Category Archives: Preparing for Birth

Do you need a birth plan?

My husband I had decided to take the Lamaze childbirth prep classes at our hospital. In all honesty, we mostly signed up for the experience of it – you know, bringing us together and sharing in all “baby related” experiences. At 33 weeks, we were in the second class of a two part series.

Here’s my confession – we really didn’t take the class very seriously. We laughed and joked with each other most of the time and yes, we were the couple that spent the rest of the afternoon comparing ourselves with the other couples. We took the class as a “fun” experience so note taking and homework really didn’t compute for us. Needless to say, when we arrived for our last class, we were the only couple that didn’t bring a prepared “birthing plan” (which was our homework assignment).

We spent the class listening to other couples’ concerns and questions and practicing our “relaxation exercises”. It’s not that we didn’t care about the class – we just approached it a little differently than most. As the class was coming to a close we only had to pick up our completion certificate and take our hospital tour. I vividly remember my husband picking up our certificate and joking that we’re officially ready for our baby.

That’s when it happened.

My water broke!  Hard to believe that our son chose that moment to begin his grand entrance (7 weeks early).  Needless to say, it took a second for my husband to believe that I wasn’t joking and that we indeed were in labor.  The class instructor thankfully kept her cool and informed us that we would be walking right past the maternity ward on our hospital tour and they (the entire class) could drop us off there.

So yes – I literally walked with my entire Lamaze class over to the maternity ward – trying to hide my panic and the fact that my water had broke (you can use your imagination here).

Once we arrived at Labor and Delivery, medical professionals moved fast.  I vividly remember my Lamaze class walking by on their “tour” as I am being told that my baby is coming 7 weeks early and my pregnancy is essentially over.  What???  Needless to say I effectively freaked out all my former classmates.  And I’ll always wonder if our instructor was really dying to say, “See…… you should have done your homework!!”

To make a very long story short – or at least shorter – after two days of labor, I had an emergency C-section.  The umbilical cord was wrapped around my son’s neck and along with a placental abruption, the atmosphere was obviously serious.  We weren’t making anymore jokes at this point.

I am happy to say that I gave birth to a beautiful and very healthy premature boy who was 4 lbs 10 ounces and full of life.  He ended up staying in the NICU for only 7 days and was ready to come home and face the world.  He’s quite a trooper.  Yesterday was his original due date and he’s now close to 8 lbs and healthy as a horse (or a very small pony at least).

Within this story are several other stories but my message here is that we can plan out our baby’s birth and come up with documentation proving that we thought of every detail down to the type of music you would like playing in the delivery room.  But I would guess more times than not – your baby already has their own birth plan and you are just along for the ride.  I know if I had actually done my homework for that class, my birth plan would not have included an emergency C- section 7 weeks early.  But that was my birthing experience.

And it taught me that no matter if it’s a vaginal birth or C-section, early or late, in the middle of Lamaze class or on the subway, each birth story is unique and special.  And in my opinion, as long as your baby is healthy, there are no disappointing births.

So my humble advice is – plan all you want and when your baby makes his grand entrance, embrace his “birth plan” because it’s your first lesson as a mommy – HE’S THE BOSS!




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Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pediatrician

Like many new parents, I was very concerned about choosing the right pediatrician for my daughter.  So I surveyed my family and friends and complied this list of helpful questions:


Questions about the baby’s care in the hospital:

·        Do they have privileges at the hospital I am delivering at?

·        If so, which doctor will visit? When?

·        If not, what is the procedure for transferring information and records to the practice?

·        What is the timing for the first visit after the hospital?


General questions about the practice:

·        Do they have board certification in pediatrics? What are there credentials?

·        How many years are they in practice?

·        Where are their hospital privileges?

·        What distinguishes their practice from other pediatric groups?


·        What are the office hours?

·        What is the procedure for after hours’ questions?

·        Do they have a question line?


·        Will we be seeing the pediatrician or nurse practitioner for routine visits?

·        Is it possible to see the same pediatrician routinely for well child visits?

·        What is the ability of getting seen in the same day?

·        Do they have “well child and sick child” waiting room segregation?



·        What are their antibiotics and immunization practices, preferences or theories?

·        What are their views in regards to breastfeeding?


Question to ask if you have twins:

·        Can both children be seen at the same time?


Questions to ask your insurance:

·        Is the pediatrician I have chosen covered?  Are the other pediatricians in the practice also covered?

·        Is there a co-pay for well-visits or sick visits?


M. Kate

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My Cesarean Birth Plan

I thought I would start by posting some of the info I put together during my pregnancy so here is my Cesarean Birth Plan. I had a scheduled Cesarean becuase beutiful Becca insisted on remaining in the breech position despite my best efforts. This plan was created after doing a fair amount of research on what should be included.

I discussed this with my OB at my last appointment and brought it to the hospital with me. I found the nurses extremely responsive to my needs so I didn’t feel the need to bring it out while I was there.

I remember contained a lot of helpful information on this. I will also post my Vaginal Birth Plan as well.

Cesarean Birth Plan


This birth plan is intended to express the preferences and desires we have for the birth of our baby during our planned cesarean. It is not intended to be a script. We fully realize that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. However, we hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options. Thank you.



I would like ___________ to be with me throughout the entire procedure. If _______ is not available for any reason, I hope to have my friend xxxxx with me in his place for support. If in an emergency ________ is unavailable, please keep him informed on his cell phone xxxxx .



  • I would like to remain awake during the procedure.



  • I would prefer for my arms not to be strapped down/restrained so I can touch my baby.
  • We would appreciate being kept informed during the surgery.
  • If possible, please show us our baby briefly before taking him to be cleaned.
  • ________ would like to cut the cord.
  • ________ and I would like to hold our baby as soon as possible.
  • ________ would like to take photographs and film when possible.
  • If our baby is healthy, please allow ________ and our baby to stay with me while the operation is finished.
  • Any pain medications should be compatible with breastfeeding please.
  • I would like to be able to return to my room as quickly as possible after the operation.
  • I would like to be able to breastfeed as soon as possible.

y partner present at all times during the operation

Post Partum and Baby Care

  • I would like ________ to stay with the baby at all times if I can’t be there.
  • Footprint- If possible I would appreciate a footprint of my baby be placed in my baby book,
  • Breast feeding only – I would like to start as soon as I am able to and would appreciate any assistance/advice.
  • Please do not feed our baby by other means without discussing this with either ________ or myself.
  • Please do not offer a pacifier.
  • Non-urgent procedures (such as first bath) – I request these to be delayed until after my return to the room.
  • I would like to eat after the surgery if I am hungry – I have spoken to Dr ____________ about this.
  • No visitors to be allowed to visit before my return from recovery.

M. Kate


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