Labor of Wonder’s Birth Plan Demonstration:
Keep it short, simple, and to the point. And acknowledge the staff’s part in your birth! Remember that they are an invaluable part of the birth team that you picked when you chose your provider and hospital!
- I want to move around as freely as possible
- I’d prefer a heploc if necessary so that I can maintain movement
- I’d like access to a birth ball and/or peanut ball and shower/tub.
- I would like to not be asked for pain management. I will be sure to ask you if I need it. If I have an epidural I’d like to rest with a peanut ball. If possible I’d like it to have worn off by pushing so that I can be able to move during that phase.
- I’d like to push in whatever position I feel comfortable in
- I will ask you if I’m needing direction in my pushing, otherwise I’d like it to be mother-directed pushing
- If a cesarean becomes necessary, I would like my doula to join me as they put in the epidural and prep, with my husband to follow once prepped.
- Baby & After Care
- I would like the baby immediately on my chest
- I would like to delay weight and measurements until after the first hour or so has passed to have adequate time to bond and breastfeed
I understand that birth is unpredictable and healthy baby is top priority. As long as everyone is, and stays, healthy, the above are my top wishes and I so appreciate your help in helping me to attain my goals and creating these memories with me.
Hi there, mama.
I hope this letter finds you well; know that I wrote it with you in mind. I’m so glad you’re doing research to create the best possible birthing experience for you and your precious little one(s). My first child is five weeks as I am writing this, and I have had a sufficient amount of time to process my birth story- things that went well and things I will change next time. I will tell you that hiring Sara as our doula is something that will most certainly happen again. Over the course of my pregnancy, I met many doulas. They were all wonderful, but there’s a reason Sara was the one I needed. Many reasons, actually. Here are a few perspectives to consider.
There are many doulas, wonderful doulas, who love their job (or themselves) so much that they credit themselves for the success of their clients’ births. I am so thankful Sara is not one of them. Sara is humble. She is patient and kind. She will support you because it is the right thing to do, not so that she can get recognition or credit. This may not be a trait that you recognize right away in someone, but it is definitely one to look out for.
There are many doulas, wonderful doulas, who claim to support you in your decisions but will actually try to push their own agenda on you. I’m so thankful Sara is not one of them. I don’t quite know how she does this, but Sara has a way of presenting information in such an unbiased manner, you leave the conversation feeling empowered instead of swayed one way or the other. This. Is. Critical. I was overwhelmed by the amount of decisions I needed to make not only during pregnancy and labor, but afterwards for my child. I know for certain that I would have made uneducated decisions if it had not been for Sara’s guidance.
There are many doulas, wonderful doulas, who unknowingly take the place of your significant other during your birth. I’m so thankful Sara is not one of them. When I think back to the birth of my son, I think of how grateful I am for my husband’s constant support. When my husband thinks back to the birth of our son, he thinks of how grateful he was of Sara’s constant support. She calmed him, showed him how to help me, and stepped in when necessary.
For me, Sara was not just a doula. She made the difference between a woman in labor and a bunch of people trying to help, and a birthing team. My desire for every woman is that they would be able to experience the power and harmony of a birthing team. My desire for every woman is that they would birth feeling empowered and respected. I believe Sara is the perfect addition to anyone’s pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum journey.
Hey, hey! It’s Day Two of World Doula Week! Here is day two’s blog post!
Labor is work. For some it’s brief, furious work. For others it’s slow, continuous work. For some it’s a calm work. For other’s it’s intense, and intentional work. You see what I’m saying, right? It can be glorious, it can be slow, it can be fast… but it’s still work. Even if you’re one of the crazy few who blink and then have their baby. Chances are, your body was doing work without you even knowing it.
One thing that more and more women are choosing to do to motivate themselves, be it in their career, relationships, or yes, even birthing, is to make inspiration boards. My office is full of them! Pictures of past clients over the years (I love getting updates!), words that are meaningful to me, or events that were game changers in my life. More and more I’m seeing women transpose this office idea into the labor room. Weather it be printed flash cards of words that make them feel most empowered, relaxed, and comforted, or a literal board with words written on it!
I’ll admit, I had this chalkboard on hand and just quickly drew spots to write encouraging words on. But it got the job done! So pick up a small chalkboard (or make one!) and write yours. Or print out your favorites and put them all together. I’ve even had clients laminate theirs so they could take them into the shower with them! Some even fill theirs with pictures instead of words! Whatever speaks to you, whatever encourages you to do whatever you need to do!
I have an exclusive Pinterest board devoted to this idea entirely: Labor Inspiration Board
- That we take the place of your Dr/Midwife. We will never diagnose you. Have a medical question? We’re going to calm your nerves with accurate information on your specific situation, followed by the words, “Call your Dr.” Want accurate statistics on something having to do with your pregnancy or your baby? We can get you those. Want a diagnosis on what you are going through? We’ll refer you to your primary care provider.
- That we know something we don’t. Don’t get me wrong, as doulas, we’re the culmination of education and research on all things pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as local resources. So in a large sense, we do know everything about everything in the pregnancy and baby world. But we also want to make sure we are giving you accurate and up to date information. So if you ask us a question and we respond with, “I’m not sure, let me look into that and get back to you.” You can know that I want to make sure you get the best information, from the most reputable sources.
- If we don’t love your OB/DR/Midwife. While we often talk you through how to choose your care provider and things to look for/listen for, we can’t choose for you. And if you’ve already chosen one, our job is not to talk you out of working with your OB. We give you the tools/information you need to make decisions for yourself. Even if we know the particular OB has a habit of something you that may or may not like, you have already made your decision and our job is to support you and the decisions you make. End of story. (Plus if we are going to be working with them, letting anyone know of our feelings doesn’t do anyone any favors.)
- This isn’t “real” labor. Mom is 37 weeks and has an occasional contraction, or more frequent but short, and no regularity/pattern to them. I get an excited phone call asking “Is this the real thing?” The real answer is: Yes! And no. Labor is so hard to predict, that as your doula, I would be remiss to say definitively your labor is going to do any specific thing with any specific time frame. (But imagine my popularity if I could!) Often labor has lots of little bursts in the weeks leading up to delivery. But that doesn’t make it any less real. Whether your body is practicing, doing little bits at a time, or it quickly escalates into delivery, it’s all real.
- If you cussed, yelled, whined, cried, or even pooped while you were in the process of having your baby. And the truth is, we probably won’t even remember any of those pieces after the fact. What we will remember, and what we will definitely tell you: You were strong. You were brave. You birthed your baby exactly the way you needed to.
Want to find out more about what Sara will tell you, educate you, inform you, or reassure you about during your pregnancy and post partum experience? Click here now!
Welcome to Labors of Wonder! Before becoming a doula, I was a blogger at Labor of Wonder (I still blog, just not as regularly!) along with a stay at home mama. After becoming a doula and trying to create a website name… I kept coming back to the one I already had. Much like my belief in intentional living and that life is always a labor of love but sometimes it’s also a labor of wonder… real labors (the kind that bring babies into the world) are also labors of wonder. It is a wonderful thing to witness the birth of a brand new person!
Babies are a wonderful way to make people!
And thus it was born, labors of wonder. I’m looking forward to helping many mamas along their labors; labors of love and wonder!