A birth plan is a written description of what you want to happen during labor and birth. It includes details such as who you would like to be in your labour and in what position you’d prefer to give birth.
This is a great way to tell your doctor or midwife what type of care you would like for labour, birth, and after (if possible) and if you are planning to breastfeed.
You will be able to make more decisions regarding your care and prepare for the big day by having a birth plan. You can also use it to help your father or partner in birth, particularly if you have made the birth plan together.
Before you can make a plan, it is important to understand what birth looks like and the options you have.
- How to find out your birth plan
- Find out more at:
- Going to antenatal classes
Ask your doctor or midwife about any concerns or questions you may have regarding the birth and labour process.
Ask about the people involved in your care. Find out how many people are involved. Also, find out who has access your medical records.
Learn more about birth
Talk to other mothers who gave birth in the same hospital or birth center as you, or women who had a homebirth if this is what you want.
Talk to your partner, family members or friends about being there for you during the birth. What kind of birth and labour would they prefer? What is their view of their role?
It is important to base your decisions on accurate information. Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor or midwife about different labor options. When making these decisions, think about your safety and well-being as well as the safety and well-being of your baby. It is a good idea for you to discuss your birth plan with your caregivers at least 36 weeks before you become pregnant.
Flexibility is key
While you can prepare for labor and birth by doing everything possible, it is not possible to control the outcome. Your baby may have other ideas. Your needs and wants might change depending on the day. It’s important that you remain flexible when creating your birth plan.
What should you include in your baby plan?
Here’s a list of possible things that your birth plan might cover. These are just a few of the things you might want to include. There may also be other important items that you do not wish to cover. You will have to consider what options are available in your area. Birth centres, for example, offer fewer pain relief options.
It is crucial to have support during labour. You can list the people you would like to be with you during labor, such as your partner, children, other family members, a friend, or a doula. You can also specify how long they will be in the room. You may want them to leave the room at certain stages or procedures during labor.
Please describe any preferences you have for the environment in which you were born, including music, low lighting, and aromatherapy.
Please describe your pain relief preferences. What options are you open to? Keep an open mind. It is possible that you need more pain relief than you planned. Your doctor or midwife might suggest more effective pain relief in order to assist with the delivery. There are many options for pain relief including TENS machine, gas, epidurals, pethidine, and massage.
Positions for birth and labour
It might be helpful to list your preferred birth positions. This could include standing, sitting, kneeling, or lying down on the bed. It is possible to include whether you plan on using any birthing aids such as a bean bag, swiss ball or squatting stool. It is also possible to indicate if you wish to labor in a bathtub or shower.
Please describe your preference for assisted delivery. If possible, you might want to list any procedures that you prefer to avoid. These could include forceps use, artificial rupture of membranes, or induction.