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Pregnancy and Before Links

Parent Drop-In Program

Prenatal Classes

Smoking Cessation Programs & Services in Lambton County

Planning Your Baby's Birth

This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, October 29, 2009 1:44 PM

Now that you are going to be a parent, you have a number of choices to make. It is helpful if you make decisions ahead of time so that you can plan to have the birth experience that you are hoping for. Some people are happy to have the caregiver or hospital staff make decisions about their care and treatment, while others want to be more involved.

Your plan states the choices that are important to you and your partner and include the time before, during and after birth. Read, ask questions in class, talk to friends, relatives and your caregiver to be sure you are informed about different birthing options. You and your partner may want to write down how you feel about the items from the list below and then compare your answers. Use this information to develop your plan together.

Please remember, that while these and other choices are reasonable, they may not be offered in your community due to hospital policies, lack of facilities or your caregiver's preferences. You will have to decide if your choices are important enough to change hospitals/doctors/community that you will use. You must also realize that the plan may need to be changed if an unexpected situation occurs. Be flexible and realistic.
 

Choices During Pregnancy
Obstetrician/doctor/midwife
Ultrasound testing
Choice of prenatal classes
Fitness program
Lifestyle habits
Choices Immediately After Birth Early
contact with baby
Infant's first bath
Breastfeed in delivery room
Eye drops
Family time in delivery/birth/ recovery room
Choices During Labour
Use of a birthing room/labour/delivery room
Presence of father/companion
Artificial rupture of membranes
Medical induction/augmentation of labour
Types of preparation - enema or shave
Fetal monitor - use or type
IV fluids
Activity and position of the mother
Postpartum Choices
Pediatrician/family physician
Rooming in - how much
Feeding - Breastfeed or formula
Sibling visiting
Length of hospital stay
Use of video, books, pamphlets
Circumcision
Type of support in the home
Care of sibling
Choices During Birth
Father/companion present
Anaesthesia - type if required
Father's presence at caesarian birth
Episotomy
Camera, tape recorder
Positions for birth
Dim lights, quiet room
 


Communicating With Your Caregiver

Let your caregiver know what your level of knowledge is and on what basis you have made your decisions.
Cover your priorities first, don't ask all your questions at once.
Write down a list of questions in advance.
Make requests, not demands.
Have your partner at your prenatal visit when your plan is introduced.


Questions to ask When Selecting a Caregiver


About Pregnancy, Labour and Delivery...

  • Are you in a solo or group practice? If a group, how many other doctors/midwives are in the group. Do you agree on methods of practice? Will I meet the other members of the group before delivery? How can I be sure that the things we have agreed upon will be carried out by your group members?
  • Are husbands/partners welcome at prenatal visits and the birth?
  • When do you refer patients to a dietician?
  • When do you recommend inducing labour? What methods do you use?
  • What types of pain medication do you prefer to use for labouring women?
  • Do you expect all women to use stirrups during delivery?
  • When do you consider an episiotomy to be necessary? What can be done to avoid having an episiotomy?
  • Do you deliver in a "Birthing Room"?
  • How do you feel about home births? (if you are interested in this option)


After Delivery...

  • Do you encourage the mother to breastfeed the baby right after delivery?
  • What advice do you give to the breastfeeding mother?
  • What advice do you give for the formula fed infant?
  • If my baby and I are well, how long will we stay in hospital? How do you decide?