I’ve written before about birth plans. Keep ’em short and sweet. Only include those things that you may not be able to speak up about (because you’re busy pushing or adoring your new baby).
I haven’t said anything about baby plans. Attending many hospital births has taught me that, at least in the hospitals I work, there is a often a wild card in the birthing room: the baby nurse. The baby nurse comes in when birth is imminent. At this point, you’re a bit busy. You’re not going to care about this woman or want to go over your birth plan with her. You’re probably not going to notice her. And the baby nurse usually does not see your birth plan.
(interrupt for a funny story: I was very pregnant last summer and attending a birth. When the baby nurse came in, I walked over to go over my client’s wishes with her. She was so confused because she thought I was having the baby. Looking at my stomach in much confusion, “Wait, what?” That was how oblivious she was to the woman actually giving birth.)
So what does the baby nurse do? She weighs/measures/tags the baby. Administers vit k, hep B, and eye ointment. She does an initial baby exam, puts on the hat, does footprints, and swaddles. And, certainly, she would like to do it all at once and move on.
Now, you the family get to make the decisions on when all these weights, shots, swaddles take place. A baby plan can be a benign little document to express your choices.
My suggestion is make a simple list–again short and sweet–to place unobtrusively in the baby warmer. Do it when you arrive. When the baby nurse comes in, she will begin setting up near the warmer and she’ll read over your list.
What kinds of things to put on the list?
Baby “Name”‘s Care Plan
- We would like immediate skin-to-skin contact
- My husband will rub in the vernix and dry the baby on my chest
- Please perform all non-emergency examinations while baby is skin-to-skin
- We plan to delay all procedures for at least one hour
- We decline ________ (ex. hep B, vit K, eye ointment)
Thank you for your support as we welcome our new baby into the world!
No need to include things that are easier for you to control or things that come later: breastfeeding baby during shots, rooming in, no pacifiers/formula, delay/decline bath, etc. This baby plan covers the first moments.
Anything you would add?