Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding
We can help you create your own customized pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding plans.
If you are having your baby at a hospital, check to see if the hospital is an accredited ‘Baby Friendly’ business. Hospitals with this accreditation may already have policies that reflect many of the preferences in this plan.
Sample Birth and Breastfeeding Plan
The following preferences are possible if both you and your baby are well, regardless of whether you have a vaginal or cesarean birth.
My name is: _____________________
My partner’s name is: ___________________
Our baby is due on: ________________
- Please have the baby take his/her first breaths unassisted, no suctioning unless medically necessary. Routine suctioning has been found to affect a baby’s breastfeeding cues and ability to breastfeed easily.
- Please place the baby on the mother's chest immediately after birth, with a warm blanket covering his/her body for warmth. Many hospitals now allow this while you are being sutured, if you are having a cesarean birth. Skin-to-skin contact with mom straight after birth helps the baby to stabilize his/her temperature, breathing, heart rate and blood sugar levels. Early skin-to-skin contact encourages successful breastfeeding and the baby’s hand and mouth contact with mom's belly and breasts stimulates maternal oxytocin to enhance uterine contractions, milk let down and mother to baby bonding.
- I would like our baby to remain with me on my chest to encourage him/her to self-attach for for his/her first breastfeed (with assistance from me as I feel is appropriate). Research shows that, if left undisturbed, a healthy newborn baby will take up to 1–2 hours to orientate toward the breast, attach and start to breastfeed. Babies affected by medications used during labor may need a little longer. Allowing your baby to self-attach (with assistance from you as you feel is appropriate) ensures that your baby learns to hold his/her tongue and mouth in the correct position to effectively milk your breast.
- Please perform all essential pediatric observations while the baby is on my chest. It is possible for most procedures for newborn babies to be carried out with the baby on the mother’s chest. Such contact provides your baby with optimal physiologic stability, warmth and opportunities to breastfeed. Removal of the baby to weigh, measure and so on has been shown to seriously disturb the first breastfeed. There is no reason for these procedures to be performed immediately after birth.
- I would like the baby to be weighed after his/her first breastfeed, lying on his/her tummy on a warm cloth. Research has shown that if a baby is taken from his/her mother for weighing and dressing, s/he may not show any interest in feeding and may not know how to suck. Lying on his/her back is very different to being a in the fetal position. A baby placed on his/her back is therefore likely to become very frightened, resulting in the release of stress hormones. Baby’s temperature is also likely to drop.
IF MY BABY OR I REQUIRE SPECIAL CARE AFTER BIRTH
- If I am unable to hold the baby skin-to-skin after birth, I would like my partner to hold the baby.
- I wish my breasts to be treated gently and only touched with my permission. Learning to search for the breast on their own is very important for all babies, as this ensures their tongue and mouth are in the right position to attach to your breast correctly. Babies who are forced onto the breast may not attach properly and this may cause damage to your nipples.
- If the baby cannot breastfeed within 6 hours of birth, please assist me to express my colostrum every 2 hours to stimulate my milk supply and for feeding to the baby when s/he is ready. Expressing milk gives my body the signal to keep making it (supply=demand). Colostrum is the perfect first food the baby and is produced in the right amounts to suit a newborn’s stomach size. It contains important antibodies that will aid the baby’s immune system. It is also crucial for the health and growth of the baby’s bowel.
- I would like to room in with my baby at all times so that I can learn our baby’s feeding cues. Research shows that mother-baby rooming-in on a 24-hour basis enhances opportunities for bonding and for optimal breastfeeding initiation. Evidence suggests that mothers get the same amount and quality of sleep whether their babies room-in or are placed in a separate nursery at night.
- I do not wish to bathe our baby for at least the first 48 hours after birth. Washing your baby washes off the rich vernix cream your baby is born with, which helps his or her skin to adjust to life outside the womb.
- I do not wish to wash my chest area for 24 hours after the birth. Your baby’s sense of smell is one of the most important elements of initiating breastfeeding. Research shows that newborn babies prefer their mother’s unwashed breast to her washed breast. The amniotic fluid that your baby transfers to your chest area as he/she breastfeeds will leave a ‘scent trail’ for future breastfeeds.
- I do not want our baby to have artificial nipples, bottles or pacifiers at any time. If alternative feeding methods of expressed milk are needed, we would like our baby to be fed using a syringe, cup or spoon. Research has shown that the use of artificial nipples in the neonatal period is detrimental to exclusive and overall breastfeeding. Bottle-feeding requires very different tongue and jaw movements and has a very different milk flow to that of breastfeeding. When supplemental feedings are medically necessary, cup feeding has been shown to be safe for both term and preterm babies and may help preserve breastfeeding duration for babies requiring multiple supplemental feedings.
