I'm about to pop! At least I feel that way at 36 weeks! I have so many questions about labor and delivery and have gotten som very invaluable advice. I never knew about having a birth plan. What is that? Don't I just tell my OB what I want and call it a day? That's what I initially thought before I talked to knowledgeable people in the lactation industry. We'll get to that topic later :) Now I know that it is a really good idea to have a birth plan in place before you go to the hospital. Not only does it tell the hospital crew what you want, but it also keeps you and your partner on the same page during your #parenthood journey.
There is a lot of chatter about breastfeeding vs formula, vaginal birth vs #cesarean, bath right away vs wait, #epidural vs natural, and many more details that are private to you specifically. My first bit of advice is do your research. Talk to someone who isn't motivated by the dollars of the advice they give you then do more research to find out the best for baby and mom.
Here are some quick tips!
1. I tend to have a more liberal/natural approach to my journey. For example, I plan to exclusively breastfeed and pump for as long as I possibly can. I plan to keep the umbilical chord attached as long as I can to ensure the best blood flow to baby. According to NPR.org, delaying the clamping of the cord allows more blood to transfer from the placenta to the infant, sometimes increasing the infant's blood volume by up to a third. The iron in the blood increases infants' iron storage, and iron is essential for healthy brain development. Amazing, right!?
2. What about washing baby right away? The World Health Organization recommends delaying the first bath until at least 24 hours after birth. Others suggest waiting up to 48 hours or more. One main reason is that it allows more time for mother and baby to bond, especially with skin-to-skin contact. The amniotic fluid stays on baby, which is on your nipples, and helps with #breastfeeding. It also helps regulate warmth, moisture, as well as contains #antioxidant and antibiotic properties. Sounds like a lay up to me!
youll find some of those questions in a birth plan. I’ve shared moments below. There are several places you can find a birth plan template. Just google it and find one that suits your sentiments about labor and delivery. To give you some insight, here is mine:
As you can see, there are a lot of elements to think about and having this document to hand off at the beginning, helps you be able to focus on your experience more and get those details out of the way.
3. My last but not least bit of advice is to pre-register at the hospital you plan to deliver. The last thing you're going to want to do is fill out a bunch of paperwork while your LO is coming out. You can pick up the paper at your OB, at the hospital, or do it online. Check with your OB first and see what they say and where they direct you.
4. Make sure you read thoroughly what you are signing. I know that goes without saying, but it's very important to mention.
So, there you have it! Planning for Delivery and Labor! How did you do it?