Labour and Delivery with Individualised Birth Plans
Labour comes in three stages. The first stage begins with regular uterine contractions and ends with complete cervical dilatation (10 cm). The second stage of labour begins with complete cervical dilatation and ends with the delivery of the baby. The third stage is the period between the delivery of the baby and delivery of the placenta and fetal membranes.
As you progress through the mechanisms of labour, close monitoring is important to ensure your safety and that of your baby. Physical examination will include:
Maternal vital signs
Assessment of fetal well-being
Monitoring of the frequency, duration, and intensity of uterine contractions
Pelvic examination for dilatation
A birth plan, especially one that is made for you, can be a step towards a positive birthing experience. Birth plans are simple and clearly stated information which details your preferences for the birth of your baby. This will serves as an effective avenue for you and your doctor to openly discuss pertinent details.
It helps to be reasonably flexible in your desire since things always don’t go according to plan. Keep in mind that every birth is different, and the definition for a “normal” birth could vary. What is ensured is that you and your baby are safe throughout the process of labour and delivery.
An individualised birth plan can help you maintain your focus and sense of calm even if unexpected events occur. Childbirth is no walk in the park and having your own plan can help you keep track of everything involved.
Your birth plan may specify matters regarding pain management, episiotomy preferences (surgical incision used to enlarge the vaginal opening to deliver the baby), and care immediately following birth. This may even include contingency plans such as assisted instrumental delivery, in cases where childbirth needs to be expedited during the second stage of labour.