I am no expert in having a baby. Especially since I haven’t had one yet (she’s still cooking!). Usually my job is done once conception occurs. I use all the herbs and supplements up my sleeve to assist these clumps of cells to come together to form little miracles which later enter into this world as a baby. So, when people ask me what I am doing, what I am taking and what to use for labour and birth I feel a little out of my depth. All I know is what I, myself, will do-so I figure I can share this and you can take or leave what suits you.
After all, that’s how I have learnt and come to create a birth plan a labour pack and my own natural pain relief techniques. By reading and asking other women and trying and deciding that these are some of the things that I may need or do so I want them on hand in case. Who knows, maybe nothing will help and I will just ride the wave that is labour and birth with my support team by my side as we wait for Baby Callie to be ready to meet us.
All I do know is that I want options. As many as you can give me. And I want my team to offer them to me as I will be in no state to think about what I might like to try next. So, as any good Virgo girl would, I wrote a 4-page birth plan and had a lunch with the 4 most important people in my life to talk through it! Though when I look at it I think my birth plan is not really a proper birth plan. It is more or less an explanation of our choices and how we would like to be supported throughout.
Some things are more important to us than others, for example we are ready to scrap the natural birth plan and head for a C-section it is absolutely necessary, but I will not give up the first hour of her life being on my chest unless she is in danger (and no matter how much my mum wants to hold her! She can wait!). Each and every new Mum will have their most important desires. Yes, we have a birth plan but it is a guide that gives us options more than a strict list. The most important thing at the end of the day is that she comes into this world safe, and everything else can go from there.
So, I thought I would share our plan as below as I think the more we talk and share the more we learn and if you can take one thing from this list that will change your labour or birth for the better than that is the best thing in the world! I was very emotional whilst writing this and sharing. Having a baby is such a personal and emotional journey and our decisions are important, but they are not set in stone. Be safe, not stubborn. Be determined, not rigid. Most of all laugh and enjoy the ride as much as you can. You will do the best job you can with whatever happens and that is all that matters.
Our Birth Plan - Sam & Mel & bringing baby Callie into the world
You are some of the most important people in our lives. Thank you for being with us and all your support to bring Callie into the world safe and in the best way we can xxx
During early labour
We will spend as long at home as we can before Nancy (our midwife) tells us we need to head to Belmont. Sam will be in contact with you during this time but it is likely that we will just meet you all out at Belmont unless he needs some support.
Nancy will come to the house to check me out as things get closer.
I will need to be reminded to drink water and have light snacks throughout to keep my blood sugar levels up. 1 cup of water every hour, ensure I wee every 2 hours.
Slow – quiet – soft – low
I plan to use the bath as my main pain relief method. Other things that may help include the below pain relief techniques. Sam is aware of all of them, please ask him during this time if you are unsure how to best help. Take his lead, all my faith is in him as I know he will know what is best for me and Callie.
One main support person at a time - especially if I seem overwhelmed. Unless it’s an emergency please be passive and look to Sammy for direction.
Sam will need breaks. Please be clear on who is taking over as my main support when he leaves the room for any reason. I need a clear anchor at all times.
Birthing suite rules
Limited Q’s for Mel- ask Sam
No phones – aeroplane mode, leave room for all calls and texts please
No random convos
No social media pics
Immediately after birth
Mel and Sam will spend the first hour of Callie’s birth with her, skin to skin.
Skin to skin is really important for Callie to seed her micro-biome and put her trust in us and for her to breastfeed without any issues.
This first hour will determine how she breastfeeds ongoing. We plan to allow her to find the breast herself while my placenta is delivering and we are bonding. This means that she will not be ‘placed’ on my boob but will make her own way. I can show you vids!
Sam will need some skin to skin time during or after this first hour, depending how long she takes to find her booby. It is just as important for him as it is for me. I may need a shower at this point.
She will then be wrapped/covered in the blankets and wraps that we have ‘seeded’ for her. This just means that we have slept with them for a few weeks so that they are covered in our good bugs and scent, as opposed to a horrible, sanitised hospital blankets (possibly seeded with Staph or the like).
Then you can all hold her! But we want minimal handling. PLEASE no perfumes or deodorants on her first day in this world. We realise that she will be exposed to these things in her life but for this first day when our family is hugging and kissing her we would like it to be with minimal toxins. She will not be washed for a few days after birth so it is important that she does not get perfumes on her skin as they will affect how her immune system begins its life.
Please do not wipe or try to clean her. We want her vernix (white mucous stuff she is covered in) intact as much as possible for the first few days. Babies are sent home unwashed these days and it is advised not to wash them for a few days after birth. This isn’t just our weird thing! Especially important-please don’t wipe her hands as she will put these in her mouth often over the next few days and this will create her immune bugs.
I will then need some hot food, which we will have packed and will have put in the kitchen on the birthing floor. Please heat it up for me and make sure I eat it.
We hope to be home in 3-4 hours. Please feel free to go into the house during this time as needed. Once we are home we will likely have a 1-2 day new Larkings family period with no phones or visitors. Don’t be alarmed, this will be the only time we ask for on our own.
You have keys so after this please buzz, call and come and go as you wish. We appreciate all the love, support and help.
Pain Relief Techniques:
Rest backwards in chair
Bath (in and out)
Cold washers while in bath - temp control
Sweeping back, neck and squeezing arms
Chunging – use towel
My labour herbs - as progresses
My homeopathic meds
Washer on head
Counter pressure on back
Lay on left side w/pillow between knees
Big exercise ball
In Birthing Bag:
Natal pack (herbal meds)
Blankets/wraps that have been seeded
Snacks and hot food item
Change of clothes
Sam’s swimmers and change of clothes
Thank you so so so much! I am so excited for the challenge and rewards of giving birth. Please know that we are both fully aware that this may not go the way we hope. But we have been preparing and doing everything in our power to have a smooth, natural birth and we hope this comes to fruition.
Also note that all of this may go out the window and I will likely change my mind on different things. If you can be flexible and understanding, putting your own beliefs aside for us where we differ, we will be eternally grateful. We are so so blessed to have so much support and in the end the most important thing is that you are just there as each of you gives us strength in a unique way and we love you so much.