Bringing in another family member into the world takes a lot of planning and care. You already know that eating well, avoiding certain foods add to a healthy pregnancy. Also, different activities to keep the unborn baby safe, and kicking bad habits are crucial. But what when it comes to childbirth preferences, expectations, and related fears? Prepare yourself for many appointments. The closer you are to the third trimester of your pregnancy, the more you will have to think about a birth plan.
What Is A Birth Plan?
A birth plan consists of the expectations a mother has when it comes to baby delivery. As a future mother, you need to decide on whether or not you want an epidural. Since I am a big baby myself, I immediately added an epidural as part of my birth plan for both of my pregnancies. I cannot handle pain. According to NCBI, childbirth is one of the most painful experiences in life. Hats off to the women that give birth naturally and are confident that they can handle the pain that comes with childbirth.
What Are the Most Common Childbirth Preferences?
As mentioned, whether or not the mom wants to receive an epidural is a childbirth preference. In fact, it is the biggest preference any mom would have. It is also the first question the OBGYN, midwife or doctor asks the mom-to-be.
The Place to Deliver
Other preferences include the place where the mom wants to give birth. It can be at home or at the hospital. If the mom wants to give birth at the hospital, then she should decide on the type of room. Most women prefer to stay in a private or a semi-private room. However, that also depends on what the health insurance plan will cover. I wanted to stay in a private room after I had my daughter, but my husband’s insurance would not cover that. Therefore, I settled for a semi-private room.
Breastfeeding or Bottle-Feeding
You will also need to decide on whether you want to attempt to breastfeed or immediately start bottle-feeding. The baby will need to be fed right after birth, so it is best to think of the feeding option in advance. You might not be able to breastfeed right after birth, so think of a backup plan and always have baby formula at hand .
Who Can Assist Delivery
Another component of the childbirth preferences that many moms-to-be have are who they want to stay with them while they are in labor and ready to deliver. Almost all moms prefer their partners to be present during the entire time. However, some want to have their mother, a good friend or another beloved family member present.
The first expectation every future mother has is that the baby is delivered without any complications. Unfortunately, that expectation cannot always be met, so you should be prepared for unexpected circumstances.
Following the Birth Plan
The second expectation is that everyone involved in the delivery will follow the birth plan. However, moms-to-be need to understand that the birth plan can change at any time especially if unforeseen complications. So, even if the mother decides not to have an epidural, at some point, the delivery cannot continue safely without it.
Who Delivers the Baby
The third expectation is that either their own OBGYN or midwife delivers their babies. Sometimes, the OBGYN may not be on call or available when they go into labor. The mother will have to realize that another doctor or OBGYN will be the one to deliver the baby.
Needs Be Tended
Another expectation is that a mom’s needs be tended to by nurses and doctors. A mother expects that during the time she is in labor, during the delivery, and during the brief hospital stay she is taken really good care of. The staff is expected, for instance, to give the mom a specific food, not something she is allergic to, or does not fit her religious beliefs.
C-Section and Natural Birth
Some mothers expect to give birth naturally. If they already know that they want a C-section, the procedure has to be planned and scheduled in advance. If there are multiple pregnancies involved, or if the mom gets pregnant with baby #2 or #3 within a year of giving birth, that will always require a C-section.
Related Childbirth Fears
It is a well-known fact that labor pains are extremely painful. This is the first fear pregnant moms face, especially if this is their first pregnancy. Hearing horror stories from other moms about the painful labors or bad labor experiences they had would not help at all. Labor pains acknowledgment will make any mom-to-be understandably even more nervous.
Get Sick During Labor
Moms also fear that they will get sick during labor or that they will end up doing #2 during the delivery. The fears related to labor and delivery stem from the fear of the unknown. You really have no idea how your labor and delivery will go.
Another huge fear that many expectant moms have is that something might happen with the baby during the delivery. For instance, some may fear that the cord could wrap around the baby’s neck. This is why some moms prefer to have a C-section.
One serious complication I had when delivering my son, was that he inhaled a large amount of meconium, and lost oxygen as a result. That was likely the cause for his disability. I, unfortunately, was one of many women who had a terrible labor experience. However, I also had an excellent birth with my daughter. That is part of the majority of childbirth experiences women have.
When it comes to creating your birth plan, make sure you think of the problem from every angle. Also, state clear which are your expectations and preferences. At the same time, be prepared that these can change in a heartbeat if something unexpected occurs. Additionally, when it comes to giving birth, the only thing you can do is hope for the best labor and delivery experience, but also prepare for the unexpected.
Miriam Slozberg is a blogger, astrologer and freelance writer. Canadian mom of three, she writes about pregnancy and parenting, mental health, relationships and spirituality. Miriam is an advocator for mental health. She aims to help break the stigma that surrounds it.