Birth plans

Up until now I hadn't really thought much about a birth plan other than I was sure I didn't want a home birth.

Pregnant woman sitting on chair.

Pregnancy insider blog

People had asked me what I wanted and if I was worried about it. The answer was always no on both counts. It seemed too far off to think about and I also thought 'whatever will be, will be'.

Well this attitude was brought into sharp focus this week by my best friend who is 3 weeks ahead of me having her waters break at 32 weeks.

Not an ideal situation and it really bought it home to me that this baby could arrive any time and I need to be in some way prepared for that. This coupled with attending our first NCT antenatal class at the weekend has spurred me on!

I have now read the information the midwife gave me weeks ago, I've done some research, asked some friends and thought about the information I was given at the weekend! I'm still very much of the opinion that I will just need to go with whatever happens as every birth is different and I cannot predict what will happen.

However what I have now is a plan for what I'd like to happen all being well and I feel much more in control and confident as a result. 

Having thought about hypnobirthing for a while we have decided to book a course which starts next week. Although I really liked the idea I was a bit cynical of how much use it would be if I didn't have a straight forward birth and ended up having a lot of interventions. However what I've learnt from my yoga teacher, friends and from the NCT class is that staying as calm and relaxed as possible is fundamental to trying to achieve a happy and straight forward birth.

Apparently as soon as you start getting stressed or anxious your body stops producing oxytocin the hormone that helps stimulate labour and contractions. Low levels of oxytocin can make labour longer and more painful – and that doesn't sound fun.

Hypnobirthing teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques which help you to be and stay in control of your birth.

I therefore thought that even if I only get so far on my own, at least that part of labour will be as calm and pleasant as possible. Staying calm in general, whatever happens can't be a bad thing! So hypnobirthing is a big part of my birth plan – that's what I'd like to do and no doubt I'll learn much more about it at my upcoming classes.

I want to have my baby on the midwife led unit and I've also decided I want a water birth if possible. My back and pelvic pain is really bad now and I have been told that the water will help support me and make me more buoyant and comfortable.

I'd also like a birthing ball in the room as I've been shown lots of nice comfortable positions you can get in with one of them!

I also just want my husband there are my birthing partner – it makes me feel stressed just thinking about having someone else like my mother being there, but we're all different!

Another important thing I've decided is that unless it's necessary for my own health or that of my baby, I do not want to be induced before I am 42 weeks.

Of course I reserve the right to change my mind on this (!) but having weighed up all the factors involved in being induced I would rather avoid it if possible. So we'll all have to wait now and see how all the above actually pans out!

Read the next instalment of the Pregnancy Insider

The pregnancy insider profile

Follow our Pregnancy Insider, the blogger who tells it like it is, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook page. Our Pregnancy Insider is 29, lives in East Anglia, practices yoga and is a big fan of House of Cards - and she's pregnant with her first baby. Look out for her blog each week. 

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