Our Birth Guide

I couldn’t very well share tips for writing a birth guide without sharing my own guide! It’s nothing glamorous, and unless you’re currently pregnant it won’t be interesting in the slightest. So, don’t feel bad if you skip your way on over to something better.

As I mentioned in the tips post, I have a homebirth/birth center version and a separate page specific for a hospital setting. I also worked up a page for sibling care, but I’ll save that for another day. Perhaps after the fact with a few pictures of Jemma’s adventures while I’m birthing.

Homebirth Guide

We feel very blessed to experience the birth of our baby with you! Whether you are near or far when our little one enters the world we are excited to share the journey of our growing family. Thank you for your support as we welcome our latest blessing!

Much Love,

Dominic, Gretchen, Jemma and Brother

Statement of Purpose
We have planned and prepared for a peaceful and natural childbirth. Our hope is to allow our labor and birth to unfold naturally, with as little intervention as possible. We would like to be informed about all procedures and tests before they are performed. We want to be aware and informed of all of our options in the event of an unexpected emergency. In each circumstance we plan to make a decision after a B.R.A.N. assessment:
What are the BENEFITS?
What are the RISKS?
What are the ALTERNATIVES?
What if we do NOTHING?

Our Preferences

  • Throughout Labor 
    • Freedom to walk, move, and change positions as desired
    • Freedom to eat and drink
    • Use of the shower and tub as desired
    • Ability to use relaxation and non-medicinal pain relief methods as desired
    • Water, hypnosis, counter pressure, aromatherapy, homeopathy, etc. 
    • Acupuncture or chiropractic care if needed
    • Ability to control the environment including temperature, lighting and music
    • Massage and support of the perineum to avoid tearing
    • Dominic plans to catch our baby
  • Post Birth
    • Immediate contact between Gretchen and baby
    • Baby placed on Gretchen’s chest, breastfeeding encouraged, Dominic gets skin-to-skin opportunity, left undisturbed for 1-2 hours following birth and any newborn procedures performed afterward 
    • Delay of clamping and cutting of umbilical cord until pulsing ceases, Dominic will cut when ready
    • Placenta delivered spontaneously
    • Please handle gently as will be taking prints and encapsulating it
    • Newborn procedures:
      • Postpone weighing and measuring until Gretchen directs
      • Eye drops – waived
      • Vitamin K injection – waived, unless it is determined that the birth was “traumatic” for baby, in that case, the oral botanical version with approval from Dominic or Gretchen
      • Newborn Screening test – yes, after 24-48 hours
      • Delay first bath
  • Visitors 
    • We request no visitors during labor and birth
    • We will not be responding to texts or calls, understand that “no news is good news”
    • If you have an emergency and must reach us, please call our doula
    • Depending on the time of day, we may invite you to briefly join us after baby is born. We request that you limit your visit to less than an hour so Gretchen and baby can sleep and adequately recover before longer visits.

Hospital Guide

In this section I listed the hospital we prefer to transfer to and the following changes/additions.
  • Labor Preferences 
    • Gretchen would appreciate being assigned a nurse who enjoys working with couples pursuing a natural childbirth
    • Ability to use relaxation and non-medicinal pain relief methods as desired
    • Water, hypnosis, counter pressure, aromatherapy, homeopathy, etc. 
    • Acupuncture or chiropractic care if needed
    • Environment – low lights, quiet voices, freedom to move
    • Pain medication – do not offer. Gretchen knows what her options are and will ask if she needs them.
    • Minimal vaginal exams – do not share dilation progress unless Gretchen asks
    • Fetal monitoring – Gretchen would prefer intermittent monitoring (20 min on the monitor each hour)
    • No IV – A Saline Lock is fine. If an IV is required, please notify Dominic or Gretchen every time something is injected. No medications should be given without Dominic or Gretchen’s verbal consent.
    • Avoid – stripping membranes, breaking water, vacuum and forcep assistance, and episiotomy 
    • Second stage – Gretchen would appreciate warm, moist compresses and perineal massage to help reduce the risk of tearing
  • In Case of C-Section
    • After birth, Dominic will stay with baby and Kathy Robertson (Gretchen’s mom) will join Gretchen
    • Dominic will immediately hold baby skin-to-skin until Gretchen is able to breastfeed, please return baby to Gretchen as soon as possible
    • We decline all supplemental bottle-feedings – no formula, sugar water, or artificial nipples
    • Afore mentioned placenta and newborn procedure requests stand in the case of c-section
… Oh so many ways to follow along …
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  1. says

    Love reading through birth plans, even when I'm not expecting. I always find it interesting what people intend for their experience to be like, it can be so different from one person to the next! I recently started blogging again after a long break and I updated my 12 in 2012. Thanks for starting that, it has been nice to see what my family has accomplished so far this year. :)

  2. Laurentummel says

    This sounds great, I will keep you in m thoughts that you have the birth you envision. I'm curious…who does the birth plan get distributed to?

  3. Anonymous says

    I'm just curious why you call him brother?

  4. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I'm sure it is different for everyone, but in our case Dominic has a copy and we give one to our midwife, her assistants, doula, and both sets of our parents.

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I'm glad you're blogging again :) I need to update my 12 in 2012 soon!

  6. says

    I am really, really excited to hear about brother and hoping, as a fellow really-long-first-labor gal, that his arrival is quick and easy.Its funny, we never ended up with a formal birth plan in the end. I think because we had such a great relationship with our midwives and were planning a home birth, it ended up just not being important. The only thing that was in our 'birthbed plan' were newborn procedures we wanted/didn't want.