Your Birth Plan
Creating a plan for your labor and delivery preferences is so important! It can reduce anxiety about the delivery process as you feel more prepared for what is about to happen. To begin with, you're going to want to provide some basic information for the nurse, doctor, doula or midwife that will be helping you. Who you are, who your primary support person is, and who you would like in the delivery room with you are great things to start with!
If you have decided to give birth in a hospital, note whether you have a doula or midwife you’d like there to help support and guide you. Look into the facility’s pain relief options and include what pain management you are open to receiving. How would you like your delivery to go? Contact the delivery facility you will be using beforehand for more information or tours to learn about all of your options.
It’s normal to feel anxious about giving birth. Having a birth plan in place can ease these feelings by giving you a better sense of control. That being said, recognize the current pandemic situation the world is experiencing, as there may be less predictability depending on where you live. Be prepared for COVID-19 to impact your birth plan. That’s okay! It is still helpful to use the plan as a guide even if things don’t go as anticipated.
Doing other simple things at home can help you relax and prepare, as well: stretching and breathing exercises, calling your midwife or doctor with any questions as they arise, eating and drinking well. Take some time for deep breathing exercises and meditation.
You may have to go alone to prenatal checkups and ultrasounds. It’s important you feel supported during your pregnancy journey. Talk to your partner or support person ahead of time and plan for them to drive you to the checkups and wait outside. Video chat or FaceTime them into the appointment so they can participate!
Experts maintain hospitals are still the safest place to give birth. Nurses and doctors will be wearing protective gear such as masks, face shields, gloves and hair coverings.
Once you arrive at the hospital, if a hospital is where you’ve decided to give birth, you will be checked in and given a COVID-19 test. Once you and your partner or support person have been admitted, they may not be able to leave the hospital to go get food or clothes, so pack your hospital go-bag accordingly! Although, some hospitals may allow coming and going. It’s best to ask in advance what the rules will be.
Visitor rules may also vary by hospital, but most are not allowing anyone in except your one support person or partner. If you have a doula or midwife supporting you be sure to also ask your hospital ahead of time if they will be allowed to enter, in addition to your support person.
Everyone will be wearing a mask the entire time, even you.
Because it is unlikely any visitors will be allowed, you will probably be catching up with loved ones virtually. Bring your iPad or phone for video chats!
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