FAMILY, LIVING with kids | January 25, 2011

Prenatal Courses and Birth Plan | Getting Ready for the Baby

birth plan template

Since this will be my first child, I am glad that my husband and I took a childbirth class. I know more what to expect during labor. Our teacher was a nurse who had two kids and worked for 10 years in a delivery room. She gave us good tips about how our live is about to change.

Amongst the excellent advices she gave us, these struck me as the most important ones:

  • It is easy to forget since the baby requires so much of our time but the first priority of new parents should still be their partner. She made her point by saying that: 1) it’s best for the kids when parents are happy together 2) if you want more babies, you need a strong couple and 3) one day your kids will leave you, so pamper your relationship with your partner if you do not wish to be alone.
  • You should not be afraid to say no to people who want to visit the baby if you are too tired to entertain them. A girlfriend, who is also a mom, told me at my baby shower, you simply say “This is not a good time.” You may need to explain to friends and family members without a kid why you suggest another day, but parents will immediately understand what you mean.
  • Be prepared for a hard time during the first 6 weeks. Then, it will get easier. After the first 6 weeks, schedule one day or night out as a couple. Go see a movie, eat at a romantic restaurant, or do whatever you like to do together.
  • Do not do a birth plan since you will, most likely, be disappointed. Deliveries rarely happen as you planned them. It could be for medical reasons and simply because your preoccupations changed in the heat of the moment. I have a friend who prepared CDs with the music she would like to play during the labor. When the time came, she forgot to play the music.
  • A list of what to bring to the hospital and a list of the essentials for taking care of the baby.
  • The infant care session taught me a lot. I feel more prepared now.

Having said that, you must have an opinion on how you wish to give birth. Throughout the childbirth class, the teacher explained what are our options. This enabled me to determine what was important to me. I discussed some points with my husband when the decision had an impact on him. I believe that looking at a birth plan template is useful. The point is to simply see the plan as a set of guidelines but to keep in mind that you must stay flexible.

Here are two great sources for birth plan:
+ Tips on writing a birth plan at babycenter.ca
+ Birth Plan template at Women’s Healthcare Topics

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4 Responses to “Prenatal Courses and Birth Plan | Getting Ready for the Baby”

  1. Great Advice!! I am a labor and delivery nurse and we actually call birth plans cesarean section plans. Just because for some reason those with rigid birth plans tend to have complicated deliveries that require a c-section. I think you make a great point. The idea should be to have an idea of what you would like but know that things can change. If you are too rigid to a set of ideals the stress of trying to keep to a piece of paper will actually effect your labor. Fight for you right to have a natural labor and delivery (if that is what you want)but expect that things may go differently. Happy delivery!

  2. Great points. I am due in May have enjoyed reading “Home Birth in The Hospital” and based on your post, I think you may find it helpful, too. Also, having a doula seems be one of the most positive impacts on the birth experiance – especially for us first time Moms. Thanks for sharing your gems!

  3. I made a birth plan for the birth of our son. Although it never got used (it never even made it into the hospital), I was glad I wrote it because it prepared me for everything that could have happened. I was much more aware of what was going on. (Novertheless, not much happened the way I wanted or expected it to.)

  4. Kara, it is important to have a general idea. Instead of writing it down, I made up my mind informally during my childbirth class. The nurse really prepared us of what to expect and what were are options.