Wise people say, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." The same thing can be said about birth plans. We can write tons of them, let everyone read them, laminate them, place them into a frame, and hang them on a wall, but as soon as labor starts, these plans often fly out of the window, at least partially. We want all-natural birth, but end up needing an epidural or C-section. We wish to look all fashionable during delivery, but it's impossible for obvious reasons. We plan a home birth, but at some point, it turns out that we have to be transferred to the hospital.
Sure, it doesn't happen every time and there are lots of instances when a birth plan helped the mom get exactly what she wanted. More often than not, whether it's going to happen or not depends on the plan's flexibility and feasibility. Sometimes the requests made in birth plans are not only ridiculously strict but also unrealistic, which makes it impossible to fulfill them. And in other cases, these requests are so weird that they make the mother and the hospital staff put in way too much effort.
So it's definitely good to know what you want, but it's even better to understand if it's feasible. To understand what is what, let's take a look at some of the most ridiculous birth plan requests ever and avoid putting something similar into plans!
20 Contractions? No, No! Pressure Waves!
Certain words are frequently pronounced in the delivery room. Among them are 'push', 'cervix', 'dilation', and of course 'labor' and 'contractions'. The latter ones are associated with a lot of pain, so maybe this is why some women don't really want to hear them. But to prohibit the staff from uttering these words at all? Few women will hit upon such an idea.
Jana M., a mom from She Knows, did. She shared that in her birth plan she requested the staff to avoid using the words 'contractions' and 'labor' during delivery. "My birth method refers to them as 'pressure waves' and 'birthing time'," she said.
Wonder if nurses and doctors slipped up at least once due to the force of habit...
19 No Reports Of Cervical Dilation
Another mom went even further and demanded in her birth plan that no one in the delivery room could tell her how dilated she was. "Please do NOT report dilation centimeters out loud (or even whisper them), but it's okay to send hand or smoke signals to my [partner] and mother," she stated in her plan posted on Earth Bound Birth.
Later on, the same mom went on to explain why she didn't want to know the progress of her dilation (or lack thereof), "Knowing these numbers could completely depress me and ruin my optimistic outlook for the idealic [stet] birth I have my heart set on."
Well, she's not wrong. In some cases, ignorance is bliss...
18 Having An Older Kid Watch The Process (Mayim Bialik)
Mayim Bialik is a strong proponent of home birth, so she delivered her younger son at home, while her elder boy (only 3-years-old at the time) was in the room, watching the process.
It might sound crazy to most other moms, but for Bialik, it was completely normal. "Miles was able to watch the whole thing from his high chair while eating granola," the actress later shared. "Fortunately it was a very fast labor because I think Miles would've been bored if it was longer than the hour and a half it was. He loves it, he still talks about it."
Bialik even asked her elder son to cut the cord after birth. Can you believe it?
17 Playing A Special Song In The Background (Mariah Carey)
Is there anyone in this world, who doesn't think that Mariah Carey is a diva? If there's still such a person somewhere, we're here to reassure them – Mariah is a total, complete, absolute diva and no one can compete with her (and sure, we love her for that!).
Guess what she did, when she was giving birth to her twins, Moroccan and Monroe? As a part of her birth plan, the singer demanded the hospital staff to play the live version of her song Fantasy as background music during labor and made sure that her babies would come out into the world to a round of applause at the end of the song!
16 Giving Birth To R&B Sounds
In fact, Mariah Carey isn't the only mom who wanted to deliver her baby to background music. Some other women also choose the songs that set the mood, help them focus, distract them, or whatever. A lot of them make a selection of soothing music, such as Enya or natural sounds. But there're also moms who prefer something bouncier.
And what was the song that featured her baby's coming into the world? It was Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA'!
15 No Access To The Private Parts
Sure, no one likes it when a bunch of people we barely know stares at our nether regions for hours. But when a woman is giving birth, she needs to deal with the fact that it's likely to happen, because all of the action happens down there and doctors and nurses will definitely want to watch the process for your own sake.
However logical it is, some moms don't want to show their lady parts so much that they end up disallowing hospital staff to check on them at all. Moms.com says that there was at least one instance of a mom adding this request to her birth plan, thus creating an additional challenge for the personnel.
