Home / Baby Advice / Why Have a Birth Plan- Your Plan and Preferences

The birth of your baby is going to be one of the most joyful, life changing and memorable times in your life. Whether you have your dream birth, or you have a completely different birth you had hoped for. Once you see your precious newborn, that will be the only thing on your mind. You will begin to bond and start feeling excited about the future.

What is A Birth Plan?

what to have in your birth plan

A birth plan is a journal or recorded document that has your thoughts and plans for the upcoming birth of your child. Your journal will help you establish priorities and provide a list of ideas to give to your birth team to help carry out during your delivery. I always recommend making 2 copies. One to give to your team (nurses, doula, midwife) and one for you and your partner to keep track of.

A birth plan can help answer questions if mom is not in a position to provide important decisions. Mom needs to concentrate on having the baby, or in the case of medical intervention, she may not be able to contribute. A birth plan is always a good idea to record your hopes and desires for the birth of your baby.

Your Birth Plan Should Be:

Your birth plan should be clear and concise. Keep It down to one-page, noting your top priorities. Because there are so many aspects of birth, you may need to revise your plan a few times over. Give yourself adequate time to do your research and work out what is important to you.

We have broken down important categories you can follow and include in your birth plan. These categories are simply the stages of birth. You will want to include your own preferences, especially if you know the type of birth you will have, like a scheduled c-section (medical or personal reasons). Everyone's birth plan will be completely different. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Ask yourself these questions and include your answers. It’s a good idea to have one page dedicated to a non-complicated delivery and postpartum, and a second page of how to handle complications should they occur. Some of the questions will not pertain to you, simply skip them and go to the next.

This birth plan is relevant for a traditional hospital birth. If you plan on a home birth or at a birth center, talk to your midwife or coordinator what birth plan you will write.

Labour

  • Who would you like in the room with you? (This will include your doula, midwife, family, your other children and so on.)
  • What pain relief are you considering? (Massage, hot cold packs, bath, medication)
  • What position would you like to use for delivery, and what activities would you like to do? (Hand and knees, sitting, squatting, walking, bathing, etc.)
  • Do you want to be mobile, or in bed?
  • Do you want constant fetal monitoring?
  • Do you prefer to wear your own clothing? (See our article, What to Bring to the Hospital When Baby is Born)
  • Would you like music playing, the TV on or quiet?
  • 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?
  • Would you be willing to have an episiotomy? Or, are there certain measures you want to use to avoid one?
  • What are your preferences for your baby’s care? (when to feed, where to sleep)
  • If you need a cesarean, do you have any special requests?

This could include:

Immidiate skin to skin contact, babies assensment doen on mother, immidiate breat feeding, vaginal seeding, delayed cord clamping and so on.

what should i have in my birth plan

After Delivery

  • Do you want visitors?
  • Do you want baby to go to the nursery so you can have a shower or rest?
  • Do you want to eat hospital food or have food brought in?

Conclusion​

Putting a plan in place is going to help the team working with you when it is time to bring baby into the world. It is best to understand that we may still need to be flexible, as not everything can be in our control. Be sure to have a support system with you who can speak up and advocate for your needs during this time.

 
 

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