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It is important to have a plan when it comes to how you want to welcome your little one into the world. As well as communicating to your healthcare advisor it will help you feel more mentally ready for birth. It’s important to also be ready for any changes to your plan, so exploring your options is a good idea.

Your Birthing Partner

  • Who is going to accompany you in labour?
  • Do you want your birthing partner in the room the entire time?
  • During labour, would you like your partner to be able to discuss possible birth interventions in private?

The Birth Location

  • Have you discussed the delivery suite environment with your healthcare provider?
  • Have you thought about bringing some personal items to help you feel more comfortable during labour?
  • It’s a good idea to go on a tour of the delivery suite to familiarise yourself with the location.

Coping during Labour

  • Have you discussed pain management options with your healthcare provider?
  • Have you thought about your preferred birthing position?
  • Has your healthcare provider discussed the various tools to aid labour that are available?
  • You can also bring your own items into the delivery ward, so if you’re considering something like a TENs machine you should discuss it with your midwife/doctor.

Your Baby’s Heartbeat

  • Are you aware of the different ways your baby’s heartbeat will be monitored, and the reasons why your baby might need continuous monitoring?

Birth

  • Would you like to touch and see (with a mirror) the baby’s head when they are about to be born?
  • Would you like to push following your own instincts, or would you prefer some verbal encouragement from your midwife?
  • If you have had a baby via C-section before, are you going to try vaginal birth this time around?

Episiotomy

  • Have you discussed your feelings about episiotomy and situations where it may be necessary for this procedure to be carried out?

The Third Stage

  • Would you prefer a natural or managed third stage? Have you discussed both of these options with your healthcare provider?

Skin To Skin/Feeding

  • Do you want your baby placed on your chest after birth for that all-important skin-to-skin contact?
  • Have you spoken about breastfeeding with your healthcare professional?

Vitamin K

  • Have you discussed how and why your baby may need to be administered vitamin K? Have you discussed administration methods?

Induction/Speeding Up of Labour

  • Are you aware of the possibility of your baby’s birth being induced? Have think about your views on induction and chat with your healthcare provider.
  • Do you know about the reasons the birth may need to be sped up?

Expecting the Unexpected

  • Have you discussed interventions that might occur such as use of a forceps, vacuum or C-section? Discuss whether you may need a general anaesthetic and if you would like your partner to accompany you to the theatre.

Early Transfer/Community Midwifery

  • It’s a good idea to discuss whether you can avail of this service with your healthcare provider.

Special Needs

  • Do you have a disability that might affect labour?
  • Do you have special dietary requirements?
  • Discuss your religious needs if required.
  • Bring up any past experiences that may affect your labour experience.

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