14 Wi-Fi In The Delivery Room
These days, few of us can survive without the internet. Every day we feel the need to check our mail and social media, read the news, and communicate with our loved ones. But do we usually think about these things while in labor?
Apparently, some of us do, because there's at least one mom who added decent Wi-Fi access as a requirement into her birth plan. "I'm a Mommy Blogger, and many of my friends are birth professionals," she explained. "I will also be updating the Birthing, Breastfeeding and Babies FB group that I'm a part of... every five minutes."
And she even refused an IV, only because she needed free hands to text and take photos! Wonder if it all went as planned...
13 Dad's Weird Appetite
Some parents (usually, moms) plan to eat their placenta after delivery and for that, it's usually turned into a capsule. After all, who would want to eat it as it is?
In fact, there is at least one person in the world, who would want to. A dad Joe L. shared with She Knows that he wanted to eat the whole thing after cooking it at home. #yowza!
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), he didn't think of adding it as a request into their birth plan, so his intention failed. Now he's going to make it on the birth plan "next time." We'd all like to know if he succeeds!
12 Silent Birth (Kelly Preston)
John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston are the followers of Scientology, one of the most popular belief systems among celebrities. According to this belief, when a woman gives birth, she and everyone else around her have to be silent. So when Preston was delivering their son in 2010, she was also set to maintain silence.
"It's just no words as much as possible," she later explained in an interview. "If you need to moan, if you cry out or all of that, of course, is normal. But just bringing them in as peaceful and gentle a way as possible."
The celebrity is sure that the way she delivers her kids has a huge influence on their lives. Sure, it's very nice, but isn't it too hard to make everyone be silent during labor?
11 Being Strict About No IV And Fetal Monitoring
It's a standard procedure in most hospitals to use IV and fetal monitoring during delivery. In many cases, it's required continuously and, if it's possible, the mom can request to check on her fetus only occasionally to make sure that everything's fine.
But some moms are completely against IV and fetal monitoring and, in their birth plans, they even state something like "Don't you DARE come near me with an IV or [fetal monitoring] or I'll sue the hospital!"
Isn't it a too extreme approach? In fact, it's rather risky, because in some situations, an IV and fetal monitoring are vital for the hospital team to make smart decisions. So it's better to avoid being so definite about it.
10 Requesting The Images Of Rainbows All Over The Room
There is a lot of "new edge" stuff out there in the world these days, and many people follow it claiming that it makes their lives better and more harmonious. It's not up to us to judge whether these techniques work or not, but it's up to us to have a good laugh over those who take them too seriously.
There was a woman, who wanted to transform her painful experience in labor so much that she added a weird request into her birth plan. She requested "that images of rainbows be hung all over the labor room so she could visualize herself transcending through the different color levels when she was experiencing pain," her nurse shared on All Nurses. Did it really help her go through the pain? History is silent about it.
9 Filming The Process For A Reality Show (Rachel Zoe)
When Rachel Zoe was giving birth to her first son, she obviously planned to make it the most fashionable childbirth ever. According to Jezebel, she even packed Chanel sweaters and high-heel boots into her hospital bag saying, "If I'm going to be a mess, I'm gonna be a glamorous mess."
Minutes after her water broke, Zoe was brushing and spraying her hair (isn't that the last thing you think about when in labor?) and she also had her partner film everything to show it in her reality show. But later she realized that it wasn't that easy to remain "glamorous" during the entire process. "It's such an unglamorous experience," Zoe shared. The woman definitely was disappointed!
8 Ice Bucket Challenge In The Delivery Room
Remember this "ice bucket challenge" flash mob that was popular some time ago? Back then, people would challenge each other to pour an ice bucket on themselves, and I bet none of them thought to challenge a woman in labor to do the same. Except for one person.
There was a woman who asked in her birth plan to pour cold water on her when she'd get too stressed during labor. We have no idea how her L&D went and if she was happy with her decision. After all, labor is a stressful time and she might have required a bit more cold water than she'd expected.
