My Natural Birth Plan

homemakerchic-9monthspregnantWell I’ve made it! Today is my due date. Somehow this sweet little baby has tarried on and we’ve gotten all the way to 40 weeks together. I’m so thrilled and can’t WAIT to meet him! Come on little boy, make your appearance. Annnnnnny time.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to post before everything goes bananas around here. I want to share my birth plan with you and explain why I’ve chosen to do some of the things I’m doing, in case you were wondering.

Disclaimer: Please don’t read any of this as judgment toward those who have chosen a different path than mine. I know there are many different and valid ways for babies to come into this world. This is just representative of my personal beliefs and desires for myself regarding childbirth.

I’ve chosen to have my baby at a birthing center under the care of amazing Midwives as opposed to at a hospital with a Doctor. Because of this, I really don’t need a birth plan because they automatically honor all of my wishes without me having to ask. All of the things I have listed below are standard operating procedure at the birthing center. But there is always the rare chance that I might need to transfer to a hospital for one reason or another. IF that happens I want to be prepared to let the hospital staff know the kind of birth I’m hoping for.

I’d also like to highly recommend anyone who is considering a birth center or home birth with Midwives to read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It is an amazing resource and very helpful.

-My Birth Plan-

Labor

1) Intermittent monitoring only. Freedom to walk around and move as I wish.

The reason for this is because natural childbirth requires the woman’s body to move. The baby needs help moving into the birth canal and it is just not sensible for a woman to do this lying on her back. Squatting, kneeling, swaying, dancing, rocking, are all useful positions to help get baby into optimal position for birthing. I want to be free to try whatever position is helpful, and not be constrained to a hospital bed. As long as baby and I are healthy, I don’t see any reason to be on constant monitoring.

2) Do not offer pain medication.

It is my desire to have an unmedicated birth. I want to do this because I think the female body was designed to give birth and that God gave us natural pain relief hormones and chemicals that work beautifully without intervention. I also don’t see anything wrong with a little discomfort. We, as a society, are so completely against discomfort, inconvenience, or challenge. In my view childbirth is a part of womanhood and I welcome the challenge to experience it as God intended, without intervention. I do however understand that I am human and may feel tempted to give up if I’m offered a way out. I really don’t want to have to deal with that, so I’d rather not have the option given to me.

Delivery

1) Allow me to to push and birth in position of my choice.

2) Access to drinking water at all times.

Ice chips? Really? I’m sorry but I drink at least a gallon of water a day and there is no way that I am doing the most physically intense thing my body will ever do without being properly hydrated. Would you consider running a marathon, or going to the gym without water? There’s just no chance. Labor is just as (if not more so) physically demanding. Everyone who has seen me in the past 9 months knows that I come with a water bottle every where I go. There will be no negotiating on this in the delivery room.

3) Allow me to eat light snacks as I desire.

Most hospitals will not allow the mother to eat during labor in case she needs to be transferred for an emergency Cesarean. I understand the reasoning behind this, but it is completely unreasonable to expect an otherwise perfectly healthy woman to do the most physically demanding job of her life without proper sustenance. It is no wonder so many moms give up on natural birth because they are exhausted and have no energy. I’m not talking about eating a steak dinner, but I plan to have fruits, nuts, and energy packed snacks to help me keep up my strength for the big show!

4) Allow my placenta to deliver naturally without Pitocin.

Even if you haven’t been induced with Pitocin for birth, many hospitals (and even birthing centers) will use Pitocin to help speed up the process of delivering the placenta. This should be a LAST resort option, only if there is an issue with the placenta not coming out on its own, or the risk of hemorrhage. Most healthy women will naturally deliver the placenta, without intervention, within about 10-30 minutes of birth.

5) Save my placenta for encapsulation.

