Birth Plan - Basics Every Expectant Mom Should Know

Labor and delivery is such an overwhelming experience that organizing the details of this special occasion would be the last thing on your mind. If you wish to manage certain details of this important milestone, a birth plan can help you iron things out – right down to the room’s ambiance or even the music you want to welcome your little one into.

Knowing that you have a plan can help ease the anxiety and prepare you better for your delivery – be it a normal or emergency situation. It is a good communication tool if there are specific preferences about your birth that you would like to convey to your birth provider and it is best to discuss these wishes by the 36th week of pregnancy.To get you started, let’s cover your bases with this list of things that a birth plan might include.

Details about the birthing room

Florence Nightingale, who is the founder of modern nursing, formulated the Environmental Theory which changed the nursing practice. In her service, during the Crimean War, she observed the correlation between her patients’ well-being and their environmental conditions. What we can learn here is how a person’s direct environment affects how they cope with health stressors. The same is true in labor and delivery.

Environmental manipulation can help improve the mood of an anxious mom in labor. In your birth plan, you can specify the atmosphere you want for labor and delivery. Music, pillows, aromatherapy or ambient dim lighting can help create a positive experience.

Attendants

In your birth plan, you can specify who you want present in the room. If you wish to the birth in a hospital, most of those in Singapore allow a maximum of just one companion usually the husband, in the birthing room. A doula (trained labour coach) additional may be present to provide birth support. Having continuous labour support has been shown to shorten labor, decrease the need for pain relief and be less likely to end up with an operative (vacuum/ forceps) delivery or caesarean section. Please ensure that the doula is registered at the hospital of your choice.

Pain Management

There are several pain management techniques that you can use while in labor. It’s not just about going natural or straight to an epidural because between them is a range of options. You may choose to have the following to help cope with labour pain:

  • Acupressure
  • Massage therapy
  • Hypnobirthing therapy
  • Hydrotherapy: A whirlpool bath or warm shower
  • Medications: Entonox gas or opioid medication

 

As long as your wishes don’t put you and the life of your baby at risk, then discuss this with your doctor so you can work these requests into your plan. Facilities for hydrotherapy are limited to certain hospitals and extra charges will apply, so do enquire with the hospital prior to the 34th week. Apart from medications, the first three coping techniques do not come with your hospital so you would require a preparatory class teaching these techniques prior to labour or a doula’s assistance during the labour.

Labor and Delivery

When planning the labor and delivery, you may specify the type of birth you want to have. Although a normal spontaneous vaginal delivery is encouraged, there are some women who request for an elective Caesarean section based on personal preference which is not indicated due to a medical condition. Discuss with your obstetrician on the risks and benefits of an elective Caesarean and together explore reasons and perceptions of birth that mould this preference.Similarly, for patients who have had one caesarean section and find themselves again pregnant, discuss the options of a Caesarean Section (C-section) versus a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)? These are important issues to tackle because this sets the stage for how your obstetrician (OB) address your requests. Doctors also have a degree of variation in practicing medicine, and if your obstetrician cannot accommodate a certain preference, then it would be important to look for one who can.

Labor and delivery can have you going through a roller coaster of sensations, so it helps to have something to guide and prepare the team assisting you. On this matter, you may also detail if you want to:

  • be able to drink or have a light bite (bring your own snacks)
  • have your pubic hair shaved, or not
  • have your bowels cleared with an enema
  • have continuous or intermittent fetal monitoring (in low risk pregnancy)
  • be mobile and walk around the room or sit on an exercise ball
  • be allowed to push instinctively or be coached on when to push and for how long
  • use birthing aids (a birthing stool, a birthing chair, or a birthing pool/tub, mirror)
  • assume a birthing position (e.g. semi-reclining, squatting, side-lying, or on your hands and knees) you prefer
  • feel the head as it is crowning
  • have your husband cut the baby’s cord
  • do without an episiotomy (this is a small incision made on the perineum, the area between the vagina and the rectum, to widen the vaginal opening)

When a C-section is necessary

There are instances when a c-section is necessary to ensure a safe and successful delivery for the mom and the baby. Should this be the best course of action as your labor progress, here are important points to consider:

  • Anesthetic options (general, combined spinal epidural)
  • Have your partner in the operating room to accompany you.
  • Skin to skin in the operating theatre and have your partner hold the baby immediately after delivery if the baby is well
  • Breastfeed in the recovery room.

