Tips from PAL Moms is a column at PALS Magazine where we ask you, the PAL mom, for feedback about your experience during pregnancy after loss. We ask a question on our Facebook Page and hope that you can help answer it while also benefiting from the answers, all in an effort to relate and learn from fellow moms who “get it”.
“What are you including (or did include) in your birth plan that you feel is a must for birth after a loss?”
Amber – “Immediate skin to skin with no interruptions. No one takes baby for anything until I am ready, and no visitors until I feel my husband and I have had enough time alone with baby.”
Michelle – “We told nurses about our loss experience in an ‘about us’ section so that they could be aware of our journey.”
Katariina – “PICTURES! I could NOT stress my desire for immediate birth pictures enough. There was no time during my first emergency c-section to really embrace her birth, welcome her properly and cherish the moment before she was rushed to the NICU (24 weeker). My husband was amazing with our second and captured beautiful pictures that I will cherish for a lifetime.”
Charai – “I changed my environment. Being at the birthing center, instead of a hospital, was a very homey and calming experience for welcoming my rainbow. I got to rest in an actual bed, with my husband right beside me, without being annoyed by the staunchness and hustle that often goes hand-in-hand with a hospital maternity ward. I also got more personalized care from the midwives who listened to my concerns and calmed my fears without making me feel like I was crazy.”
Amanda – “I included a sentence about the details of each of our births, including our loss. Everything else we included was pretty standard. We had one nurse in particular who really took the time to read over our plan. Most of what was in it wasn’t needed, but it also included ‘what ifs’.”
Samantha – “An emergency plan. What to do if I had a stillborn or other issue. Not something I would have thought of before loss, but I had it known what we wanted if he was born ill or dead. He was fine, but I felt comfortable knowing if the worse happened, we would have things taken care of.”
Andrea – “Time ALONE!!”
Robin – “Someone automatically taking pictures of me holding my daughter. I only have the pictures the hospital photographer took that were hours after she died.
Rebekah – “No visitors. I got a birth photographer, skin to skin immediately, breast feeding immediately, and hearing my midwife tell me she is alive.”
Irene – “Music! We made a playlist when I delivered my daughter, and will make one for this new little guy as well. It keeps me calm, and I can set the mood for the experience.”
Paula – “Just get the baby out safely and alive. As we didn’t know the sex, my OH
Stacey – “I am anxious; please reassure me, explain things to me, and understand my fears.”
Jennifer – “When we toured the hospital we got emotional seeing all of the medical equipment that was out in the rooms. I planned for a natural delivery in the hospital, and we asked that all of the medical equipment not being used be moved to a closet in the room or out of the room. The staff was very helpful in this request and prepared our room while we were in triage.”
Brittany – “We told them that no one would be taking baby from us, unless of course of complications. She was perfect and making everyone aware that we had no intentions of her not being in this mom and dad’s arms was a great decision for us. Family friends and staff all respected our wishes. And that was the sweetest time. Personally, I think it helped me calm and heal a little.”
Jennifer – “I told the nurses that I was overly anxious about losing baby and the whole process, and they made sure to update me with everything that was going on when they came in. What beeps on the monitor were, etc. It was really reassuring, and I felt so good about the experience.”
Eve – “I decided I wanted to cut the cord. Our parting would be completed by me, while he was in my arms safe and alive. Also played music we had on at our Little’s cremation.”
Colleen – “I decided not have a birth plan. I knew it was best to take it as it came.”
Natasha – “No visitors until I was ready.”
Maria – “A list. After Octavia had passed I learned of different things that were available and not offered, such as recording heartbeat, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and prints on almost anything. As time has gone by and I’ve met others, there is a list of things I wish I had from Octavia. So now I have a list of things I would want to do no matter the outcome.”
Amanda – “I flat-out wrote at the top, ‘This is an pregnancy and delivery after a loss. We would like this to be a healing experience for us. Please keep this in mind when you interact with us.’ I also put those words on a sign in the delivery room door. I didn’t want to have to discuss my stillbirth with every new person that came in while I was trying to focus on having a live birth.”
*To read more Tips from PAL Moms about this specific question visit our Facebook Page here and here.
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