This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, October 29, 2009 1:44 PM
Now that you are going to be a parent, you have a number of choices to make. It is helpful if you make decisions ahead of time so that you can plan to have the birth experience that you are hoping for. Some people are happy to have the caregiver or hospital staff make decisions about their care and treatment, while others want to be more involved.
Your plan states the choices that are important to you and your partner and include the time before, during and after birth. Read, ask questions in class, talk to friends, relatives and your caregiver to be sure you are informed about different birthing options. You and your partner may want to write down how you feel about the items from the list below and then compare your answers. Use this information to develop your plan together.
Please remember, that while these and other choices are reasonable, they may not be offered in your community due to hospital policies, lack of facilities or your caregiver's preferences. You will have to decide if your choices are important enough to change hospitals/doctors/community that you will use. You must also realize that the plan may need to be changed if an unexpected situation occurs. Be flexible and realistic.
|Choices During Pregnancy |
Choice of prenatal classes
|Choices Immediately After Birth Early |
contact with baby
Infant's first bath
Breastfeed in delivery room
Family time in delivery/birth/ recovery room
|Choices During Labour |
Use of a birthing room/labour/delivery room
Presence of father/companion
Artificial rupture of membranes
Medical induction/augmentation of labour
Types of preparation - enema or shave
Fetal monitor - use or type
Activity and position of the mother
|Postpartum Choices |
Rooming in - how much
Feeding - Breastfeed or formula
Length of hospital stay
Use of video, books, pamphlets
Type of support in the home
Care of sibling
|Choices During Birth |
Anaesthesia - type if required
Father's presence at caesarian birth
Camera, tape recorder
Positions for birth
Dim lights, quiet room
Let your caregiver know what your level of knowledge is and on what basis you have made your decisions.
Cover your priorities first, don't ask all your questions at once.
Write down a list of questions in advance.
Make requests, not demands.
Have your partner at your prenatal visit when your plan is introduced.