Birth Plan, Etc.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I've been really, really lucky to have had such a smooth, uncomplicated, happy pregnancy. This whole experience has largely been packed with fun (and funny) moments that I'm sure we'll recall often and bore our daughter with. But it hasn't all been belly casts and baby booties...

Carl and I have a very focused ideology when it comes to our pregnancy and our birth, informed by a lot of research on the current state of maternity care in the US, reading and watching many birth stories, hours spent discussing the birth process with our doula and our doctor, and our own tendency toward homeopathic remedies as opposed to prescription drugs.

We've committed ourselves to a natural, physiological birth. Hopefully, our delivery won't require any chemical interventions and I'm able to go into labor without any type of medical induction, labor without Pitocin or an epidural, and deliver naturally, allowing my body and my brain to work together to do what they need (and can do) to birth our daughter.

Our commitment to an unmedicated birth isn't rooted in distrust toward the medical community (we're big fans!), but rather, it's based on our desire to experience the entire gamut of unfiltered emotions, both physically and mentally, when it comes to her delivery; and our deep-seeded faith in what the human body is capable of when you just let it do its thing.

Our resolve didn't happen overnight. In fact, we've spent many late nights discussing what a natural birth means to us and why it's so important to our family. We know it's not for everyone and we reserve no judgement toward women who plan epidurals or schedule c-sections. It's our plan for a physiological birth; but we are well aware that even the best laid plans go awry and ultimately, we'll have to surrender to what our daughter has in store for us, because a healthy baby is really the main goal.

With all that said, I've decided to share our birth plan here. I have looked to other pregnancy blogs that have resonated with me over these past nine months for inspiration and motivation, and if our experience can offer that for one other mama-to-be, well, that's just great.

Whew! So if you're still reading this... here it goes. It started off as a two-page draft, and after some edits from Carl and a few discussions with our doctor, this is what we've come up with....

Birth Plan

Patient: Yardeni, Cassandra
Father: DeKoatz, Carl
Doctor: Dr. Gee, Rebecca
Doula: Castellanos, Tina

Hospital staff and all care providers,

We trust your experience and appreciate your support and sensitivity in this delivery. We are committed to experiencing a natural birth and ask that you please refrain from offering pain medication and other chemical intervention as far as reasonably possible.

Below is our “ideal” birth experience:

  • We prefer that Cassandra go into labor spontaneously, without chemical interventions. If necessary, preferable induction methods include walking, breast stimulation, and sweeping of membranes and/or internal vaginal exam.
  • We would like to labor at home as long as possible, with our doula present. Please send us home if it is not medically necessary to keep us!
  • Cassandra prefers not have a catheter inserted.
  • We ask that lights be kept dim and noise be kept to a minimum. We will provide our own music.
  • Cassandra would like to try different laboring positions, depending on her needs.
  • Cassandra prefers not to have an episiotomy unless medically necessary.
  • As long as Cassandra and baby are well, we’d prefer no stringent time limits on delivery.
  • Cassandra reserves the right to accept or deny any and all measures that can be reasonably left to her discretion.
  • We would like to for mother and baby to have skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, as Cassandra would like to attempt to breastfeed.
  • Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before it is clamped, and for Carl to cut the umbilical cord.
  • Please do not offer any bottles or pacifiers to our baby without our permission.
Thank you for your cooperation in this momentous occasion.

Cassandra Yardeni, mother
Carl DeKoatz, father


  1. I just posted this to my sister on her FB. She is expecting in December and will find it very informative. I loved your letter to your baby girl.
    -Cassandra :)

  2. This is great. Thanks for sharing! :)


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