Birth plans and going to hospital?


If you are clueless like me the first thing you going to do when you think about composing a birth plan is googling it. I have looked at several option and the one I like in particular was the HIPP baby one. It is complete straight forward.

The NHS has also got guidelines on this that you can read about at this link. 

The most important things to consider are:

1.Are you going to go into a birthing centre, hospital or home to have your birth?

2. Who do you want your birthing partner to be?

3. How far are you willing to go with the pain relief?

Number 3 doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, but at least being informed about your options is extremely important and therefore it’s best to read up about it before you go into labour.

There are three stages of labour, it is completely recommended that you are mobile as much as possible for your first stage. This is when you still at home, if you not having a home birth. You need to do your pelvic tilts and your rotational exercises. You can read more about baby positioning at this link.

If it is your first baby and you are having contractions but your waters have not broken, you may be told to wait. You’ll probably be told to come in when your contractions are:

  • regular
  • strong
  • about five minutes apart, and
  • lasting about 60 seconds

Ideally you would have visited the birthing place before you go there, as if it is unfamiliar to you, your birth may slow down and they may send you back home. This normally happens because fear and adrenalin set in.

Second babies often arrive more quickly than the first, so you may need to contact the hospital, midwifery unit or your midwife sooner.

Don’t forget to phone the hospital or unit before leaving home, and remember your notes!

If you make the hospital more cosy or comfortable by dimming the lights and bringing along some music, then you may feel more comfortable and at ease. You don’t need to bring along your own birthing ball, most places have them.

What are forceps and vent ventousel?

If the baby’s heart rate is decreasing and labour is progressing slowly, the midwife or doctor may advice the use of such devices to prevent you from having to have a caesarean and help the baby come out quicker. This is usually done due to medical reasons and is a medical intervention.

You can read more about ventousel here and forceps here.

Obviously the best birth for you and your baby is a natural one, the reasons for this is because:

  • recovery time is shorter for you and baby
  • you are more in control
  • you more able to push as you can feel your contractions better
  • you can be mobile and you won’t need so much monitoring
  • can have a waterbirth
  • your baby won’t be sleepy once born and therefore breastfeeding can be easier

At times the labour goes on for a long time and you just are finding it hard to cope. So you may decide that you would like to do something more to help yourself get on with your labour.

You have some options here:

Gas and air, also known as entonox 

Tens machine, which you can order from the pharmacy in advance. This send electrical impulses to prohibit the pain reactors in your brain from letting you feel pain.

– use of pethidine , there are rather a few risks associated with the use of this drug:

risks to you are nausea, vomiting, sedation, dizziness, diaphoresis, urinary retention and constipation.

risks to baby are: Pethidine is known to cross the placenta and is present in breastmilk. The major problem for the baby is that pethidine can cause breathing difficulties after birth due to its depressive effect on the baby’s respiratory centre. These effects are at the worse if the baby is born one to three hours after an injection of pethidine has been given. This is the reason that pethidine is ideally avoided when the birth is perceived to be close. An antidote can be given to the baby to reverse the effects of pethidine, however the effects of the antidote only last a short time and when they wear off the baby may re-experience breathing problems. Baby’s are more likely to have jaundice if their mothers have pethidine. Pethidine effects the baby’s sucking reflex and can cause breastfeeding difficulties for the first few days. Baby’s may require special care or neonatal intensive care from the effects of pethidine, resulting in separation of mother and baby. Read more

– use of an epidural, you can read about the risks here.

In the event that you need a caeserean a consultant will come and speak to you about this. Don’t be disappointed if this needs to happen, remember that there also still options.

1. Do you want the doctor to tell you what he is doing when he is performing the surgery

2. Do you want to watch or not?

you can still have your baby placed on you after delivery.

Of course there is more to consider about your birth like the postnatal things:

– breastfeeding or bottle-feeding

– cutting the umbilical cord

Let me know if you have any questions.



8 thoughts on “Birth plans and going to hospital?

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