- I do not want the baby to receive anything other than breastmilk unless medically necessary. If it is considered necessary, we would like to discuss this first with a pediatrician. Human milk provides all of the fluid and nutrients necessary for optimal infant growth. Research shows that routine supplementation of healthy, term infants with water, glucose water or artificial baby milk is unnecessary and may interfere with establishing normal breastfeeding and normal metabolic compensatory mechanisms. Supplementation can affect your milk supply, alter your baby’s bowel flora, sensitive your baby to allergens and interfere with your baby’s weight gain.
- If there are concerns about the baby’s weight, I would like to try more frequent feeding and other strategies for addressing this, such as an evaluation from a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor and/or consultation with the nearest Milk Bank. Nearly all mothers are capable of producing enough breastmilk for their babies. A mothers body is designed to providing nourishment once the baby is born. If complementary feeds are medically necessary, breastfeeding supplementers have the advantage of supplying your baby with nutrition while at the same time stimulating the breast to produce more milk and reinforcing the act of breastfeeding for the baby. The supplementer may be filled with my expressed milk or donor milk.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS suggested By The Rustik Baby Project
- Growth Chart - I will be using a growth chart for breastfed babies, not a growth chart that is marketed from a formula company.
- If my baby is having a problem latching, or if the latch hurts, please evaluate us for a Tounge and Lip Tie, along with other issues.
- If I am having intense problematic feelings while breastfeeding, please evaluate me for Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, (D-Mer)
- Placenta Encapsulation can help prevent Post Partum Depression. I will be bringing my placenta home with me.
- If applicable, please evaluate me for Post Partum Depression
- We will be banking our cord blood.
- My partner will be present during all procedures including pain management
- Please print out my medical records related to my labor for me to take home with me.
- We accept/decline the following vaccinations and treatments:
- Please do not offer me drugs termed as "therapeutic rest, which includes morphine." Please term all drugs with their proper name.
- I plan to have the baby by: natural birth, vaginal birth, induction due to a medical reason, planned c-section due to a medical reason. I hope to birth the baby by (natural vaginal birth if I can tolerate it. )
- Learn how to squeeze milk out of my breast with my hand. Catch it in a spoon and give it to my baby.
- Breastfeeding Assistance Please teach me how to identify a good latch and how to correct my baby’s positioning and latch if improvement is needed. Please teach me how to recognize my baby’s early hunger cues and how to tell if my baby is breastfeeding well.
- Discharge Bags Please do not give me a discharge bag containing formula or show me any promotional or marketing materials concerning artificial baby milk.
- Breastfeeding Support After Ddischarge I would like to receive contact information for individual and group breastfeeding support in case I need help with breastfeeding after my baby and I are at home.
SPECIFIC TO C-SECTIONS
Excerpt From The Baby CentrePain relief:
- Do you want a regional anesthetic, which numbs your belly, and means you can stay awake for the operation? The sort of painkiller you will be given is most likely to be a one-off injection called a spinal, but could also be an epidural.
- Do you want to have a general anesthetic, which means you will be asleep during the operation?
- Do you want a running commentary from the hospital staff about how your operation is going?
- Do you want music playing in the background to relax you and take your mind off the operation?
- Do you want the staff and the operating theater to be quiet so that the first voice your baby hears is yours or your partner's?
- Do you want the screen to be lowered or to have a mirror ready, so you can see your baby being born?
- Do you want the screen to be kept raised until your cut is sewn up in case it makes you squeamish?
- Do you want someone to take photos or video of the birth? This may be important to you if you are under a general anesthetic.
Kate Frederick and The Rustik Baby Project with Rustik Events provide free information for families and businesses. We provide free, mother – to – mother support and general information related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, birth and beyond. The importance of mother – to- mother support is invaluable and we are happy you have chosen to speak with us.
Kate is currently a breastfeeding mother and a breastfeeding counselor student. She is not licensed or certified. Consultations are confidential. You will not be named as a client, nor will any of your information be shared without your written consent. Please consider the following limitations of our services, as we do not provide clinical/medical or legal advice or treatment. No Clinical/Medical Advice Intended: Information we provide is intended for general educational purposes and is not intended to be medical advice to you or any other person. You should always consult with your own medical provider about your health and medical questions and never rely on this or any other web site alone to make medical decision. We specifically do not intend for you to interpret anything as a substitute for professional medical advice. Never delay seeking medical advice or disregard any medical advice you have received from your provider. No Legal Advice Intended: Consultations with Kate Frederick & The Rustik Baby Project with Rustik Events includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.