How to Write a Birth Plan

You are pregnant and have just heard that people write up birth plans. Now, this may be a new phenomenon to you or you may have already written one up for yourself. When I was pregnant, I did a lot of research and reading and decided that I wanted to write a plan for how the birth of my son would play out. Maybe it was the control freak in me or maybe I just wanted to be as prepared as possible for something I have never done before. Either way, I thought it was a good idea and I wrote one out for myself.

How to write a birth plan.
What is a birth plan and how do you write one?

First of all, do not panic or feel bad if you do not already have a birth plan. I feel that this is still a pretty new idea to many people. Just ask your mom if she had one. My mom did not even have the option of getting an epidural for her first 4 births so the idea of writing up a birth plan was out of the question.

So, what is a birth plan? A birth plan is pretty much a piece of paper that has your written preferences for labor and delivery as well as post-delivery mom and baby care. You give this document to the medical staff that is assisting you during labor and the doctor who will be delivering your baby.

What do you put in the birth plan? Some things to consider are:

  • Who will be present in the birthing room? Dad? Doula?
  • Will you allow medical students to be present?
  • What kind of environment do you want to give birth in? Some hospitals may not allow fancy candles or essential oils.
  • Do you want an epidural?
  • Do you want to do cord blood banking?
  • What existing or new medical conditions should the medical team know about?
  • Who makes the big decisions when an emergency presents itself in the delivery room?
  • Would you like to try different birthing positions?
  • Do you want to start breastfeeding right away? There may be a lactation consultant at the hospital or birthing center.
  • Do you want your baby to receive a Vitamin K injection and/or eye ointment?

Those are just some of the questions your birth plan will answer. That way, the staff knows what to do when an emergency arises.

Your birth may not go according to plan but it this is a neat little way to prepare yourself for the big day. Do not be upset when there are deviations. Birth is a beautiful and natural event, but there may be complications. For example, when my son was born, I wanted my husband to cut the umbilical cord. That did not happen because my son was born with the umbilical cord wound around his neck. The doctor had to quickly cut it so my son would not be deprived of oxygen! We were thankful that everything went ok and that is really what you want when you are giving birth to your child.

Check out the birth plan I wrote for my son’s birth at this link below

Is there anything you would put on your birth plan that I have not listed? Let me know!