Placenta encapsulation is when the placenta is dehydrated, ground, and poured into capsules for the mother to take postpartum. This is usually done by a doula or a midwife. I have arranged for a doula to do this for me. The placenta is packed with amazing vitamins and nutrients. Consuming it has been known to help prevent postpartum depression, increase energy, and help with milk supply. Women in many non-western cultures will actually eat their placenta (ew). I’m not hippy enough to fry it up or drink it in a smoothie, but I figure a capsule form can’t be all that bad. And I’ve heard so many women swear by it! Some women describe them as little speed capsules. Extra energy with a new baby and no sleep? Sounds good to me! I will let you know if it helps at all.

6) Please do not perform an episiotomy. I would like to use essential oils to help prevent tearing while birthing.

Many doctors will just automatically cut every woman to allow the baby to come out. This is completely unnecessary. Think of a paper towel. If you pull tight it will stretch, and it might even tear a bit. Think of that same paper towel with a small slit cut into the top. When you pull, it will tear completely in half with little effort. I’d much rather let my body tear naturally if that’s what’s going to happen. In a natural, unmedicated birth, the uterus will contract at a normal speed, to allow for proper stretching. The mother will be able to feel what is going on so she won’t just push arbitrarily. With an epidural the mother cannot tell what she is doing, and might push too hard and tear worse than she needs to. The use of warm cloths and oils during crowning can really help ease the baby out and prevent tearing. Some tearing might still occur, but it will heal much more quickly and naturally without a large cut made that probably wasn’t needed at all.

7) Delay cord clamping until the cord has stopped pulsating.

Studies have shown that delaying the cutting of the baby’s umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing has many benefits. The baby is getting his blood supply from the placenta and as long as it is pulsing it is still sending nutrient rich blood to your baby’s system. We want our babies to have a full tank, so to speak, and have good, high iron and blood levels. This only takes about 5-10 minutes, and can be especially helpful for babies born early. The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) says this, “a longer duration of placental transfusion after birth may be beneficial because this blood is enriched with immunoglobulins and stem cells, which provide the potential for improved organ repair and rebuilding after injury from disorders caused by preterm birth. Although the magnitude of the benefits from enhanced placental stem cell transfusion has not been well studied, the other neonatal benefits have led investigators to consider revising umbilical cord clamping practice guidelines.”

Baby care

1) As long as baby is healthy I would like baby placed on me directly after birth. Baby will breast feed, so only offer my breast and no artificial nipples.

Breast feeding is one of the single best things you can do for your newborn infant. I understand that many women cannot do this for various reasons, but I wholeheartedly believe that EVERY mother should at least try. Even if its just for a few days. It may not be fun or easy, but it is so very good for your baby. I plan to allow my son to do what is called the “breast crawl.” The breast crawl is when a newborn baby is placed directly on the mom’s tummy and allowed to crawl on their own up to the breast and then latch on. This process is amazingly natural and instinctive for the baby and helps to promote bonding between mom and baby, and a natural latch. You can learn more about it here, and watch an amazing video of a newborn little girl doing the crawl. Its seriously one of the sweetest, most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

2) Do not bathe baby- I plan to bathe baby after I have had time to rub in the vernix.

Vernix is the white, waxy sort of substance on the baby’s skin after he is born. This substance has a ton of amazing benefits and nutrients that should not be washed off. Here is an article that explains more.

3) We are planning to delay circumcision until baby’s first pediatrician visit.

This is because we are declining the vitamin K shot, which you can read about below. Babies bodies need about a week to develop the ability to properly coagulate blood. Because of this, the circumcision will need to be delayed so he does not have any bleeding issues.

We are declining the administration of:

1) vitamin K injection (Only use oral vitamin k)

I could explain this here, or I could refer you to Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, who is an awesome blogger that already did an awesome job researching and sharing why the vitamin K shot may not be as great as you think!

2) hepatitis b vaccine

This vaccine is to protect infants whose mother’s may have hepatitis B. However many hospitals administer it to every infant regardless of his mother’s test results. This just doesn’t make any sense to me. I do not have hepatitis B, so I really don’t see the point in giving my child a precautionary vaccination that he does not need, and expose him to potentially harmful side effects.

