Birth Plan: What Will Typically Happen During Labor At Hospital And What Are The Alternatives

Birth Plan: What Will Typically Happen During Labor At Hospital And What Are The Alternatives

Pregnancy is a period of great joy and quite a few difficulties for all women, but it is all well worth it, because at pregnancy’s end new life is created and a new child is brought into the world. What most women have a trepidation from is the process of labor not pregnancy as a whole. While we know a lot about pregnancy today, even boys are taught the basics, the process of labor and options available to us are rarely explained to us in school or lectures.

We are here to discuss your birth plan and help you get a better understanding of the procedures you can opt for or against while going into labor at hospital. We are also going to discuss the alternatives you can go for, and attempt to move aside the veil of mystery from this topic.


Birth plan

Your birth plan is a document which serves the purpose of reminding your medical staff what preferences you have when it comes to procedures you want used during your labor. Once labor starts, you are not going to be focused enough to make these kinds of decisions and this is why most hospitals hand out birth plan brochures before labor. Keep in mind that a birth plan is not set in stone and that you can’t control every aspect of your labor, so remain flexible and consult your physician about your options.



Now we are going to discuss what happens when a woman goes into labor and arrives at the hospital. We are going to mention some alternatives and options you can go for, but keep in mind that not everything works for every pregnancy, which is why you need to consult your choices with a physician before making a decision.


  • The fact that you have gone into labor doesn’t mean that you will be admitted right away. A nurse or a doctor will evaluate the progress of your labor and after that three things can happen. You can admitted immediately, asked to walk around for a bit or be sent home till the time is right.
  • After admittance, depending on the hospital policy you may be allowed to bring support with you. This may include your partner, family, friends – basically the choice is yours. You may also be allowed to bring some comfort objects like amulets, religious objects, photos, pillows or make other requests like dimmed lighting, soothing music or something else entirely. Be reasonable though, and inquire about hospital policies in advance.
  • IVs are not a standard procedure in most hospitals but you will be asked to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Shaving and enemas are also not standard procedures in hospitals anymore.
  • If your baby’s heart rate is normal you will not be constantly hooked up to a fetal monitor, which allows you to move more easily. Again, this all depends on the hospital policy so make sure you inquire about it.
  • Pain management comes next. There are three options to choose from: unmedicated, medicated and epidural birth. If decide to go for unmedicated birth you may want to inquire about labor props that the hospital can provide and which ones you can bring to help you along. Medicated and epidural birth require a more intensive consultation with your physician.
  • In case of a labor that has stopped your medical staff may recommend that they help you along by intervening either through breaking your amniotic sac or through administering Pitocin.
  • The medical team is there to help you do all the right things but your body might be your biggest natural ally. A lot of women push when they feel it is the best time to it signaled by their body and instinct.
  • Most people believe that the proper position for giving birth is by lying on your back. This isn’t true and you can opt for squatting, semi-sitting and so on.
  • Episiotomies are not routine procedures, but there are situations in which your medical staff will recommend it as necessary.
  • In some situations a birth may be assisted by the staff by using vacuum or forceps to extract the baby.
  • In case of a C-section, in the majority of situations, you support person will be allowed to stay with you and you will be awake through the process. In other, more complicated cases, the mother is put under general anesthesia and the support person is asked to leave.

After giving birth

After a successful vaginal birth the baby is given to the mother and is covered with a blanket to keep the baby warm. You can specify if you want to hold the baby right away or wait for the staff to bathe and dry the baby off.

  • If there are now emergencies you can usually ask for all the follow up procedures and test to be done in the room with you. If your baby needs emergency assistance you support person can accompany him/her into the other room.
  • Your support can cut the umbilical cord, but you need to notify your provider of this.
  • In recent studies there are signs that letting the blood flow through the umbilical cord a bit longer may help with iron deficiency and anemia with newborns so you may ask for this part to be delayed.
  • Banking cord blood needs to be arranged prior to birth and isn’t something that can be decided on the spot.
  • You can choose to breastfeed or use formula and you can start doing so as soon as you and the baby are ready.
  • Deciding if you want to use the pacifier or not is also something you can have impact on.
  • Finally, most hospital encourage mothers to spend as much time with their babies as possible for bonding purposes. Inquire about the hospital’s policy.

Well, that is a lot to take in, but all of this information is intended to help you view the process of giving birth at a hospital from a position of knowledge. You can do further research on each and every one of these points if something concerns or interests you. You can use this information to start working on your birth plan but remember that you need to remain flexible and rely on the guidance of your medical team. Happy childbirth!

Featured photo credit: 5 meses / José Manuel Ríos Valiente via


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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.


Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.


A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.


For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.


Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.


Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.


Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:



When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:


Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via


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