I cover all the essentials and more! 

You can also purchase a recorded version of my class via my Instagram or the Bloss App. 

Please do not leave it till the last minute! Book for when you’re around 20-32 weeks pregnant which gives you time to absorb the information and practice the techniques. 

Thank you so much for downloading this! 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for more info and if this helped you, I’d love to know! 

Love, Faye at Moon and Stars Birthing