3) erythromycin eye ointment or any other eye salve

That goo that they put in babies eyes isn’t vaseline folks. Erythromycin is an antibiotic eye ointment administered to newborn infants. Its purpose is to protect the baby from any infection that could come from the mother if she has an STD such as Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Since I do not have either of these diseases there is absolutely no reason for me to give my baby an unnecessary antibiotic. Hospitals often administer it even if the mother has already tested negative for the STD’s “just in case.” For me personally, I know that “just in case” is not a factor, so I’m declining. When babies are born, their immune system is trying to build itself up, so any unnecessary antibiotics should be avoided so as to not impede the natural processes that are taking place in their bodies. Again, I do not want to expose my baby to medications that he does not need, and potentially cause harmful side effects. It really just doesn’t make any sense.

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25 thoughts on “My Natural Birth Plan

  1. Jodi

    SO excited for you! Your Birth Plan is almost identical to my own. I had a darling little girl just 6 weeks ago. Natural birth at a hospital (we don’t have birthing center here). I had contractions on and off for 2 weeks before finally having her at 40 weeks and 3 days. Finally went into the hospital at 8pm and had her at 2:50am. 8 pounds and 12 ounces. I had her in the bathroom – standing up. Not how I planned – but that’s the way it happened. Quite the experience – your body is capable of so much. It’s totally manageable! I’ll be praying for your birth! Can’t wait to hear about it!

    Reply
  2. Chardea grade

    Love love love this!!!! Made me think of giving birth to Jaxon. Such an amazing time. I’m so excited for you Noelle! It’s going to be an experience.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie Keisman

    This is pretty much exactly what we did (except we did not encapsulate the placenta, and we did get the Vitamin K shot). It was a wild ride. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear your story with Baby Luke!

    Reply
  4. Hannah Fortune

    I have been wondering if you were holding your little one in your arms! I wanted to ask, but that time right after is so hectic and precious.
    Most if what you covered I have already decided. Seems like so far, but it’s really not that far off! I’m almost through the first trimester!! Yay!
    I will have my baby at a hospital because there are no long standing birth centers near me. The only birth center has only been open for about 2 years. I have some other medical issues that could bring on complications, so airing on safe- I’ll be at a hospital.
    This hospital is awesome though. You are allowed to do just about whatever. They are super natural and moms plan oriented. I’m thankful for that!
    My husband says you look like a beach ball!! We are so thrilled for y’all!! Can’t wait to hear how it all goes down!!

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      So happy to hear your pregnancy is moving along! And that’s great that you have a good hospital near you. People jeep saying it looks like i have a basketball under my shirt. Lol. Luckily I’m all belly 🙂 and haven’t gained too much weight. That’s what a great pregnancy diet will do for you! Keep me updated.

      Reply
  5. Jonique Scott

    Hi Noelle! I have followed your blog for a little while, and I love reading the things you post. I even have my sister following. She has struggled with loss and infertility, so when you posted about your journey I got her to read it!! I just wanted to tell you good luck! You are so brave! And I know you will do great! I also wanted to ask if you were planning to vaccinate baby Luke. I know you’ve decline the hep B, but are you going to so the rest of the vaccinations starting at 8wks old?

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      Thanks so much for following! Right now our plan is to do a delayed vax schedule and then only selected vaccines. We’ve done a lot of research and I just feel like that is the right choice for us. I’ll probably write about it in more detail in the future. Good question!

      Reply
  6. Valerie

    I’m interested about the circumcision; how did you go about finding a pediatrician who will perform it at the first appt? We wanted to go that route too but were unable to find a pediatrician who would do it.

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      Our pediatrician does not actually do circumcision. Most primary care doctors in Florida are now referring out to specialists for what seems like everything other than a z-pack rx. So we’ve been referred to a pediatric urologist who will do the procedure.

