Thinking about how you wish to birth your baby is a perfect opportunity to look at what options are available to you. This may feel overwhelming – where to start? So it might be a good idea to think about what you don’t want for your birth. When you are clear about that then you can become clearer about what you do want.
Birth takes many forms and your birth will be unique, just like you and your baby. There is no right or wrong way to birth your baby, as long as your choices are coming from you and feel right for you. Your body, your baby, your birth. Follow your instincts and listen to your heart.
Here are some things you might like to include or think about in your birth preferences:
Where would you like to birth? (Home, birth centre, labour ward)
How would you like to birth? (Hypno-birthing, Active birth, Water birth, planned caesarean, Natural caesarean, Induction)
Who would you like at your birth? (partner, sister, best friend, mum, doula)
What would you like to do in the early stages of labour?
What would you like to eat or drink?
What kind of atmosphere do you want in the birthing room?
Would you like a water birth?
How do you wish to be supported in terms of the sensations of labour? (Massage, oils, homeopathy, gas & air – do you want to ask for support rather than be told what you need)?
Would you like direct skin to skin?
Do you wish for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating?
Do you want your baby to be checked immediately or wait an hour?
Do you want to deliver your placenta physiologically or have syntometrin?
Do you wish to see you placenta? Would you like to keep it?
Do you want to breastfeed?
Do you want your baby to have the Vitamin K injection or orally or not at all?
Do you want to be examined internally during labour and do you want to know how dilated you are?
It helps to be as succinct as possible and keeping your preferences to one page, a copy for you and a copy in your notes.