The {Birth} Birth Plan

Friday, November 6, 2015
Another week down! Lately I feel like time is flying. Only 7 weeks until my due date!

Yesterday was a hectic day for us. I was feeling very overwhelmed at my never ending to do list, and how crazy the house looked...even though I cleaned from top to bottom just the day before. I was feeling exhausted, and there was this heaviness from the chaos of the week and making sure everyone's needs were being met, that was weighing down on my shoulders. My pregnancy emotions are off the charts right now as well.
It was a day my husband worked late late late, so I wouldn't see him until around 9.
My body was also feeling off, which I honestly think was helping to influence the overwhelmed feelings. I had a really bad run on Wednesday and since then my body hasn't been feeling it's best.

In a moment of desperation for some physical and mental relief...I rolled out my yoga mat at 6pm, in hopes to do a short relaxation and stretching sequence, before heading up for the madness that is bed time.

Naturally, as soon as I rolled out the mat, I had Harper nose to nose with me, tail wagging like a maniac. Boston was laying to my left, on his back. The cat was circling like a shark, looking for an opening. And Aria was on my right, doing tumbles while saying over and over "Ma, Watch. Ma, Watch. Ma, Watch".

I just had to laugh.
And while a part of me thought... I literally have nothing left to give today.
A bigger part of me thought... How lucky am I to be surrounded by so much love and by so many living things that just want to be near me.

All five of us did a little stretching together, on that tiny yoga mat.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Preparing for Birth. You can find it here
I have had a number of questions about making a birth plan, what each of the options I talked about in that post meant, and why it was important to us. So, I decided to break down how we made our birth plan, into a series of posts to help other mama's out there prepare for their births as well.

The series will include:

Birth Plan: End of Pregnancy
Birth Plan: Labor
Birth Plan: Birth
Birth Plan: Postpartum

We left off last week talking about the Labor portion of the Birth Plan. This week we're picking up discussing the different options we weighed for the Birth portion of our birth plan. 

The Birth portion of our birth plan is pretty short and to the point. There are only a few options we weighed in on as things that were important to us. 

Pushing on Urges

When it comes time to push, in a traditional hospital setting, women are coached through pushing. For my first birth, I was coached through pushing by my care provider and nurses that were surrounding the bed. I remember the experience well and I didn't want to repeat it. While it was ultimately effective, because Aria did come out, it wasn't an enjoyable experience for me. 
To me it felt unnatural and very confusing to have so many faces staring at me and throwing instructions at me to push, push, push, 12345678910

I have been to a number of births where clients like that type of coaching. I've been told that it feels encouraging to them and that they like the instruction. And I'm totally on board for that, if that works for mom. Like I always say, each woman is different and each birth is different. As long as she is given options and has the freedom to make her own decisions...I am totally onboard with whatever feels like the right choice for her. 

For this birth it's important to me that my care provider trust in my body, and allow my body to feel the urge to push, and to do what it was designed to, while in a  quiet and calm environment. 

Before I was on the table being instructed to push with Aria, I actually started bearing down and pushing on my own, instinctively, standing next to the bed. That's how they found out I had already progressed to 10cm. My body started doing exactly what it was supposed to, and without a thought (literally), I started pushing. The nurse yelled for me to stop. Once they realized I was at 10cm, I was instructed to lay and push. That pushing felt completely different. It didn't feel as natural as when I started pushing on my own. 

Pushing/Birthing Postions 

It's reported that over 90% of women in the US give birth laying down on their back or with the head of the  hospital bed slightly raised. While this position is the easiest for the care provider, it is not the case for mom.

Laying on your back to push means you are essentially pushing baby horizontal, rather than downwards, which can be really tough. The uterus is working very hard to push baby downward, and being flat on your back can make the uterus have to work much harder, for longer.
The flat on the back position also makes it challenging for baby to maneuver under your pubic bone, to ultimately come out. Once baby get's down towards your pubic bone, he actually has to go downward (towards the bed) and then come back up (towards the ceiling), to get underneath it. That can be challenging while flat on your back.
The flat on your back position can also increase pushing time.  

Allowing women to move from position to position helps the baby to move more efficiently with pushes. Upright and switching positions also allows your uterus to contract more strongly and efficiently, while using gravity to your benefit. While your uterus is working so hard to move baby downwards, by switching positions, you are creating space and opportunities for baby to move with your movements, thus moving down the birth canal naturally and with more ease. 

For this birth it was important to me to be able to push in any position that felt comfortable, and in as many different positions as necessary. 


There is a lot of different information out there about the benefits and risks of a waterbith. If this is something you are considering, I'd recommend doing a little research to see if it's a good fit for you. The Waterbirth International website offers a lot of great information, including research documents, recommended reading and news articles on waterbirth. 
This information is taken from the Waterbirth International website. 

"The effect of buoyancy that deep water immersion creates, allows spontaneous movement of the mother. No one has to help her get into a new position. She moves as her body and the position of the baby dictate. Movement helps open the pelvis, allowing the baby to descend.

When a woman in labor relaxes in a warm deep bath, free from gravity's pull on her body, with sensory stimulation reduced, her body is less likely to secrete stress related hormones. This allows her body to produce the pain inhibitors-endorphins that compliment labor."

 Waterbirth profoundly demonstrates that a woman is empowered by "giving birth", rather than "being delivered."

After both researching and experiencing waterbirths, I knew this was an option that I wanted available for this birth. 

Receiving Baby

During delivery, many care providers will allow the mother or partner to "catch" or receive the baby. If the moment calls for it, I'd like the option for my husband to receive baby. 

Next week we'll be getting into navigating the postpartum options for the birth plan. Those options were unique to us this time around because we are so much more informed than we were at our first birth.

Enjoy your Friday!

What is/was on your birth plan? 

How do you handle those overwhelming days at home? 


  1. Nowhere near needing this, but so glad that I read it. Wonderful information here, Tami! Thanks for explaining things so clearly, too. I'll definitely be re-reading this if I ever get pregnant. :)

    1. Thanks Beth! I appreciate that :) I'm so glad you found it to be clear. There is so much ambiguity in birth options :) Have a great day!!!

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