      Reply
      1. Valerie

        Oh, ok! Well, that makes sense. I think they’d be the best choice for the procedure anyway (the urologist, I mean) because they are trained specifically with that part of the body.
        I took our youngest to a urologist to have his incomplete circumcision checked and he was very nice and helpful! Will have to look into that option if we have another boy. Thank you so much for your response! 🙂

        Reply
  7. mrsstewy

    Just started reading your blog, and I love all the info you provided concerning the natural pregnancy/birth plan! My husband and I are planning a little one very soon and it is hard to sift through info on natural pregnancies it is overwhelming to say the least. Your blog helped me get that foot in that I needed, thank you!!! Hope everything goes well for you!!

    Reply
  8. Rhea

    I’ve always been curious about natural birth…I know once my fiancé and I decide to have children (after marriage of course), I want to go as naturally as possible. I read this post and found out so much information that I believe will help me in the future. Thank you for all of this wonderful information. I can’t wait to share this with my sister and fiancé.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Sex After Giving Birth Tips - Parenting And Mental Health

  10. TMccall

    Thank you so much for sharing your birth plan. I was unaware of several of the topics you brought up. I feel more informed and better equipped to make my own birth plan.

    Grateful,
    TM

    Reply
  11. nomeatbarefeet

    This is a great post and really helpful. Thanks! One question: how did the plancental encapsulation work? Did you feel any positive results from it? Very interested in this since my wife and I are expecting our first baby in Feb and might consider it. All the best.

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      Hi there. I absolutely loved the placenta encapsulation and would 100% recommend it. Any time I had a little bit of baby blues or just felt overwhelmed emotionally I could take a capsule and felt uplifted within an hour. I still take them now when I have PMS or just a crummy day. They are amazing! Good luck!

      Reply
  12. Pudypank

    So what happens if your child is sunny side up you push for 4.5 hours and your baby is stuck and the it’s heart rate goes dangerously low? How long will it take to get you to the hospital? This happened to me and they had me in the operating room for an emergency c section. Within a few minutes my precious baby was out of me and saved. What is your birth plan for situations like that? Seconds count when your baby is in danger. This also happened to my friend so I do not think that this is all that uncommon. If you are a first time parent I’m telling you nothing will go as you hope it will. I never got to hold her when she first came out because I was shaking so bad from the rush of hormones. I’m telling you this so that your hopes are not crushed on the day you give birth. Enjoy the moment however it comes.

    Reply
    1. Homemaker Chic Post author

      Thank you for your question. My son was born normally and we had a very beautiful birth experience. My birthing center is strictly for low-risk patients. They are very vigilant in monitoring patients for any potentially dangerous outcomes including malpresentation. If there is something even slightly concerning they will refer to a hospital. In your situation (and I do know mom’s who have experienced similar scenarios at the center) you would have been transferred to a hospital LONG before getting to the point of emergency. The other thing worth noting is that all my care providers are not just CNMs but they are also ARNPs as well which makes them extremely well qualified for any issues that may arise with the baby after birth. The only thing a hospital can do that the birth center cannot is surgery, and if that were necessary the hospital is a 3-4 minute ambulance ride away. I felt very confident with my choice. I know not every birth center has the same standards which is why it is very important to for mom to make sure her chosen center is a place she feels comfortable with. It is unfortunate that if a negative experience occurs in an out of hospital birth people often assume that it wouldn’t have happened if they had been in a hospital, when often times things just happen and there’s nothing that can be done even in a hospital setting. Conversely, in the event of an emergency in the hospital it is mostly the nurses who are doing the life-saving work, so there is no reason there would be any better outcome in the hospital than in a birth center setting with highly qualified ARNPs. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  13. Jessica Pennington

