Several of you have asked me to post a copy of my birthing preferences that I gave to our nursing staff, so I've included them at the bottom of this blog post.
A few thoughts about birthing preferences: You need to discuss these with your doctor, nurse practitioner, midwife, doula—whoever is going to be involved in your labor and delivery—well ahead of your due date. DO NOT walk into the hospital when your contractions are two minutes apart and bark your orders to the nursing staff between breaths and expect them to happily comply. In fact, the earlier you disclose them the better, because if you and your physician heavily disagree, you may need to find someone else to deliver your baby. I was very blessed to work with my doctor, Dr. Chris Radpour, and the nursing staff at Erlanger East in Chattanooga, who were super supportive of our decision to have a HypnoBirthing birth.
You and your partner (or whoever is going to be in the room with you) really need to talk about what's important to you and what you can be flexible about, and know how to pick your battles. DO NOT be a momzilla. Birth is not the time to tap into your inner diva. While you should make decisions based on what you're comfortable with, you may also be paired with your nursing staff for a while, and it serves your best interest not to make enemies with the nursing staff. (I actually baked cookies and delivered them, along with thank-you notes, to my doctor's office and the nursing staff at the hospital afterwards. Those nurses stay up on their feet all night long and tend to your every need for hours on end; it certainly wouldn't hurt to show a little appreciation.)
Remember, you are paying A LOT of money to have this baby; as long as you're not putting your health or the health of your baby in jeopardy, it's your call how you deliver your child. Within reason (please use common sense, ladies), you cannot be forced into anything you don't want to do. Fight for what's important to you, and (again, barring emergencies) don't take no for an answer. The nursing staff and doctor work for you, not the other way around.
Speaking of special circumstances, know that these are not the Ten Commandments. If a special circumstance arises, please be flexible. At least listen to what the doctor has to say and make an informed decision. Do not be so married to these preferences that you panic if something doesn't go your way. The point is to be confident and in control.
Birth preferences for natural labor
Courtney and Kelley Thompson, baby Liam
Courtney and Kelley Thompson, baby Liam
- I would like my husband to stay with me at all times
- Please, no students or hospital staff other than doctor/practitioner/nurse in the room
- Visitors will only be allowed in room after birth
- Self-hydrate with clear fluids, no IV or IV port if not medically necessary
- Intermittent rather than continual blood pressure and heart/fetal monitoring
- Avoid artificial induction
- Allow membranes to release naturally
- Please do not offer pain medication or ask about pain level
- Avoid episiotomy; I have been doing Kegels and perineal massage to minimize tearing
- Quiet, calm, dimly lit labor and delivery room
- Use of labor ball if needed
- Freedom to move around or try different positions if needed
- Mother-directed birth breathing, rather than forceful pushing
- I would like to wear contact lenses or glasses
- Immediate skin-to-skin contact with mom
- Wait reasonable amount of time for cord to stop pulsing before cutting
- Dad to assist with cord-cutting
- Allow for natural placenta delivery
- Mom or dad to hold baby during routine vital check/eye drops, etc.
- Mom or dad to be present for circumcision
- Breastfeeding exclusively soon after birth, then every 2 ½-3 hours—no bottles/pacifiers
We have chosen Dr. Chris Radpour and the staff at Women’s East because we feel confident in their abilities and trust their experience and professionalism. In the event that a deviation from these preferences is medically necessary for the health of the mom and/or baby, we are open to your advice and recommendations and will be happy to cooperate.
We would like to create as serene a birthing environment as possible, with only the most necessary assistance. We feel that if this birthing process does not exactly follow the charting system, it is not necessarily cause for medical intervention. We would appreciate the opportunity to try natural methods to maintain labor progress.
Please feel free to message me or comment below if you have any questions!