Birthplan

Various research has shown that some specific items influence the experience and satisfaction of women with their delivery. For example: the way to coop labour pain, support from caregivers and or partner, continuity of care, medical interventions, feeling of control, participation in decisions about care and clear information. A birth plan can play a role in almost all of these themes.

What is a birth plan?

A birth plan is a communication tool, a wish list and a reflection of your personal expectations and fears considering childbirth. Writing this document triggers and invites you and your partner to consider what’s important to you considering your delivery.
A birthplan in particular is a document that is useful to express your expectations considering your delivery towards your midwife or gynaecologist.
It is good to realise that at any moment in time you can deviate from this plan, because changing insights or circumstances can make you change your mind.

How do you write a birth plan?

A birthplan can be written in many different ways. To get inspiration considering your wishes regarding childbirth you can use different sources: family, friends, internet, books, your midwife or a pregnancycourse counselor. It’s a concise and clear document of maximum 2 pages. A birthplan helps you to stay involved in things that happen during delivery and decisions that have to be made. Also at times that you aren’t able to express your wishes. It is important to provide insight into your assumptions and wishes to ensure that the delivery matches your expectations as much as possible, on one hand in a practical way but certainly considering communication.

Writing help

To help you writing, we have prepared a birthplan which you can use to fill in the information that is important to you. For some questions a short explanation is added to help you make an informed choice.  After completing the form, you can send the document by pressing the send button. A notification will automatically go to Vita Nova and a notification to your email address with the message that we have received your plan. After discussing it, we will make a copy so that everyone is aware of your wishes.

The form is at the bottom of this page. Know that you have to fill in the document in one go because it is not stored on the net.

Discussing your birth plan

The birthplan will be discussed during an appointment, it’s useful to book extra time for this. So please ask for a longer appointment when you book this appointment with our assistant.

Your data

Support and location

A home birth has the benefit of being in your own familiar setting. When labour started you give us a call and we will come for a home visit. Most of the time we will pay you one or more visits before labour has reach the stage that your baby is expected to be born within several hours. If there are no medical problems your pregnancy is deemed low risk and you may choose between a home birth or a hospital birth (in Dutch called "poliklinisch bevalling"). The midwife will help you during your delivery in either situation. In case you're not sure which you want to choose, your definite decision may even be differed up until labour begins. During a normal labour, and regardless of where you want to give birth, the first half of the labour process will happen at home during which time we will check on you at regular intervals. At about 4-6 cm's dilation, we will either go with you to the hospital or stay with you at home until the baby is born. During the delivery one of our midwives will support you, together with a nurse from your postnatal maternity care. We will inform you on the progress of the delivery, coach and advice you on how to handle the contractions. Every needed intervention during the delivery will be discussed and explained. The midwife continually assesses the progress of your labour. Safety for mother and child are our top priority and we will take no unnecessary risks! The midwife decides independently whether the care is to be transferred to the gynaecologist. If there are (expected) complications, we will refer you to the gynaecologist or paediatrician. Having said this, we must emphasize that giving birth at home is just as safe as in the hospital. You should deliver where you both feel most comfortable. If a hospital birth is for a medical reason (i.e. you have been referred to second-line care during pregnancy or labour), your medical insurance company will normally cover the total costs. Choosing a hospital birth when there is no medical indication incurs a personal contribution. Some medical insurance policies cover these costs – check your own medical insurance to establish exactly which costs are covered. Please be aware that the midwife is responsible for all the emergencies and deliveries during her shift. It could be possible that she needs to answer the phone while assisting you during your delivery. Options for both home or hospital births:
Consider if you want pictures to be taken during your delivery. If so, let us know as specifically as possible when you would like pictures to be taken and more importantly, when not! Also decide who you would like to take them. Please be aware that filming in the hospital requires consent.
If yes, what is the name of the prenatal course you have followed?

Relaxation, coaching and positions

More information about different positions can be read in de folder ‘Houdingen tijdens de baring’ (pop-up) also in English, which you received from us. Please be aware that we may suggest a different position if it will improve the dilation or for any other medical reason.
Note: The midwife always has a birthing stool with her. Please be aware that we may suggest a different position if it will improve the pushing or for any other medical reason.

Experiencing pain and pain relief

During the delivery pain and the way you cope with this is very important. Some never have experienced labourpain before.
There are a couple of methods you can use to handle the pain of the contractions: breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, massage, taking a warm shower or bath or using a hot water bottle. Together we will try to see which options help you the most. Some women experience relief using a birth TENS, which can be hired or bought
Information about pain management can be found in the booklet ‘How do you deal with pain?’ (pop-up) which you received from us. When you have asked for medical pain relief, please note that it takes about 45-75 minutes before the treatment is effective. It takes time to travel to the hospital, a CTG must first be made to asses the condition of your child and the anaesthesiologist must be available to place the epidural. When you have received pain medication it is no longer possible to get out of bed. In some cases the delivery progresses so quickly, that there is no time to administer any treatment. Any form of medical treatment has it's advantages and disadvantages, any possible side effects can be read about in the booklet mentioned above.

Medical help

During a low-risk birth there is usually little reason to intervene with the natural process. However, sometimes the delivery doesn't progress as expected. If the delivery takes longer than expected or there are any signs of danger for the wellbeing of mother or child, it may be necessary to receive medical treatment. This can vary between needing an IV line to receive extra hormones, monitoring the foetal heartbeat, a vacuum extraction if labour isn't progressing when pushing or a caesarean section. The doctors and midwives working in the hospital will discuss and explain all interventions as clearly as possible, so you and your partner can understand the choices that are being made. It is possible if you have had medical help you will probably be in hospital for a longer stay for observation.

The birth

Do you have any specific wishes concerning the time directly after the birth of your child? If you had a vaginal delivery and you and your baby are both in good condition, we will do our best to take into account all the following wishes.
After birth the midwife will administer Vitamine K to your baby. Vitamine K is important for bloodclotting. Ather a period of 3 months the baby cab do this on its own, that's why we all newborns 1 milligram vitamine K (orally)
Breastfeeding: In accordance to the advice of the breastfeeding association, we try to help you nurse your baby as soon as possible.

General

The birth of your baby can leave a big impression, that’s why it is important for your caregivers that surround you to provide care that reaches your expectations. Being seen and heard is important to reach this goal. Good communication is necessary! What should we watch for, which emotion can we help you with? What happens when you should panic? Are you a person that asks a lot of questions or are you a more quiet type? Will you become quiet or maybe agitated? Would you ask many questions when you feel insecure or not? Would you dare to ask questions when things are unclear to you? What helps you make assumptions into realistic expectations??