You labor. And labor. Holy smokes do you labor. Then, (finally!) you push and bring a beautiful little human into the world. Now what? Those precious moments following childbirth can be hectic and wildly emotional. Fortunately, you can think through your post-delivery choices long before the big day arrives. Let’s take a look at the options on your birth plan:
The Umbilical Cord
It’s been your baby’s lifeline throughout your entire pregnancy. When the time comes, who do you want to cut the cord? How soon do you want them to cut it? Some moms choose to wait a few minutes so extra blood—and the nutrients that come with it—can flow from the placenta to your baby.
It’s whatever feels right to you.
What about banking your cord blood? It’s a vital source of stem cells genetically linked to your baby and your family. Some choose to “bank” the cord blood in case they need those cells to help treat potential diseases—like leukemia—down the road.
It’s the amazing organ that nourished your baby throughout your pregnancy. On your birth plan, you can choose to:
- Take it home. For real. You have the right to get your placenta “to go.”
- Give it to the hospital. Some will use your placenta for research. Others will dispose of it after your delivery.
- Store it in a “bank.” Yep, just like your umbilical cord.
It’s a boy! Go ahead and start planning monster truck storage and toilet seat protocol. Thanks to your birth plan, your first big decision has already been decided—whether or not to circumcise your precious little boy.
Circumcision is the process of surgically removing the foreskin of your baby’s penis. It’s a quick procedure that originally began as a religious practice. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn male circumcision.
Holding Your Baby
At last! Your precious little bundle is here. Assuming everything is A-OK with you and your baby, there’s nothing to prevent immediate “skin-to-skin” contact. You can also choose to have your baby weighed and cleaned up a bit before you meet for the first time. Whatever feels right to you.