Creating a Birth Plan


I’m almost 34 weeks pregnant and if you’re like me (OCD and Type A) you will agree that preparing a short (ladies – its not intended to be a novel) birth plan is a great way to calm nerves and make sure everyone who is going to be in the delivery room is on the same page.

First, I will tell you that I went back and forth for weeks on this, whether it was worth it or just a waste of time. I came to the conclusion that finding a “birth plan” template online would be the best way to go. This way it would help me get familiar with the terms used during labor and the options I have, WITHOUT being stressed out of actually creating one from scratch.

In case you haven’t heard of a birth plan, it is an excellent tool for you to use when preparing for the delivery of your bundle of joy. It helps you to actually think through the things that you want and don’t want with regards to options for labor and delivery. It is typically shared with your OBGYN, the nurses at the hospital you are delivering at or with your mid-wife/doula.

I would suggest providing it to your doctor about two months before delivery, that way you can go over questions you may have and just have it ready in your file ahead of time.

Below are some questions to consider when developing your plan, but if you are like me, you might also want to visit this website, which provides a template for you.

Questions to consider:

• Who do you want to be present?
• Do you want a doula?
• Will there be children/siblings present?
• 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)
• Do you prefer a certain position to give birth?
• What will you do for pain relief? (massage, hot and cold packs, positions, labor imagery, relaxation, breathing exercises, tub or Jacuzzi, medication)
• How do you feel about fetal monitoring?
• How do you plan to keep hydrated? (sips of drinks, ice chips, IV)
• Do you want pain medications, or not? Do you have a preference for certain pain medications?
• 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)
• Do you want a routine IV, a heparin/saline block, or neither?
• 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?
• For home and birth center births, what are your plans for hospital transport in case of emergency?
• If you need a cesarean, do you have any special requests?

Ladies – have you used a birth plan? What are your thoughts on it? What other items should be included in the plan? Are there any moms-to-be that will be creating one or are undecided? Let’s keep this conversation going!

Happy Birth Planning everyone!

3 comments on “Creating a Birth Plan”

  1. We went to the Hosiptal fo rthe class and delivery review and were told by the head labor nurse the Birthing Plan is pretty much null in the moments of Labor. she also noted that many who had a plan wound up delivering by Csection and in the throws of the deklivery it could be more stressful thinking of that plan and you may feel more let down later.

    Well even if we had wrote one – little man came a Month early with an ambulance ride and delivery 15 mins into the hospital by a Doctor and staff I didnt know – so plan away but sometimes, just keep in mind, the little ones have a mind of their own. 🙂

  2. I created a birth plan with my doula but she made it pretty clear that it’s just an outline for what you want. I went into my birth with some ideas of how I wanted it to go and as you know, it didn’t go as planned. So I think the important thing is to have a general idea of what you want, but if there are complications, be open to changing things as you go along. You’ll do great! You are a strong woman and we are all here to support you.

  3. I agree – a cesarean delivery may be a last resort option on your list, but if you want to be extra prepared, go ahead and write the extra plan. I ended up needing that c-section, and I’m glad I had my wishes on paper. For us, we knew ahead of time that a c-section was a strong possibility so we didn’t just have a few extra bullet points about it on our plan; we created a whole separate plan for the cesarean.

    You may also want to be explicit about your choice to breast feed or formula feed.

    And the last thing I’d suggest – know that the plan is just a guide and that above all, you need to remain flexible. I can be honest with you that, even going in with our plan for a natural birth and the contingent plan for a cesarean, that both plans went right out the window and in the end, we had to just go with the flow. I’m not sure even one thing I wanted for Nora’s birth actually happened; not because my wishes weren’t listened to, but because births can be unpredictable.

    So, use your birth plan to guide your preferences but be sure part of your plan includes flexibility!

    Best wishes to you for a beautiful, healthy birth experience!

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