Things to consider

Things to consider about your birth.
Support Team:
- Who do I want present? Partner, doula, family? Is
What comfort measures
would I like to try?
- Do I want to limit personnel, students/observers, etc? Environment:
- Will I wear my own clothes or the hospital gown? - Would I like music, television, silence? - Would I like the lights dimmed & curtains drawn? - Focused relaxation, meditation- Heat or cold packs Movement:
- Would I like to walk around? What medical equipment may impede this (IV, monitors) and what - Do I want to reminders and assistance with changing - Epidural positions while laboring - standing, dancing, rocking chair, getting into shower, on all fours, etc? - Would I prefer to stay in bed?- May I use the shower or tub in labor? Under what circumstances would these not be available? Monitoring:
- Would I like continuous or intermittent monitoring (set time per hour with EFM, hand
How do you cope with stress or pain?
* Do you prefer to be alone or with others?
* Focus internally or focus externally?
* Explore your thoughts or distract yourself? Heidi Thaden-Pierce, Better Birth Doula Services Pushing:
- What are the possible positions I can birth in and which am I interested in? On all fours,
using a squat bar, side lying, in tub, partner behind me providing support? - Are there any positions I want to avoid pushing in? Am I comfortable using stirrups?- Do I want to be coached on my breathing & pushing? Only quiet encouragement?- If I do NOT want to be coached and staff or family are doing so, would I like my partner or - Do I want to push without time constraints so long as the baby is doing fine?- How do I feel about episiotomies? Tearing?- Would I like olive oil, warm compresses, or perineal massage while crowning?- What are my options for postpartum bleeding - nursing, pitocin, cytotec, etc? Am I comfortable with pitocin being given immediately after birth by IV (if at hospital)? Birth:
- Would I like the baby to be placed immediately on my chest? Skin to skin?
- Do I want the cord clamped immediately or delayed? Who will cut the cord?
- Will I nurse? How soon after birth will I start?
- How do I feel about pacifiers? supplemental bottles?
- Would I like to see a lactation consultant (if at hospital)? Will I hire one privately?
Newborn Needs:
- Do I want to delay the newborn exam or any nursery visits?
- What is the nursery policy (if at hospital) for baby being taken away?
- Will the pediatrician come to our room for the exam?
- Will we room in or have the baby sleep in the nursery? Bring to me for nursing?
- Do I want the baby bathed? Postpone bathing? Use no scented soaps (will we bring our
own?) Just use water? Will we bathe baby in our room? - Do we want the antibiotic eye ointment? vitamin K? Hep B vaccine?- Will we circumcise? in the hospital or elsewhere? Situations to Discuss:
- If surgery is needed may my partner accompany me? doula? wait in recovery room for me?
- Do we want the staff to explain to us what is happening as they work?
- Can the staff give us a moment of quiet so we baby can hear our voices right after birth?
- If the baby must go to the nursery, may my partner accompany the baby and my doula stay
- May I have immediate access to a breast pump if my baby is not able to nurse? Heidi Thaden-Pierce, Better Birth Doula Services


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Employment Research Assistant, Violence Prevention Project, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Pre-doctoral Research Fellow, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD Aug. 1998-Nov. 2000 Research Specialist, University of Illinois, School of Public Health, Chicago, IL Nov. 2000-Aug. 2003 Program Associate, Populat


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