Birth Plan Decisions

Birth Decisions for you to be aware of:

(courtesy of Indie Birth (Doula Training Materials) and edited by Natalie Meade to suit Australian Birth Choices)

birth plan newcastle

___ Home or hospital (no for real!…have you researched this? Interviewed a midwife?)

___ Hiring a doula (or getting a student midwife)

___ When you would be comfortable with induction or NOT (HUGE TOPIC)

___ When to go in (if hospital)

___ Monitoring baby for 20-30 min on arrival to hospital (not evidence based)

– The Image belows shows myself and my dad in my VERY early labour of my first baby. Even though it was early labour, very soon after this photo the straps became very annoying as they limited my natural movements and kept flipping off and missing readings. The “20 minutes” reading became about 90 mins 🙁

electronic monitoring

___ Eating and drinking throughout labour – what you’d like

___ Wearing a hospital gown, what to wear, when naked feels good?

___ Blood tests in labour

___ Vaginal exam on arrival

___ Staying or leaving if you are in early labour, not active labour

___ IV antibiotics for GBS in labour

___ Continuous monitoring of baby in labour vs intermittent monitoring (or less)                                       

___ Monitor clipped onto babies scalp whilst inside mother

___ Frequent routine blood pressure checks

___ Routine/offered/assumed vaginal exams throughout labour (typically every few hours, or more)

___ Syntocinon if cervix is not changing at the pace expected

___ Epidural plan (yes, no, at what point, how to decide?)

___ Nitrous oxide (laughing gas, is the word ‘laughing’ accurate? )

___ Hydrotherapy, pool in labour, stay in for birth? Are staff comfortable with that

___ Caesarean section (under what circumstances, how to decide?)

___ Pushing Position (does your provider support upright birth)

___ Starting to push (how to know, who can guide? What you wish for?)

___ Coached pushing versus physiological pushing

___ Perineal support, hands on vulva, warm pad to perineum

___ Episiotomy (what is this? Do you want it? How to do informed refusal)

___ Delivering the baby’s shoulders versus spontaneous birth (hands off approach?)

___ Who catches the baby? Who guides to mother, how fast?

___ Drying baby off (or leaving vernix on)

___ Skin to skin

___ blanket on baby vs. naked (Hat culture? Babies bare head is important for temp regulation))

___ Active management versus physiological placenta birth (routine at some hospitals to intervene)

___ Shot of syntocinon at birth

___ Immediate cord traction, pulling the placenta out

___ Uterine massage

___ Cord clamping [immediate, delayed (60 sec) or physiological, after the placenta]

___ Cord blood collection

___ Vitals on mom and baby immediately after birth

___ Baby latching (waiting for them to do it versus pushing baby to latch asap)

breastfeeding plan


___ Newborn exam (away from you or next to you)

___ Hep B vaccine (day one of life, or delay to 6 weeks, or not at all)

___ Vitamin K shot/oral/not at all

___ Weighing and measuring baby

___ Newborn metabolic screen (heel prick, easier to get blood at about day 3-5 of life)

___ Baby’s first bath

___ Circumcision/intact

___ Checking mom’s perineum for tears, including a rectal exam (your choice)

___ Sutures for any tearing (different degrees of tearing have different recommendations)

___ Sleeping with baby

___ Placenta consumption

___ How long to stay post-birth

___ Rethinking your risk status – this is a huge topic, and one I would urge you to get a midwifery perspective on if you’ve been told you are high risk!!!

Gentle Caesarean Choices

___ Epidural vs General anaesthesia

___ No additional meds to “relax more”

___ Music of choice, no extraneous conversation

___ Clear drape or lowering the drape as baby is born

___ Skin to skin immediately

___ Delayed cord clamping

___ Saving placenta


Induction Reasons/Topics to Learn About

___ Learn about the risks of induction

___ Big baby

___ Water broke

___ 40, 41, 42 weeks

___ Social reasons

___ Gestational diabetes

___ High blood pressure

___ Membrane sweeps at the end of pregnancy (ALSO, vaginal exams at the end of

pregnancy in general, since they are not helpful and are possibly harmful)

___ Breaking water to START labour

___ Cervadil

___ Foley bulb

Give me a free 15 minute consult call ANYTIME! There is a LOT to learn for birth and I have 13 years of research and experience I am happy to share with you! If I don’t answer, just leave me a message, I will call back. 0406 934 645 Natalie Meade. 

birth support