How to make a birth plan
The birth of a child is a special time for all mothers, whether you’re a first time mom or a seasoned pro. Each woman has their own vision of what an ideal labor and delivery will be. For some, the idea of experiencing the labor and delivery process without medication is unheard of, while other women adamantly oppose the use of medical interventions unless clearly indicated.
How can a mom-to-be ensure that her voice is heard once the whirlwind of the labor experience has ensued? By writing a birth plan.
Expectant moms can put their minds at ease by writing a simple birth plan, a document created to inform physicians, family members, and hospital staff of mom’s wishes for how her birth process will be handled. The birth plan covers all aspects of labor and delivery as well as what happens after the birth. With a birth plan in place, women have more control over the things that are most important to them, from positioning to medical interventions.
Do your research
Even Moms who have already experienced labor and delivery will benefit from a little research since no two labors are alike. Understanding what possible complications could arise during the birth process as well as what your options are is crucial to writing a complete birth plan.
- Read everything that you can get your hands on from books, to blogs, to online articles.
- Speak with other Moms and compare their birth experiences. You will gain a wealth of information from them, and can plan how you would like to have a similar issue addressed once you are the one in labor.
Make sure that you clearly understand what aspects of the labor can and can’t be controlled by you, and decide what is most important to you regarding the birth process.
Create a list
Create a list of all aspects that you want to address during your labor and delivery. Would you prefer to be confined to the bed, or would you like to maintain mobility? Who will be present during the labor and delivery process? Do you want an epidural or other forms of pain medication? Other issues that you may want to address in your birth plan are:
- fetal monitoring
- augmentation of labor (administration of pitocin, or rupturing the membranes)
- C-section: Who will be there? What type of anesthesia would you prefer?
- Post delivery issues: Where will baby stay? Routine catheters?
- Breastfeeding: Do you want baby to receive bottles or pacifiers?
- Cord Blood Banking
Now that your list is complete, it’s time to create your birth plan. Birth plans can be hand-written, typed as word documents, or created from a prepared template. The easiest of these options is the online template. The internet is filled with birth plan templates that you can utilize to make creating your birth plan a simple process. Simply fill in the template with information from your checklist and print!
Now that you have printed your birth plan, you need to complete the process by passing copies out to those who will be involved with your labor and delivery. First, make sure to pass a copy along to your Obstetrician. Discuss the birth plan with him, and be certain that he understands exactly what you want during your labor and delivery. Next, send a copy to the birthing facility so that they will have one on file for you when labor begins. Give a copy to your spouse/partner as well as any other people who will be attending the birth. Finally, pack a copy of your birth plan in your suitcase so that there will be a back-up just in case. Making sure that the right people are informed of your wishes will greatly increase the odds that your birth plan will be followed out leaving you to enjoy a satisfying delivery of a healthy baby.
As part of a birth video series, Jeremy Dyen discusses why having having a basic birth plan can make birthing a more positive experience. Many women go into labor without any plan, and it often causes a longer, more difficult childbirth, and even causes more labor pain. Finally, he discusses helpful ideas for giving birth, what should go in your birth plan.
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