As I mentioned in my previous post, we made a birth plan. I wasn’t planning on making one. I wouldn’t know what to put in it. That is until I read The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill.

Cover of The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill
The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill

creating the birth plan

In the book, she talks about every aspect of birth and all the different options. It reads very smoothly so my husband and I both read it and then we went through it together. I told him for every aspect what I wanted. We talked about it, and he noted it down in a Google Drive doc in bullet points. The book uses free icons, so if you want, you can also create a more visual version. For me, this was too much effort compared to the added value.

At this point, the exercise already helped us a lot. Even if we would never show it to anyone:

  • we were both informed about our options
  • we reflected on what we wanted
  • we were aligned
  • my husband had a written reminder of our wishes

how we used it

  • We used it to validate that our gynaecologist was on board with the things we wanted
  • My husband printed this and put it in my hospital bag. When we got to the delivery room, he showed it to the midwife. She read it right away and confirmed to us that she understood what we wanted.

our birth plan

So here it is: our birth plan.

Our visual birth plan, using icons

general

  • Natural birth, if possible
  • Conversations with Daniel first
  • Private time to discuss proposed procedures
  • Language: Dutch or English

room

  • People allowed in the room: Daniel, 1 midwife, gynaecologist
  • Low light
  • Quiet

pain relief & other comfort measures

  • No drugs
  • Don’t offer pain relief
  • Bath
  • Eat and drink
  • Freedom of movement

monitoring

  • Sarah and baby (if really necessary for the hospital)
  • Cervical checks are ok (if really necessary for the hospital)

interventions

  • No induction
  • No augmentation
  • No breaking waters
  • No episiotomy

medical providers

  • Consent and explanation before action
  • No time pressure
  • No stress or pushing

delivery

  • No PUSH comments
  • No assisted delivery (instruments, forceps or suction) or cesarean. If possible.
  • Daniel to catch the baby.

after birth

  • Optimal cord clamping by Daniel
  • Skin to skin
  • No washing
  • No hats
  • Bonding one-two hours
  • Placenta by natural expelling
  • Don’t keep the placenta
  • Vitamin K
  • Breastfeeding guided by a midwife

just a plan

You never know how a birth will go, so even though we made this plan, I tried to keep my expectations realistic. I might not be able to handle the pain and ask for pain relief. Something might go wrong, and medical interventions might be necessary, you never know. We did also read about the other options in that case.

In the end, the birth of my daughter did go as planned. I do believe that my preparations helped me to increase the chances of having a natural birth. We shared the most romantic, intimate, primal experience together. I loved sharing this with him, and it evolved our relationship to a new level of connection because of this.

What I didn’t foresee was the complications after she was born. I didn’t get to share the skin-to-skin moment that I had been longing for. Instead, doctors were trying to get her to breath. You can read the full birth story from my husband’s point of view here. Don’t worry, our little warrior pulled through, and she’s a healthy five-month-old baby now.

This article is not sponsored. Any links to products are products that we liked and paid for ourselves.