How to Create a Birth Plan

How to Create a Birth Plan

The birth of your baby should be one of the most memorable, life-changing, and joyful experiences of your life. You will want to spend time thinking through the details of your hopes and desires for this special event. A suggested idea is to a keep a journal. A journal allows for brainstorming and organization.

What is a Birth Plan?

A birth plan is a simple, clear, one-page statement of your preferences for the birth of your child. Providing a copy of the plan for everyone directly involved in the birth will help them better understand what is happening and give them the opportunity to resolve issues before the big day.

Getting Started

Find the routine policies and procedures for “mommy care” in your birth setting. If you do not agree with a policy or procedure, you should discuss it with your health-care provider.

Questions to Consider

  • Who do you want to be present?
  • Will there be children/siblings present?
  • Are you wishing to delay the cord clamping for baby?
  • Do you want immediate skin to skin contact?
  • Do you wish to breastfeed immediately after birth?
  • Do you want mobility, or do you wish to stay in bed?
  • What activities or positions do you plan to use? (walking, standing, squatting, hands and knees)
  • What will you do for pain relief? (massage, hot and cold packs, positions, medication, etc)
  • What are your preferences for your baby’s care? (when to feed, where to sleep)
  • Do you want to wear your own clothing?
  • Do you want to listen to music and have focal points?
  • Do you want to use the tub or shower?

Working with your provider

To your healthcare provider, you and your baby’s safety is everything. Your health care provider may or may not be receptive to some of your ideas if they pose an increased risk of harm to you or the baby. A birth plan can help you maintain your focus and help you stay calm even if unexpected events occur. At your next OB visit, jot down some of your ideas to discuss with your provider. Your doctor will try and accommodate your plan as long as it’s safe.

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