In Singapore, pregnant women are seldom ask this question. I think it is an important question to answer because the birth you want would influence your choices as you prepare for the birth day.
After the 20 weeks pre-natal anomaly scan, I started to wonder about birth plans, potential issues and complications etc. I know I wanted a drug-free birth. I’ve come so far without any medical intervention and believe wholeheartedly that it is possible to welcome my baby into this world naturally.
Design Your Birth Plan
Very few doctors would ask you for your birth plan. This is usually initiated by the mum-to-be. I remembered asking my doctor at around week 28 if we would need to talk about birth plan. I had assumed he would guide me through (LOL) but he asked that I get the guide from his assistant nurse, to think about what I want and then discuss with him.
A birth plan is a great start to setting your intention and what you want to see happen in your birth. Some people will say, you can’t plan your birth. Well, that’s not entirely true. We all know visualisation is an important sports technique. Winners visualise the themselves performing the sports, crossing the finishing line and winning the Gold medal. That’s what you want to do for your birth as well. The mind is a powerful muscle which is critical in helping you achieve the result you want!
This is a good guide for you to start with: https://www.thebump.com/a/tool-birth-plan
Come to an agreement with your birth partner first (spouse / mum / sister / doula) and then have an open discussion with your obstetrician. Be open to changes too! Your doctor will advise you based on what he is comfortable with as well as what you want to achieve. Discussing birth plan is a time where some mums-to-be find themselves not aligned to their doctor’s approach. It is then your personal call to change a hospital / doctor based on your personal comfort level.
For first time mums, we receive numerous advice from well meaning relatives and loved ones. It can get very confusing and stressful! And when you make a decision, there are many comments and disagreements from others. Give yourself space to breathe and relax. Be okay with your decisions. Doubt and fear are two crippling emotions that would affect your birth process.
♥ My Personal Birth Plan ♥
My birth hospital: National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore
Class: Private patient (B1 class)
NUH Emma Care conducts very good hospital tour and services for NUH mums-to-be who wish to seek birth support. They also have sample birth plans for you to refer to as well. So you may wish to consider working with Emma Care or hire an external doula to support you in your pregnancy and birthing journey. They are supportive of natural birth too!
♦ Drug free birth with minimal drug intervention
♦ No painkillers unless I ask for them
♦ Inform myself or my husband on every procedure before carrying them out.
♦ No family members waiting outside the labour suite: the thought of it is pressurising and stressful
♦ No guests until I’ve rested
♦ Wireless CTG monitor
♦ Allow me the option to walk around in the labour suite
♦ Allow dad to cut the umbilical cord
♦ No episiotomy if necessary
For me, I wasn’t keen on episiotomy based on my reading from books and online materials. My obstetrician explained that our Asian skin is not as elastic as Westerners’, and based on his experience, most Asian mums would require an episiotomy to assist the baby’s arrival. He was willing to let my body attempt to birth without any unnecessary assistance and I agreed that he would come in to do the necessary intervention by informing me or my spouse before carrying out any procedures.
♥ Post-Partum Reflection ♥
I’m happy that my birth was in about 90% in accordance to how I intended for it to be. Very awesome experience for a first time mum like myself. I heard the midwives and my doctor telling my husband or myself before performing an action. For example, when the nurse wanted to insert the intravenous catheter into my hand, she explained that it is inserted in case of emergency situation and that they would not put anything in without my permission.
Before the episiotomy was performed, I remembered very clearly that I was trying hard to birth the baby. His head was stuck in the birth canal. When the doctor asked to administer the episiotomy, I requested to try a while more. After he noticed I was getting tired, I consented before he proceeded.
Throughout the birth, I felt…
- Empowered in being able to make choices and decisions. I was conscious of what was happening and am grateful to be part of the entire process.
- Respected by the doctor and the midwives on duty. Given the number of births they performed daily, I was afraid that the midwives would be arrogant and dismissive. My fears were unfounded as my requests were heard. And this is one of
Hope this inspire you!
Find the gift within you, because you are designed for greatness