Pregnancy Week 29: Fetal Development & How to Write Your Birth Plan by 30Seconds Pregnancy
Your baby now weighs 2 1/2 to 3 pounds and is 15 1/2 inches long, about the size of a butternut squash. While he or she is getting awful close to their final birth length, that tiny body will double or triple in weight during the coming weeks. The lungs continue to develop and his head is getting bigger to meet the needs of his ever-growing brain.
Photo: Baby at 29 weeks of development
Your baby's birth is the wonderful climax of nine months of hopes and dreams, and the beginning of an incredible new chapter in your life. But childbirth itself is often a complex journey, and no two births are quite the same. There’s a whole lot to think about and decide upon, and a birth plan can help.
A birth plan is a helpful, non-confrontational way for you to make your labor and delivery preferences known to those who will be with you on D-day. There are many things to consider when creating your birth plan – from whether or not you want pain meds to whether or not you want to “room in” – that thinking it through it all in advance is key. While many things are consistent among health care providers and hospitals, you'll likely find differences among them. Without putting together a plan, you may be given their “standard” treatment, whatever that may be.
Having a formal birth plan to share with your family, health care providers and hospital will show you are in the know about what to expect and that your preferences are quite clear. Here are some advantages of writing your birth plan.
How to Write Your Birth Plan
Your birth plan is unique to you. It can be comprehensive, with every detail spelled out, or it can be a loose summary of things that matter to you. Regardless of how much information is in your birth plan, it’s important to note that no matter how carefully you plan, labor and delivery is often unpredictable. That means that while your care team may be aware of your preferences in advance, they will need to do whatever it takes in the moment to ensure a healthy delivery for your baby (and for you).
Here's a sample list of things to think about when you write your birth plan:
For My Labor
- I prefer to move around and change positions throughout my labor.
- I prefer to have fluids by mouth throughout the first stage of labor.
- I prefer to keep the number of vaginal exams to a minimum.
For Fetal and Maternal Monitoring
- I prefer not to have continuous fetal monitoring unless it is deemed necessary.
- I prefer not to have an internal monitor unless it is deemed necessary.
For Pain Relief or Anesthesia
- I prefer not to have anesthesia offered during labor, though would like it available if needed.
- I prefer to ask for pain medication rather than be offered it.
For Baby’s Delivery
- I prefer that my coach, doula and/or nurses support me and my legs during the pushing stage.
- I prefer that a mirror be available so I can see the baby crowning.
After Baby’s Delivery
- I prefer to cut the cord myself.
- I prefer to have my coach or doula (or someone else I name) cut the cord.
My Breastfeeding Wishes
- I prefer to breastfeed my baby and would like to nurse my baby after birth.
- I prefer not to breastfeed my baby.
For the complete, comprehensive list, read Pregnancy Birth Plan: How to Write Your Birth Plan to Express Your Labor & Delivery Preferences.
“There’s a whole birthing plan, but what is the plan other than to get it out? I mean, there isn’t an option to kind of keep it in, is there? So I’m assuming my plan is to get it out. But apparently, there’s more to the plan than that. I don’t know what that is.” – Keira Knightley, actress
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The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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