    Congrats momma! Your birth plan sounds so wonderful and peaceful except for one very concerning part. After all of the natural aspects of your plan, I’m wondering how circumcising your precious baby fits in. Did you know that there are over 16 functions of the male foreskin? During childhood, the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis to protect the glans and to keep unwanted dirt and bacteria out. This is especially important during the time they are in diapers. During this time, the only thing you need to do for cleaning is wipe the outside like a finger. You never need to pull the skin back to clean it because it’s attached. When the child becomes older, the foreskin will naturally start to seperate and will become retractable and he simply needs to rinse with warm water when he showers to keep it clean. Contrary to what the U.S. has been led to believe, foreskin isn’t just an extra piece of skin. There are over 20,000 fine touch nerve endings present in the foreskin. Some of it’s purposes include protection of the glans aka the head of the penis. The glans are biologically designed to be an internal organ just like with every other male mammal. It is naturally very soft and sensitive. You can think of the natural glans to be like an eyeball and the foreskin to be the eyelid. If you remove the eyelid, the eye becomes unprotected, leaving it to dry out and eventually die. The same thing happens to the head of the penis when you remove the foreskin. The skin that was once very soft, moist and very sensitive becomes dried out and desensitized over years of being exposed and unprotected as it rubs against clothing and diapers. Foreskin also serves as mechanical lubrication during intimacy. I found all of this out when I was actually preparing my birth plan and happened upon an article called “The circumcision decision” on the blog “Birth Without Fear.” It was very eye opening for me as I thought that circumcision was just something that everyone did when you had boys. I was very wrong and I’m so thankful everyday that I found this information before I made a decision for my son that I could never take back. The more research I did, the more against it I become. I learned that the U.S. is the only non-Muslim country in the entire world that routinely circumcises their boys. The rest of the world, over 80% of men, have their whole, healthy bodies. Infections in these men and children are practically non-existent, which boggled my mind because of the claims that removing the foreskin prevents infections. Turns out that the US doctors, because of their inexperience with intact penises, were advising to force the foreskin back to clean it. This actually causes tiny rips and tears in the skin since it is attached and those tears can become infected. So it wasn’t the foreskin that was causing infections, it was the inaccurate advise given to parents that was actually causing the harm. As long as you never try to force the skin back, the worry of infections is gone. There were also claims that circumcision reduces hiv and stds but when I learned that the US was the only country that practiced routine infant circumcision and we also had the highest rates of HIV and STDs in the developed world, it became apparent to me that those claims were false as well. The ONLY thing that prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is practicing safe sex, not removing healthy tissue. Anyway, all of this was a lot to take in for me and I can imagine that it might be for you as well. Ultimately, after learning that removing the foreskin meant that I was completely changing the way my child’s penis would look, feel, and function for the rest of his life, and after seeing how many adult men were hurt by the fact that they were circumcised as infants without their permission, my husband and I came to the conclusion that the only person that should really be making that decision was our son himself. We now have 2 very happy and healthy, intact boys that wouldn’t want their foreskins removed for anything in the world. If you can Google that article that I spoke of earlier, it would be a great place to start your research. There are many helpful links to show the studies that have been done to debunk the infections myths. There is also a video on you tube called “The elephant in the hospital” it’s about 30 minutes long but is very informative. If you can watch it, it might save you a lifetime of regret. The circumcision rates in this country have fallen to less than 30% and I believe it to be because we are now starting to learn that this very painful procedure that our precious babies are supposed to go through actually does more harm than good. I hope that you take the time and research this topic as you have so beautifully done so with all of your labor plans and I hope you choose the natural way with your baby as well and let him keep his whole body. Much love and light to you and your family and congrats on your new bundle of joy.

    Reply
  14. Rachel

    This is a lot of good information so thank you! I do have a question… I didn’t see anything on there about the new born screening. I am 8 1/2 months in To my 3rd pregnancy and hoping for a VBAMC. I finally found somewhere to help with this and now I am trying to get all my info together again to be as informed as I was before my 2 c-sections.
    Anyway, I have read so much about the new born screening and having been one who used to perform them (just the heel stick part; I was a phlebotomist in the lab) at the hospital, I am not sure I understand the high risk other than an incorrect result or opportunity for infection at the poke site. (Which honestly is enough for me now but I had them done on my other two with no problem) So I wondered if you left that out for a reason or what your take is on the new born screening?

    Reply

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