7 Something Special To Eat Right After Delivery
It's hard to give up something you love, even if you really need to. But if you do it for the sake of your child's health, you'll probably harness your willpower and get through it. And as soon as you can indulge in this pleasure, you'll go for it in a moment.
Jaimie S. did it, too. She had gestational diabetes and couldn't eat anything sweet during pregnancy, so she knew exactly what she wanted right after delivery. "I packed Milanos for the hospital and told my hubby I wanted them next to me the minute the baby was born," she shared with She Knows.
Isn't it a well-deserved treat for a job well done?
6 No To Vitamin K Shot, But Yes To Circumcision
There can be requests in the birth plan that are fine when we think of it one by one, but combined in one picture they turn out to be ridiculous. For example, a nurse from All Nurses forum shares her experience with a couple who wanted "no meds for baby, no vaccines, no formula, etc." Among other things, they asked not to make the vitamin K shot to their newborn, which is actually fine and nurses usually don't have an issue with it.
But their further request made it all harder. They asked for a routine circumcision, to which said nurse replied, "No vitamin K, no RIC." FYI, vitamin K shot is required for the newborn's healthy circulation, and in most hospitals circumcision can't be done unless it's administered.
5 Covering The Chest At All Times (Christina Applegate)
Ever since Christina Applegate defeated that all-too-common disease by having a double mastectomy, she's been very self-conscious about her chest. And even while she was giving birth, she didn't plan to uncover this area. But as soon as her baby girl was born, the actress' defenses fell and she did something she had never thought she'd do.
"This part of my body is very private to me… that's a real private place," Applegate later shared on Ellen DeGeneris Show. "A place that I don't have a good relationship with, let's say. But at that moment of pulling her out, I just tore that [gown] off." The actress went on to add, "And she and I just lay there. It was the best thing that's ever happened to me."
4 "Don't You Talk To Me!"
Most women are happy to have people around them during labor, especially if they are the professionals who will help get through the process and ensure that everything's going fine. However, there are moms, who seem to know perfectly well what they're doing (or at least they think they know) and don't allow anyone else into "their bubble."
For example, in her birth plan, Gretchen B. asked everyone to stay away from her at all times during labor. "I didn't want people in my space, breathing on me or trying to coach me through labor without a clear invitation," she later shared with She Knows.
3 Allowing Everyone In, Except For The Woman's Mom
In the previous entry we talked about the mom who didn't want anyone around during labor, and this time we'll take a look at the woman, who didn't mind to see other people in her delivery room. Except for one person – her mother.
That's right, she was ready to invite everyone to join her in this special journey but didn't want her own mom to be there. "I don't think my body would have willingly released an offspring into the world with my biological mother in the room. Too dangerous," this mom said to She Knows.
Although there can be numerous reasons why she didn't want her mom in the delivery room and she had every right to make this decision, it's still an uncommon request.
2 Giving Birth On A Birthing Swing
There are plenty of ways a woman can deliver a baby. She can do it while lying on a bed, as most women do in hospitals, or she can be walking, sitting, standing, or using a birthing ball. The only two limitations to the way she wants to deliver are the hospital's policy, as well as its resources. For example, if the hospital can't provide you with a birthing ball and you don't have your own, this option is out for you.
Same goes for other non-conventional childbirth methods, such as an African birthing swing. One mom asked to provide it in her birth plan, but it was denied for a simple reason. There was no swing and, moreover, nowhere to hang it in the delivery room.
1 Going Gender Neutral Right Away
Some expecting parents want to know the gender of their future baby before they're born, while others choose to wait to make themselves a special surprise on the D-day. But there's also the third kind of parents – those who don't want to know the gender of their baby at all.
Katherine D. and her partner belong to this kind of parents because they didn't care if they were having a boy or a girl and asked the hospital staff to refrain from making this announcement upon delivery. "We didn’t know the gender of our baby and just really felt like it shouldn't be the most important detail about our child," Katherine shares, "so we didn't want anyone shouting 'it's a boy!' or 'it's a girl!' when he was born."
Sources: She Knows, Earth Bound Birth, Daily Edge, Moms, Huff Post, Daily Mail, All Nurses, Jezebel, People, Essential Baby