Birth preferences or Birth Plan
It can be useful to discuss with your partner what you would like for you and your baby when you go into labour and give birth. This helps you to focus on what your needs and wishes are. Your partner will also be clear what your needs and wants are at this special time. And he/she will be able to reiterate your requests to the midwife when you are in labour.
Writing out your birth preferences /plan and having a discussion with your partner and midwife. Penny Simkin has good example of a birth plan.
LINK: The Win-Win Birth Plan
Some things you may like to include:
- Who will your partner will be
- Pain relief
- Birth positions
- Third stage delivery of placenta
- Skin to skin
- Feeding baby
- Unexpected situations
- Tens machine, using a birth ball, etc
- Does dad want to cut the cord?
LINK: Birth plan
Essential baby items
- A range of nappy sizes instead of lots of one size
- Maternity sanitary towels (thicker and more absorbant than your usual ones). You will probably be needing these for a few weeks
- Breastpads – disposable and re-usable – you won’t need these initially but have them ready
- Maternity bras. Be fitted for these about three weeks before the birth day. Always think 3 is a good number: one on, one off and one in the wash!
- Disposable keep-dry mats to protect your bed linen (these can be used later on in the baby’s cot!)
What about visitors?
Chat with your partner before birth about how you feel about visitors, breastfeeding and coping with the early days. Sometimes we assume we think we are on the same wavelength. Talking about this beforehand can prevent any miscommunication.
You, your mum and your family
If your mum, mother-in-law, friend or someone else you know is a bit ‘over enthusiastic’ with their opinions, why not seek out antenatal information that supports the way you want to do things? You can always try, “current thinking says…” or “the most recent research says…“. This can make it easier than having a heated discussion about “what I did in my day”….