My Birth Plan
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For example, some women know they want to try to have an unmedicated, or "natural," childbirth, and others know they absolutely do not want to have an unmedicated childbirth. It's important to stay flexible.
Keep in mind that some of the things you want may not be possible. So you may want to think about them as your birth preferences, rather than a plan. Talk to your partner as you make your birth plan. Also talk with your doctor or midwife about your birth plan. Your provider can guide you in medical decisions about the birth. You may be limited in your choices because:. Your doctor or midwife can also talk to you about risks and benefits of some of the options you want for your birth. You may have to fill out forms or releases ahead of time for certain options.
Once you've completed your birth plan, be sure to share it with your doctor or midwife well before your delivery date. Also, leave a copy with the hospital or birthing center where you will deliver your baby.
Your doctor, midwife, or the hospital where you will deliver may have a form that you can fill out to create a birth plan. Even if you use a form or checklist to write your birth plan, you can add other preferences that the form does not address. You can make it as simple or detailed as you like.
Obstetrical anesthesia. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; chap Kilpatrick S, Garrison E. Normal labor and delivery. Updated by: John D. Editorial team.
Creating a Birth Plan for a Vaginal Birth
What to include in your birth plan. Deciding About Your Birth Plan. You may change your mind about certain things when you are actually in labor. Your provider may feel that certain steps are needed for your health or your baby's health, even though they are not what you wanted. If you're wondering what you should include in your personalized plan, use the following four areas as a guide:. What do you want the atmosphere where you give birth to be like? List your desires, remembering that not all choices may be permitted.
Some issues or scenarios you may want to tackle include:. This is where you can be clear about how you want to labor, the manner in which you will manage labor pain, and what labor procedures you are comfortable with. Issues or scenarios you may want to address are:.
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Even if you know you don't want a medical induction or C-section, it's important to prepare for unexpected events by listing your preferences regarding those processes. However, know that your health care provider may advise against some of your preferences, especially if you are high risk or experience a medical emergency during labor and delivery.
How do you want the moments after your baby's birth to unfold? Use this part of your birth plan to share your expectations of care for both you and your baby during recovery. Here are some issues and scenarios to consider:. If you're still unsure about what should go in your birth plan or feeling overwhelmed by all the decisions surrounding your baby's birth, don't worry: There's plenty of online resources to help.
You can download a customizable, extensive birth plan template to print out and fill in based on your responses to the options listed above and perhaps those not addressed. You can also simply jot down a few of the issues that concern you the most and bring them up with your practitioner at your next visit.
Birth Plan Checklist for Labor & Delivery at Missouri Baptist Medical Center
After you talk about your preferences for your childbirth experience, listen to what your practitioner has to say about your labor options. If there are any changes you need to make, update your birth plan. Make several copies of your healthcare provider-approved birth plan. That way you can have them available for the labor and delivery nursing team as well as the post-birth nursing team.
Bottom line: Birth plans, though by no means necessary, are a great option and one that more and more expectant parents are taking advantage of. To figure out whether a birth plan is right for you and what should be in it, talk it over with your practitioner at your next visit.
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Yes, I'm the one physically giving birth but it's a team effort and my husband was a big part of it. I was able to practice mindfulness: Once we went into labor, a plan forced me to stay mindful and be present in the experience. I knew that anything I would want to voice was written down. I didn't have to worry about what anyone else was doing. I was able to freely go within, feel what I was feeling, and know confidently that I was being supported.
I had to monitor myself in real time. I could trust that everyone else would handle the rest. It's not about a storybook birth: What do I want and what do I need to be comfortable? Now having gone through the labor and birth. I'm so glad that even the seemingly irrelevant items were discussed as per of my birth plan. Should I bring extra pillows? I am definitely glad I brought my own comfy clothes instead of wearing a hospital gown. Trusting my doula and husband to stay on top of comfort measures like body massage was a great idea too.
A Birth Plan Can Help Smooth the Path to Baby's Arrival
Because these desires were put into place, my nurse joined in with whatever I needed to feel cared for. I'm worth it: I've spent much of my adulthood learning to love myself. I am worthy of expressing my desires and my truth. I don't have to keep my likes and dislikes to myself. It's all right to share my fears. It's important to ask for help.