How to write a birth plan
In this article
- What is the birth plan?
- Why should you make a birth plan?
- What kind of research should be done before writing a birth plan
- How do you write a birth plan?
- What should be included in the plan?
- What if you have a special requirement?
- What happens after writing a birth plan?
What is the birth plan?
A birth plan is a record or document in which expectant parents explain their labor and postpartum preferences. It also serves as a means of communication between partners, caregivers and hospital staff prior to labor and delivery. The document also gives insight into other options that can be put into action should an unexpected situation arise.
Why should you make a birth plan?
Here are the reasons why you should get one:
- Natural delivery: All you need to know in the labor room is that you don’t want a natural, epidural delivery without the help of any pain medication. Creating a birth plan will enable you to do this.
- Communication meanings: This will clearly communicate your desires and expectations. It helps to tell your doctor or midwife that unless there are some complications, the delivery should go according to your birth plan. In hindsight, it gives health care providers a chance to analyze and summarize what your documented plan is likely to read.
- Preparation: Drafting a birth plan also states what you are ready for. You can make this plan by visiting many blogs, talking to friends who are moms, talking to health care providers, as well as reading many books about pregnancy and childbirth. Doing this may not make your birth easier, but it will give you great comfort while you go to the delivery room.
- Gathering knowledge: Writing a birth plan requires acquiring knowledge about labor and delivery, the hospital or health center environment, medical equipment (which can be used during delivery), and medications. In the process, you also learn all about having a baby.
- Gives clarity: While your contractions have started and you are in pain, just opening your birth plan will give you an idea and help you decide what to do next.
What kind of research should be done before writing a birth plan
You can do this as follows:-
- Join an antenatal class: Antenatal classes are a good place to chat and ask questions to different caregivers and health professionals about different aspects of pregnancy, labor and delivery. This is where you can meet other moms, share pregnancy problems and experiences, and learn new things from them.
- Talking to People: Dealing with people and women who have given birth in a hospital will give you insight into what your experience might be like. Plus, talking to other online pregnancy forums can also give you an understanding of labor and delivery. A word of caution though, “Don’t be too late because every woman is different and so is pregnancy.”
- Talking to Friends: Ask friends who have recently had children for their opinions on what was included in their birth plan and what was left out. They can also help you understand what you should expect when the baby is born.
- From your partner to talk : Have your partner talk and ask her about the role she might be assigned during labor and delivery before planning the birth. It will also give you insight into how it can help you during labor and the birth process.
- Prepare for Worst: Your delivery may not work depending on how you perform it. Sometimes, during delivery, you may need some kind of intervention or an emergency caesarean section if your health or that of the baby is at risk. That’s why it’s important to have a flexible birth plan.
How do you write a birth plan?
Every woman’s birth plan is different because what goes into it depends on what is important to her. It should be as simple and concise as possible. Your partner and family members should be fully aware of what you wish for in a birth plan (some hospitals and care providers may try to bypass the birth plan instead of following it).
What should be included in the plan?
The birth plan should be as concise as possible and should include everything that is important to the expectant mother. A good and accessible birth plan should include the following points.
- Your position during labor and delivery should be included in one where you feel that you will be most relaxed and comfortable in a certain way.
- It should mention that you will have a business coach and who it will be.
- Other pain relief options such as breathing techniques and massage should be mentioned as well as treatments during labour.
- Who do you want and don’t want at the time of delivery in the delivery room.
- Whether you want people to visit you right after you’re born or not.
- You can tell someone about your birth if you want to and whether or not the hospital allows it.
- If you want some relaxing music during the labour/delivery process.
- Your worries and fears.
- If you want to move during labour?
- Whether you want an epidural or delivery without drugs?
- Is it okay to be an inspiration to you?
- Birth preferences Whether you want a vaginal delivery, caesarean section, vacuum extraction or forceps delivery?
- In what circumstances should your doctor perform a cesarean delivery?
- The position of labor and delivery.
- Do you want to wear your own clothes during and during labour?
- Do you want a cord blood bank?
- When will you and your partner be able to carry the baby after birth sooner or later?
- When will you feed the baby for the first time?
- Would you rather bottle-feed your baby? Did you learn to breastfeed?
- Do you want your child to sleep with you or in the nursery?
- If your child was a boy, would you like to be circumcised? If so, when?
- You can also mention that you want your partner or midwife to cut the cord rather than the doctor or nurse. You can also order some medications that expel the placenta quickly or expel the placenta on its own.
What if you have a special requirement?
It should be mentioned if English or another language that is widely spoken (in that place) is not your first language and whether you need an interpreter. It is necessary to mention any special diet during your hospital stay, if you have a diet.
What happens after writing a birth plan?
Having a good birth plan is definitely a good idea when it comes to one of the most important milestones in your life, which is being a mother. However, no one can be blamed. Expectant mothers should be flexible and keep their options open. This will not only help in having a safe delivery, but will also be good.