 

Postpartum Care

This stage is just as important to prepare for because these are the first few hours that your little one is exposed to the world. There are certain practices that you might have heard of, or have been advised about, but know that it will remain your call – granted that you also make informed decisions.

In your birth plan, you may specify if you want to do the following:

  • hold your baby as soon as it is born and skin to skin immediately
  • Exclusive breastfeed, combine breast and bottle feeding, exclusively bottle feed- indicate your brand of milk
  • avoid pacifiers or milk supplements, unless ordered by your doctor
  • bank your baby’s cord blood (This is the blood that remains in your newborn’s umbilical cord after birth which is rich in stem cells. Arrangements with the cord blood bank need to be done prior to delivery)
  • if you want to take back your placenta (Some mommies want it to be encapsulated for consumption)
  • have your baby stay in your room after delivery
  • bond with your newborn a certain way after it is born

Birth Wishes

Always remember that birth plans are not stringent templates of how things ought to be done. If anything, they must be flexible instructions because labor is a unique experience. There could be curve balls along the way, which would have you needing a plan A, B, or C. In doing so, you need to craft a plan using trusted resources, while considering the hospital’s policies.

To make it easier for your OB and her team to go through it on the day itself, arrange it in bullets or short paragraphs. Avoid convoluted language, but rather keep it straightforward. Discuss the draft with your doctor to ensure that you are on the same page. This will also keep you aware if your birth plan wishes are in tune with the hospital’s practices.

Be sure to keep the tone of your plan positive. Present this as a request, rather than a demand. Know that your preferences will be taken into consideration, but it cannot be set in stone, since you also need to factor in the unexpected.

Mommies, while your little bun is still baking in the oven, start on your birthing plans as early as possible. For expert opinion and advice, consult Dr. Pamela Tan today.

Labor and delivery is such an overwhelming experience that organizing the details of this special occasion would be the last thing on your mind. If you wish to manage certain details of this important milestone, a birth plan can help you iron things out – right down to the room’s ambiance or even the music you want to welcome your little one into.

Knowing that you have a plan can help ease the anxiety and prepare you better for your delivery – be it a normal or emergency situation. It is a good communication tool if there are specific preferences about your birth that you would like to convey to your birth provider and it is best to discuss these wishes by the 36th week of pregnancy.To get you started, let’s cover your bases with this list of things that a birth plan might include.

Make-An-Appointment-Button-Dr-Pamela-Tan

Details about the birthing room

Florence Nightingale, who is the founder of modern nursing, formulated the Environmental Theory which changed the nursing practice. In her service, during the Crimean War, she observed the correlation between her patients’ well-being and their environmental conditions. What we can learn here is how a person’s direct environment affects how they cope with health stressors. The same is true in labor and delivery.

Environmental manipulation can help improve the mood of an anxious mom in labor. In your birth plan, you can specify the atmosphere you want for labor and delivery. Music, pillows, aromatherapy or ambient dim lighting can help create a positive experience.

Attendants

In your birth plan, you can specify who you want present in the room. If you wish to the birth in a hospital, most of those in Singapore allow a maximum of just one companion usually the husband, in the birthing room. A doula (trained labour coach) additional may be present to provide birth support. Having continuous labour support has been shown to shorten labor, decrease the need for pain relief and be less likely to end up with an operative (vacuum/ forceps) delivery or caesarean section. Please ensure that the doula is registered at the hospital of your choice.

Pain Management

There are several pain management techniques that you can use while in labor. It’s not just about going natural or straight to an epidural because between them is a range of options. You may choose to have the following to help cope with labour pain:

  • Acupressure
  • Massage therapy
  • Hypnobirthing therapy
  • Hydrotherapy: A whirlpool bath or warm shower
  • Medications: Entonox gas or opioid medication

 

As long as your wishes don’t put you and the life of your baby at risk, then discuss this with your doctor so you can work these requests into your plan. Facilities for hydrotherapy are limited to certain hospitals and extra charges will apply, so do enquire with the hospital prior to the 34th week. Apart from medications, the first three coping techniques do not come with your hospital so you would require a preparatory class teaching these techniques prior to labour or a doula’s assistance during the labour.

