Writing a Birth Plan
A birth plan provides a great way to discuss birth options and medical treatments with your doctor and nurses. Creating a birth plan helps you and your partner design and shape your birth experience. It also encourages discussion and helps you make decisions about what you want before labor begins.
Starting Your Birth
It's useful to include certain information at the beginning of your birth plan, especially if you have concerns or special needs. This information might include:
- Any physical, emotional, or sexual concerns
- Any previous pregnancy losses or difficult births
- A fear of childbirth, hospitals, or medical care
- Modesty issues
- Cultural or religious beliefs
- The use of certain medications or medical treatment
- The use of pain relief measures, such as nitrous oxide or epidural
- Wanting to deliver your baby without medication
- Write your birth plan in a positive way, telling your healthcare team what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
- Your birth plan should show flexibility and a willingness to trust your caregivers if something unexpected should happen.
- Some things require that your baby be continuously monitored. This includes inducing your labor with IV pitocin. So please discuss this with your healthcare provider before you write your birth plan.
- Keep your birth plan short and simple. Some things that used to be routine are no longer required, such as shaving and an enema. This means there is no need to include them in your birth plan.
- Write activities such as playing soft music or using massage and acupressure on your “goodie bag list,” since your partner will be providing these for you.
Sample Birth Plan
Click here to download a sample birth plan. This sample will give you an example of some items you might like to include in your own birth plan.