A birth plan is a means of communicating your wishes and goals for before, during, and after delivery. In it, future parents can offer their best birth scenario.
Why create a birth plan?
Not only can a good birth plan offer a better birthing experience , it can also avoid unrealistic expectations, minimize disappointment, and eliminate major conflicts and miscommunication between a birth mother and her birth attendants. It is also a springboard for dialogue between the patient and the professional.
Sample birth plan – how to create it?
A birth plan is a written understanding , not a binding contract, between you and your doctor.
For example, a birth plan that you design in advance may not be medically advisable at the last minute, and may have to be adjusted at the last minute for your and your baby’s well-being. Or, a change in your mind as a patient may also lead to changes in the plan.
This is why the most important part of creating a good birth plan is flexibility . Since delivery is unpredictable until the last moment.
If you are still not sure what to include in your birth plan or are feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions surrounding the birth of your baby , don’t worry, there are many resources online to help you.
You can download an extensive and customizable birthing plan template online to print and complete based on your needs.
You can also simply write down some of the issues that concern you the most and bring them up with your professional at your next visit. After talking about your preferences for your birthing experience, listen to what your doctor tells you about your labor options . If you need to make any changes, update your birth plan.
Make multiple copies of your birth plan approved by your healthcare provider. That way, you can have them available to the delivery and postpartum nursing team.
The day you give birth is one of the most important of your life. Creating a birth plan ahead of time helps you make decisions about how you want your labor to be, and lets others know your wishes. So when the big day comes, you can focus on what’s most important, bringing your new baby into the world.
What should I include in a birth plan?
Although it is tempting to include a lot of details in a birth plan , try to keep it short so that everyone can read it easily.
Here are some items that your birth plan might cover:
- The Basics: Write your name, your doctor’s name and contact information, where you plan to deliver and who you plan to have there.
- Environment – Think about what will help you feel most comfortable. Would you like the lights to dim? Do you want your room to be as quiet as possible or do you prefer soft music? Would you like a support person to take photos or videos of your labor or birth?
- Work Preferences – Include any preferences you have for your job. For example, do you want to walk freely? Do you want to use a birthing stool, ball, or chair? Would you like to take a hot shower or bath?
- Pain Medications: Pain management during labor is an important consideration. You may not plan to have an epidural, but you may change your mind during labor. Or you may know that you definitely want to have an epidural if possible.
When you are defining your birth plan, ask your doctor about your pain relief options and any questions you have on the subject. These can include breathing or massage.