Now, I know your thinking after looking over my birth plan, "Wow! She has alot of "demands"! Why so many requests for so many specific things? Don't they (the doctors) tell you what to do when you get to the hospital?"
Yes, that is right. The doctors will tell you exactly what to do, when to do it and for how long to do it. They will take away your ability to trust your instincts by stepping in and conforming your birth according to their plans. They want you in and out. It doesn't matter to them that you have your "dream" birth - that you labor how you want, birth the way your want and take care of your baby immediately - the way your want! Like I said before, they do NOT want and "educated mama" messing up their precious schedule. Watch The Business of Being Born and then we'll talk "demands".
I'll admit that the birth plan does sound like alot of requests. And honestly, most of them would never even be an issue or even brought up if you are birthing with a midwife. Most of the requests are completely normal and routine with a midwife. However, it is always a good idea to review your plan with the midwife prior to birth, just to make sure you are all on the same page. Even more importantly if you are birthing at a Birth Center within a hospital. Although they are run by midwives, they are still overseen by doctors and in special circumstances a midwife will have to report to the doctor.
My requests were simply to let labor and birthing take it's natural course and let my body do what it was designed to do. If there were to be any interventions, a natural approach should be taken first. My midwife would offer gentle guidance but mostly hands-off. She was just there to make sure all is going smoothly. I visualized a waterbirth in the warm tub, my loving husband sitting behind me massaging my neck and back, whispering encouraging words in my ear. The soft music would be playing and the candles would be flickering all around. I would be in tune with my body, moving around as needed, my breath in control. As my baby emerged, I would reach down and pick him up, bringing him to my breast. Holding him close to my heart would help his heartbeat and his breathing rate match mine, keeping it in control. The warm water and soft lighting would be comforting, not a shock to him. We would move slowly, never in a rush. This would be a special time to savor every second. Wrapping him up warmly, we would all crawl in bed together and rest. This was my dream.
I was also aware of the possibility of complications. As much as you can try to prevent them, it can happen - at any point of the pregnancy and birthing process. If the baby came early, if it had problems, or if I was transferred during labor, I wanted as many of my requests to be considered. My biggest one was to let me or Avery handle the baby as much as possible. No drops, no vaccines. Breastfeeding and rooming-in only. Those are the most important to me since they affect the long-term well-being of the baby.
Only you can stand up for and protect yourself and your family. If you feel strongly about something, say it. If your doctor/midwife does not agree with you, discuss it, don't dismiss it. Educate yourself and seek alternative advise. Don't do something you don't feel comfortable with, even if it is something everyone is doing (or not doing).
Educate and Empower...yourself!
Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience