A birth plan lets your partner and the hospital know how you would like to manage labor pain and were you stand on a number of medical interventions. Some people will tell you that having a birth plan is essential but from my experience I don’t think it is. I’ve seen too many women disappointed when things don’t go exactly to the plan. I like to tell my clients to make a birth plan and then throw it out, okay maybe not throw if you really feel the need to take one with you to the hospital don’t get upset when things don’t go exactly to the plan because they won’t. Birth is unpredictable and impossible to plan every detail.
Things your birth plan might want to include
At what point in your labor do you want to go to the hospital?
What personal things do you want to bring?
What friends and family would you like to be there?
Do you plan on eating during labor and if so what foods?
What labor positions do you plan on trying? (walking, standing, squatting, hands and knees)
If the hospital has a shower and tubs do you plan on using them?
Do you want meds to induce contractions?
Do you want to take pain meds to help with pain? If so, do you have a preference?
To help ease pain do you want to try using hot packs, relaxation, breathing exercises, labor imagery or massage?
How do you feel about fetal monitoring?
How do you feel about having an episiotomy if the doctor feels its needed?
Forceps, vacuum or cesarean delivery
Do you want to hold your baby right after birth for skin to skin contact?
Do you plan on breastfeeding right away?
If you want to delay cutting the cord/ banking cord blood
If your partner wants to help deliver the baby/cut the cord
Before sitting down and making a birth plan make sure you know your options and do some research. Your plan should be just one page.