Hypnobirth Tip #3: Why Create a Birth Plan

by Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt

In today's birthing atmosphere, we have to be proactive in getting what we want for our own labors -- you'll be wise not to give up the responsibility for the decisions made in your labor to others, because if you do, it is unlikely you will have the birth experience you so want for yourself and your baby.

A good Birth Plan is essential, and in many hospitals they will genuinely try to accommodate your wishes. If you have your midwife or doctor sign it ahead of time, make a few copies, leave one with the doctor or midwife and take a few copies with you to the hospital, then you already have "permission" to get what you want. It is interesting to note that you don't need "permission", as you are the parents of the baby and no matter what policies or procedures are in place, you are in charge. Even if a complication arises, you still consult with the doctors, nurses etc. and make your decisions based on what is best for your own family.

It is essential to make sure that on the birth plan is written something to the effect of:

"In the event of an emergency: If the situation becomes life-threatening for (partner’s name) or our baby, we will of course yield to any request for life-saving intervention, upon the briefest of consultation. In the strong likelihood that we have the normal labor and birth that we are expecting, we ask that you refrain from any routine interventions or measures that we have not previously agreed upon."

Why do this? So that those reading it will know that you definitely want certain things but you are not unreasonable about it. Why not have interventions? Because each one causes yet another one - the Domino effect, and the chances of you having a nice birth using hypnosis decrease with each unnecessary intervention that occurs, not to mention the risks involved. (More on this at another time) Now, I am not suggesting to anyone here that you become combative, confrontational or "difficult" to your caregiver - on the contrary. There are nice ways to say everything, and being assertive does not mean that you become mean or that your caregivers are bad people. Actually, they are *just* people, who have their own concerns to take care of.

I advise my students to talk to their doctors/midwives every time they see them bout their birth preferences, so that the seeds can be planted that you have special needs, and feedback can be given by the care provider. You will then be able to get an idea of how they feel about what you want. Presenting it as a list of "preferences" instead of demands is crucial, and always with respect. Asking the doctor or midwife, "What do you think about ______" is always a good way to begin a discussion about any particular thing that is important to you.

And please consider this: it really does not matter who is supportive of your preparations for a birth with hypnosis, with the exception of your Birth Partner and any labor assistant you may have. Your midwife or doctor cannot make or break your birth experience unless you allow them to. They have their own agenda to take care of - let them. Staying in a "Bubble of Peace", keeping the vision of your perfect birth firmly in your mind at all times, is very effective in producing for you the birth experience you want.

The good news is that most doctors, midwives and nurse are very fascinated with the process of hypno-birthing and most will want you to succeed, so they tend to be more amenable to your Birth Plan and special wishes.

Disclaimer: Hypnobabies Network, and Kerry Tuschhoff assume no responsibility or liability for the outcome of any pregnancy, labor, or birth. The content of the above information is in no way to be represented as medical advice, nor as a prescription for medical procedure. As always, you should seek the advice of a medical doctor or midwife to answer any health-related or pregnancy-related issues surrounding your pregnancy, labor and delivery, or before starting any new pregnancy-related program.

More Hypno-Birth tips...
Tip #1: Getting Started
Tip #2: Your Bubble of Peace
Tip #3: Why Create a Birth Plan?
Tip #4: A Sample Birth Plan
Tip #5: Laboring at Home
Tip #6: Do I need a Doula?
Tip #7: What to do in Early Labor
Tip #8: Getting everything You Want
Tip #9: Birthing Choices

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