Birth Empowerment List ~ Your Birth Plan
by Jill Diana Chasse
mentor at the Wise Woman University
We all have dreams and visions and expectations of what we think or want, desire or dream of for the birthing of our baby. Whether you are expecting your first child or have had several before, a birth plan is a wonderful way for you to document and visualize those dreams. When you have your desires written down, it gives you a tangible empowerment tool to share with your midwife or doctor, it allows you to share your wishes with your partner and birth attendants, and it helps you to reflect on your decisions and visualize the birth you desire.
A birth plan should come from your heart, but also address the reality of potential complications, changes, or interventions if necessary. It is a way for you to express your wishes to the people assisting and attending you, and to prepare them before your labor. That way when you are in labor, all you have to do is focus on birthing your baby.
When writing a birth plan, there are certain areas you should be sure to address. These are mainly:
Environment focuses on the place you are in and how it is set up. It can be anything from the feng shui of the delivery area, to the music you want to have on. If you are birthing at home, you may want to list things you’d like available, such as candles, incense, aromatherapy diffusers, etc.
If you are planning to birth outside your home, this list can help remind you what to pack. Setting your environment in a birth outside of your home helps to bring in more personal feelings to the foreign space and aid in relaxation.
In this section you should discuss laboring where you want to, walking around, taking a shower, drinking, and other environmental comfort measures.
Support discusses the people involved in your birth. Who do you want involved and not involved? In the support section you should list your doula and how she will be involved, any extended family, and your significant other and what role he or she will play.
In this section you should specify what kind of support you desire to ease the birthing. This includes pain relief, ie.” I would like my husband and doula to support me with massage and hot rice packs.” Think about the kinds of pain relief that help with your braxton hicks contractions. This will most likely carry over to birth. Some other suggestions include: singing, hypnosis, accupressure, herbal packs, and demerol or other medication. List if you do or do not want an epidural.
Intervention is an important section to include, especially if you are trying to avoid it! In the case that your birthing needs some extra assistance, you will want to be sure to express the kind of assistance that would make you feel most comfotable. Some suggestions for labor not progressing include: walking, nipple stimulation, accupressure, herbs, castor oil and pitocin.
Fetal and maternal monitoring can be considered interventions that can slow the progress of labor in a healthy situation. Think about how much monitoring you are okay with and be sure to document it. Fetal monitoring may include internal, external, intermittent or continuous. Your practitioner may use a fetascope or a medical monitoring system depending on where you are and what instruments are available. Maternal monitoring includes internal vaginal exams, external palpations, urine checks, blood checks, IV and medical monitoring.
Finally, if a cesarean delivery is suggested by your practitioner, you will need to determine what circumstances you would consider it. The things to take into consideration when trying to avoid a c-section are timing, baby positioning, labor progression, fetal heartrate and maternal exhaustion. Be sure to discuss this with your practioner during a prenatal visit to be best prepared.
Finally, the Postpartum section should address your contact with the baby (ie. please put my child directly on my chest after delivery). Talk to your practitioner about the newborn exam and practices they follow, such as Vitamin K, APGAR testing, bathing, suctioning, etc. What would you like performed or not performed?
Timing is important here as well, so if you want to wait for the cord to stop pulsing before it is cut, add it to your list! If you want baby to nurse right away, or you want sibling to hold baby while you deliver the placenta, write that in your postpartum section.
Remember that your birth plan is what you wish and desire, but just like the weather a storm may roll in and you’ll have to be flexible. Allow your birth to flow and sway in the storm if issues do arise. It is your birth and your baby’s birth. Voicing your choices and working through them together will allow the empowerment and magic of birth to stay with you in the peaceful rest of your postpartum baby moon.
by Jill Diana Chasse
Baby Magic for Your Magic
Magic is a Spiritual Guide to Motherhood.
Begining before conception, Baby Magic guides
a woman on her magical journey of becoming
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tips, and exercises, Baby Magic teaches
a woman how to prepare for and welcome her
child with a healthy and brain stimulating
Paperback, 89 pages, publisher--Magic
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book from our Bookshop
"I'd recommend it to any women who
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- Rosa Durrante, midwife
Listen to a 30 minute radio interview with Jill Diana Chasse
Online Courses with Jill Diana Chasse
Perinatal Mood Issues
Manage pregnancy and postpartum emotional challenges including baby blues and PPD symptoms to help reduce the risk of depression and keep yourself and your baby mentally and emotionally strong.
Learn exercises and meditations to encourage communication with your baby in the womb, optimizing mental and sensory development as well as promoting the special bond between baby and parent.
Magic of Motherhood Birthing Education
A Complimentary Natural Childbirth method for use with or without medications, at home, birth center, or in a hospital. Learn to “Experience, Understand and Enjoy” your labor & delivery through emotional support, empowering yourself and your baby.
Relaxations and Visualizations for Birth
Relaxations and visualizations involve hypnotherapy/ autosuggestion for relaxation, anti-stress/anti-pain, and self-esteem, as well as communication with the unborn baby and stimulating a mystical and spiritual energy level.
About the Mentor, Jill Chasse
Jill Chasse, PhD is a counselor certified in "Handling Loss and Grief " and "Understanding Depression." She has additional training in postpartum depression, maternal mental health, and post traumatic stress disorder. She is a member of the APA and certified by IACT. She also holds an MS in family and developmental psychology and a certification in "Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders."