Perinatal social worker Kenna Hamm, LMSW, shares how a palliative care birth plan can help ensure that your wishes for your baby are honored throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Create your Birth Plan using our online tool
A birth plan is a guide for nurses or physicians or other staff to be able to follow throughout the delivery process. So during prenatal care, up until admission to the hospital, during the labor process, at the time of the birth, following the birth, and so it really walks you through all of the different pieces that are going to be happening. When expected parents are given a life limiting diagnosis for their unborn child, it’s often helpful whenever they feel ready to go through a palliative care birth plan, specifically for a newborn. We want to walk beside them through this journey and make sure that they feel supported and that they know all of the options that are available to them. And so included in the palliative care birth plan may be various options, such as who they would want at the delivery, who they would want to cut the cord. All of those precious moments that parents have with their newborn, we want to be especially mindful of giving that time and space.
In specific situations where we know that parents are only going to have a brief amount of time with their newborn, this will assist them in understanding all of the things that they may not have even thought of. This isn’t something that they have likely encountered before, whether personally or within their family, and it’s not something that we want to see parents having to go through, but with it being the situation at hand, we want to walk beside them through this journey and make sure that they feel supported and that they know all of the options that are available to them.