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Birth plan: the tool that protects the will of the pregnant woman

Birth plan: the tool that protects the will of the pregnant woman

Recognized by the Ministry of Health, the document guarantees the autonomy of decisions of pregnant women during childbirth

When it comes to giving birth, the pregnant woman is often held hostage by decisions made by the medical team, without being consulted beforehand. To avoid uncomfortable situations or procedures against the will of pregnant women, the birth plan has become increasingly widespread and is now recognized by the Ministry of Health. But what is a birth plan after all?

The document, with legal value, records the pregnant woman’s preferences regarding her health and that of her baby both during childbirth and in the postpartum period. It is a tool to guarantee the autonomy of the mother in this important moment.

Creating a birth plan requires studying and understanding the birth process of your baby. It is also recommended that you align your expectations with a trusted healthcare professional who can help you create the best plan possible.

Birth Plan Template

Today, some hospitals already offer birth plan templates for the pregnant woman to fill out. But the ideal is to prepare the document carefully and in advance, together with the person who will accompany you during the birth. If a doula monitors the pregnancy, the professional can also help.

The birth plan does not have a fixed template: the important thing is that it contains the name and signature of the pregnant woman; the name of the partner; and that the birth preferences are noted.

As soon as you enter the hospital, the document must be handed over to the obstetric and nursing team. To guarantee your rights, it is worth asking the professionals to sign a copy. You can also do this before the start of labor, during a preliminary visit.

Therefore, the team can be called if the will of the pregnant woman is not respected. All professionals involved are obliged to receive, read and follow the guidelines described. Cases of obstetric violence can always be reported.

Regarding the induction of labor, you must indicate whether or not you want a cesarean section, whether you want your waters to be broken artificially, whether you prefer induced labor or to wait for spontaneous labor.

You also need to determine whether you allow venipuncture and whether you want to receive analgesics, epidural anesthesia, or non-drug methods of pain relief.

Methods such as the use of forceps, the use of an enema for intestinal washing, episiotomy and the birth position are choices chosen for pregnant women. There is freedom to decide how this moment will take place.

Other elements that should be included in the birth plan are preferences regarding the environment and conditions for the birth of the baby. Do you want the air conditioning on? Do you prefer the lights to be low and the room to be quiet? It is worth thinking about these preferences calmly.

The immediate postpartum period is also on the list. Your preferences about whether or not to see the placenta, how to hold the baby directly in your lap as soon as he or she is born, breastfeeding in the first hour of life, and bathing on the first day should be included in the birth plan.

This planning also includes the choices of whether or not to photograph the birth, whether or not to have the umbilical cord cut by the companion, and whether or not to see the surgical part in the case of a cesarean section.

Source: Terra

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