Our priority is to provide personalised, quality care that’s tailored to your needs. You may like to write a birth plan to let us know your preferences.
A birth plan is your way of communicating the type of labour and birth you would like to have. This is an important step in preparing for your birth, and it can allow you to have more control during the birth process. It might include things like labour and birthing positions, support preferences, pain relief and more.
There are a few things to consider, so don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start. Our guide can help you create a birth plan that is unique to you and your pregnancy.
Before you write your birth plan
The first step in creating a birth plan is to do a little research, and our Antenatal Classes are a great place to start. They provide a lot of helpful information from our expert obstetricians and midwives and are highly recommended for all expecting mothers.
You should also read about the stages of pregnancy and labour to gather helpful information about what to expect throughout your pregnancy. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to get in touch with us.
We want to help our patients feel confident and informed. The ultimate goal is for you to understand all of your options and to make informed decisions. Some things to think about include:
- What kind of birth are you planning to have?
- What would you like to happen during your labour and birth?
- Who will be involved in your labour and birth, and what role will they play?
- What type of atmosphere (lighting, music, birthing aids) would you prefer?
- Are there any special considerations (such as cultural or religious needs) you want your doctor or midwife to know about?
As you research, remember to write down what is important to you so you can include it in your plan.
What to include in your birth plan
The level of detail in your birth plan is entirely up to you. Perhaps you would like to include information on every step of the process, or maybe just a few points. But there are a few things that you should definitely include:
Support – Write down who you would like in the room with you through your labour and birth.
Positions for labour and birth – Make a list of different positions that you feel will make labour and birth more comfortable for you.
Midwives will assist you in remaining mobile and upright, as this assists with the progress of labour. They will suggest positions and position changes regularly throughout your labour. You might also like to consider birth and positioning aids. Here at Buderim, the following aids are available:
- Round birth ball: This can be used for pelvic rocking and resting between contractions. Use of the birth ball has been shown to reduce pain and length of labour.
- Mats: Some women prefer to labour and deliver standing or kneeling.
- Birth stool: Buderim Private Hospital uses the BirthRite Birthing Seat, which allows you to give birth in an upright position while supported by the stool and your partner.
- Heat packs: These may be helpful in the early stages of labour.
- Peanut ball: This large ball shaped like a peanut shell can be used if you decide to have an epidural. It will help to keep your pelvis in a good position for birthing.
- Showers: The showers have two outlets and many women spend a great deal of time in the shower. You may like to use a fit ball in the shower, or mats for kneeling.
Room atmosphere – If you would like to create a specific environment in your birthing room, you should write down your preferences, which might include soothing music, low lighting or comfort objects such as a favourite pillow. At Buderim we have a range of options to help create a special atmosphere for the birth:
- Scents: A diffuser and a limited choice of oils are available in each birth suite, and you are welcome to bring your own oils, except for clary sage as it carries some risks.
- Candles: We have battery-operated ‘candles’ to create the sense of candlelight.
- Music: We have a music player that links with iPhones – why not prepare a playlist for the birth? We also have some relaxation music available.
- Lighting: Our midwives promote a dimly lit environment unless there is a procedure that requires higher light levels.
Pain relief – Think about whether you would like pain relief or not. The midwives will respect your wishes, so your birth plan should include what you do not want to be offered in regard to pain relief. We also cover pharmacological pain relief options in our Antenatal Classes.
You can get more information about natural pain relief in our Active Birth Class. Some options include baths – water immersion provides proven pain relief in labour. (Water birth is available at Buderim Private Hospital, but check with your obstetrician.) Midwives also support hypnobirthing for those wishing to use this therapy. TENS machines are also available – they decrease the pain message to the brain by sending small electrical pulses through the skin.
Baby’s umbilical cord – At Buderim, it is normal practice to delay cutting the cord until it has stopped pulsating (but do check with your obstetrician). We offer your birth partner the opportunity to cut the cord – let us know in your birth plan or on admission if you do not wish this to happen.
Third stage management – This involves the delivery of your placenta. Check with your obstetrician on the best option for you, and include it in your birth plan.
- Active management, which is an injection that shortens the third stage (speeds up delivery) and reduces the risk of postpartum haemorrhage.
- Waiting for the placenta to be delivered, which carries a greater risk of postpartum haemorrhage, potentially requiring a transfusion of blood or iron.
Postnatal care of your baby – Mention whether you prefer to breastfeed or formula feed, and if you would like skin-to-skin contact with your baby straight from birth.
We encourage immediate skin-to-skin contact for at least the first hour of your baby’s life because of its numerous benefits. These include helping to release the hormone oxytocin, which reduces bleeding; helping to release beta-endorphins, which decrease pain and increase a sense of calm; as well as helping the baby to stay warm and have his or her first breastfeed.
Additional support in labour – Speak to your obstetrician if you would like a private midwife, doula and/or photographer to be with you during your labour and delivery.
Creating a warm environment for your birthing room
We are committed to providing the best quality care, but sometimes unexpected circumstances occur. It’s important to think about and note your preferences in cases such as a C-section or neonatal care.
We ask that you keep in mind that birth plans can be beneficial, but sometimes interventions may be required. Be prepared to do things differently if we need to deviate from your plan. Our top priority is the safety of you and your baby.
If interventions are required, your doctor and midwife will explain why the intervention is necessary and discuss the associated risks and benefits with you.