Labor and Delivery

When planning the labor and delivery, you may specify the type of birth you want to have. Although a normal spontaneous vaginal delivery is encouraged, there are some women who request for an elective Caesarean section based on personal preference which is not indicated due to a medical condition. Discuss with your obstetrician on the risks and benefits of an elective Caesarean and together explore reasons and perceptions of birth that mould this preference.Similarly, for patients who have had one caesarean section and find themselves again pregnant, discuss the options of a Caesarean Section (C-section) versus a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)? These are important issues to tackle because this sets the stage for how your obstetrician (OB) address your requests. Doctors also have a degree of variation in practicing medicine, and if your obstetrician cannot accommodate a certain preference, then it would be important to look for one who can.

Labor and delivery can have you going through a roller coaster of sensations, so it helps to have something to guide and prepare the team assisting you. On this matter, you may also detail if you want to:

  • be able to drink or have a light bite (bring your own snacks)
  • have your pubic hair shaved, or not
  • have your bowels cleared with an enema
  • have continuous or intermittent fetal monitoring (in low risk pregnancy)
  • be mobile and walk around the room or sit on an exercise ball
  • be allowed to push instinctively or be coached on when to push and for how long
  • use birthing aids (a birthing stool, a birthing chair, or a birthing pool/tub, mirror)
  • assume a birthing position (e.g. semi-reclining, squatting, side-lying, or on your hands and knees) you prefer
  • feel the head as it is crowning
  • have your husband cut the baby’s cord
  • do without an episiotomy (this is a small incision made on the perineum, the area between the vagina and the rectum, to widen the vaginal opening)

When a C-section is necessary

There are instances when a c-section is necessary to ensure a safe and successful delivery for the mom and the baby. Should this be the best course of action as your labor progress, here are important points to consider:

  • Anesthetic options (general, combined spinal epidural)
  • Have your partner in the operating room to accompany you.
  • Skin to skin in the operating theatre and have your partner hold the baby immediately after delivery if the baby is well
  • Breastfeed in the recovery room.

 

Postpartum Care

This stage is just as important to prepare for because these are the first few hours that your little one is exposed to the world. There are certain practices that you might have heard of, or have been advised about, but know that it will remain your call – granted that you also make informed decisions.

In your birth plan, you may specify if you want to do the following:

  • hold your baby as soon as it is born and skin to skin immediately
  • Exclusive breastfeed, combine breast and bottle feeding, exclusively bottle feed- indicate your brand of milk
  • avoid pacifiers or milk supplements, unless ordered by your doctor
  • bank your baby’s cord blood (This is the blood that remains in your newborn’s umbilical cord after birth which is rich in stem cells. Arrangements with the cord blood bank need to be done prior to delivery)
  • if you want to take back your placenta (Some mommies want it to be encapsulated for consumption)
  • have your baby stay in your room after delivery
  • bond with your newborn a certain way after it is born

Birth Wishes

Always remember that birth plans are not stringent templates of how things ought to be done. If anything, they must be flexible instructions because labor is a unique experience. There could be curve balls along the way, which would have you needing a plan A, B, or C. In doing so, you need to craft a plan using trusted resources, while considering the hospital’s policies.

To make it easier for your OB and her team to go through it on the day itself, arrange it in bullets or short paragraphs. Avoid convoluted language, but rather keep it straightforward. Discuss the draft with your doctor to ensure that you are on the same page. This will also keep you aware if your birth plan wishes are in tune with the hospital’s practices.

Be sure to keep the tone of your plan positive. Present this as a request, rather than a demand. Know that your preferences will be taken into consideration, but it cannot be set in stone, since you also need to factor in the unexpected.

Mommies, while your little bun is still baking in the oven, start on your birthing plans as early as possible. For expert opinion and advice, consult Dr. Pamela Tan today.

Make an Appointment Today

Please help us to place your appointment by telling us as many details as possible about your condition, or why you would like a consultation. Rest assured that any details you choose to share with us will be held in strictest confidence.

Make an Appointment Today

Please help us to place your appointment by telling us as many details as possible about your condition, or why you would like a consultation. Rest assured that any details you choose to share with us will be held in strictest confidence.

Please help us to place your appointment by telling us as many details as possible about your condition, or why you would like a consultation. Rest assured that any details you choose to share with us will be held in strictest confidence.

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