When it comes to labor and delivery, I hesitate to use the word “plan”. Although what I’m talking about is actually called a birth “plan”, I believe the word “preparation” is more fitting. There is so much planning (or preparation) in and around the birth of a baby. There’s planning around conception and timing, baby names, nurseries, gender reveals, baby showers, child care, doctor’s appointments, etc. Why not put the same amount of energy into preparing how you envision your labor and delivery unfolding? A birth plan is a blueprint for your ideal L&D experience (before, during, and after). It is a way to communicate your wishes with the Hospital staff and to remain realistic with what the Hospital is actually able to provide. For example, if it is your goal to deliver in a birthing tub, but your Hospital of choice doesn’t have a birthing tub, you may need to seek out other options. Seems pretty straight forward, right?
When I was pregnant with my first child, my Husband and I were a part of a centering group. The group was led by one of the Midwives and a Medical Assistant. We got to know the group pretty well and I felt my wishes were known so I didn’t feel compelled to create a birth plan. In fact, when I called the midwife to say we were coming in to deliver the baby, she had already prepared the birthing tub without me having to ask! I highly recommend participating in a centering group if you have the option, especially for your first experience. It’s a highly supportive and informative program! Also, my Husband and I were fairly new to the area so it was a great way to meet others!
For our second pregnancy, we did not participate in the centering group. I met a new midwife at each appointment and only saw them for a short period of time. During this time there were also several new Midwives, which was wonderful, but I didn’t feel like we knew each other as well as I knew the Midwife who ran the centering group with my first pregnancy. In this situation, I felt it was necessary to create and share a birth plan with my healthcare team.
I shared it with a midwife at an appointment around 30-32 weeks (I believe…pregnancy brain!). We went through it together and she complimented me on several things which made me feel empowered! At my next appointment, I met with another midwife and she commented positively on my birth plan as well (I didn’t have it in hand so I know she read it in my file). YES! They all took the time to read it over and I know it resonated with some of them because they reiterated it back to me at my appointments leading up to the birth. This made me feel heard, comfortable, and supported by the birthing team- a priceless feeling!
Not sure where to start? Looking for some guidance? Here are some tips for writing up a birth plan:
Interested to see my birth plan? Here you go…
Payne Family Birth Plan
Big Sister: Savannah, 2.5 years old
*We understand that certain emergency or other medical circumstances may not allow for the accommodation of this plan*
Hospital Labor Goals
· We plan to have only Ryan (Dad) present for labor and birth- besides hospital staff of course!
· No visitors until we (mom and dad) have had at least 1 hour doing skin to skin with our new baby.
· No visitors until I have attempted to breastfeed
· I prefer to labor in the tub if available
*Although we are aiming for an un-medicated birth, I may change my mind and ask for an epidural (or laughing gas if available) *
Cesarean Section (if medically necessary)
Thank you for taking the time to help us achieve a natural childbirth for our second baby!
Whew, this is a lengthy post! I just love this stuff and I assume you do too if you've made it this far. Just remember, nothing is set in stone- you can change your mind at any point along the journey. And as always, what's right for someone else, may not be right for you- listen to your gut, you know yourself best!
Like many of us, I'm a member of several "Mommy Groups" on Facebook. Every week I see someone asking for advise on what to (and what not to) include on their baby registries. Creating any type of registry is extremely overwhelming to begin with and everyone has such diverse opinions.
Bottom line, every parent and every baby is different. In health coaching, I talk a lot about bio-individuality, or the concept that "one person's food is another person's poison"; same thing applies to baby stuff! But...I can't help myself, so here's my 2 cents. Instead of overwhelming you with a laundry list of "things" here are my top 10 picks. In other words, these were our lifesavers in the first few weeks of life with a newborn (in no particular order).
1. Graco Pack n' Play with Newborn Napper - a portable, sturdy basinet that you can use as the child grows and becomes more mobile. Bonus: it's easy to pack up and store. It also makes a great toy bin ;-)
2. Graco Swing - because you need a break every once in a while!
3. Noise Maker - trust me, this is still a staple baby item in our house.
4. Jogging Stroller- we used this stroller WAY more than the regular stroller. It's easy to pack up and has a smooth ride (I noticed the difference with baby and also with myself- it was much easier on my body when going for walks, etc.). Bonus: the turning radius was much better for stores! (you'll also need to purchase this).
5. Burp Cloths - babies are messy and if you can avoid 1 mess a day, that's a win!
6. Emergency Stash of Formula - Whether you plan to formula feed or not, I highly suggest having a stash in case of emergencies. My milk supply ended up drying up and baby needed to eat at 2 am- this was a lifesaver (literally)! This probably means you should keep a bottle or two around as well.
7. Humidifier - We noticed a huge difference with our baby's health and well being by having this running every night. Still, another staple we use today!
8. Diapers/wipes - because you can NEVER have enough!
9. Clothes with ZIPPERS - sleep deprived mamas, save yourself the frustration!
10. Extra Infant Car Seat Bases because...ain't nobody got time for that.
So, there you have it! If you're looking for a simplified registry list of necessities in the first few weeks of life- this is it! It'll be interesting to see if this survival list rings true for baby #2!
I really strive to feed my daughter the best, healthiest ingredients. Time is scarce now-a-days and food preparation is slowly becoming non-existent. Between work, school, and the regular day-to-day, I find myself falling into these meal ruts. I’m almost sure that day care is going to call child services on us if we show up with macaroni and cheese another day. Lately my Daughter’s regular school lunch has been the following:
I’m not even eating this food and I’m sick of it. I originally started making macaroni and cheese for her when she transitioned from the Infant Room to the Young Toddler room. She was struggling to transition and expressed it by not eating at lunch time so I did my best to pack appealing foods to try and get SOMETHING in her belly. It just became so easy. So I kept doing it…and doing it…
I feel like I’m letting her down by not expressing my creativity with her lunches and packing something that is more nutritious and dynamic. More dynamic than switching from peace, pasta, and Parmesan to Bernie’s farm mac n’ cheese shapes. Keep in mind, she is in day care- so no nuts or peanut butter. I hesitate to give her raw veggies in case her teachers aren't standing directly in her face reminding her to "chew-chew". And no popcorn- I have a fear of kernels getting stuck in her teeth and causing major dental issues (just me?!). I've been doing some research to try and switch things up and here is what I found:
There are many more options than the above mentioned ideas. Such a simple thing, just by googling healthy lunches and browsing on pinterest can snap you out of your rut and spark your creative food planning again. As always- whatever is the healthiest, most convenient, easiest option- sign me up!
Just keep swimming...
What do you like to pack in your kids' lunches? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome to Moms in Harmony, I'm so glad you're here! My name is Meg and I'm a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, holistic advocate, wannabe blogger, Wife, and Mom trying to get the hang of it all. Kick off your flip flops and stay awhile!
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