How To Develop A Birth Plan?

The day you give birth is probably the most important day of your entire life. Creating a plan ahead of time not only brings peace of mind, but it can help you to make decisions on how you want your labor and delivery to be. It also alerts others to your wishes, in the case of being incapacitated, or unable to make decisions for yourself. Having a birth plan also allows you to focus on what’s most important- delivering a healthy and happy baby into the world!

What is a birth plan?

Simply put, a birth plan is an outline of your wishes during labor and delivery. It can include who you want with you during labor, whether or not you’d like pain meds, or if you would like the lights bright or dimmed. It can include anything you can think would make labor more comfortable for you. Remember, a birth plan is not set in stone. If you should change your mind throughout the labor and delivery process, you can. Many women initially refuse pain meds, only to ask for them once labor contractions become too intense to bear.

What to include in a birth plan?

Don’t make your birth plan too complicated or difficult to understand. Instead, keep it simple and focus on what matters most.

Start with the basics: list your name, your doctor’s name and contact info, where you plan to give birth, and who you would like to be there with you. With that out of the way, you can focus on the atmosphere of the room.

The day you give birth is probably the most important day of your entire life.

Picture giving birth and think about what would help you to feel comfortable at that time. Would you like the lights down low? Would you prefer a quiet room or some soft music? Is it okay for a support person to be present to take photos or video? Once you’ve got the atmosphere aspect figured out, you can focus on your labor preferences.

Labor preferences are any preferences or want you to have in mind for your labor. For example, would you like to have access to a birthing stool or rubber ball? Would a warm shower or bath help to relax you? How about a nice walk? These are all things to include in your labor preferences portion. Next, focus on pain meds.

It goes without saying that labor and delivery can be quite trying, this makes pain management even more important. Consider whether or not you would like an epidural. If not, ask your doctor about other options for relief as you plan your birth. These could include deep breathing techniques or even massage.

Remember, even if you initially state you don’t want an epidural or pain medicine, you can gladly change your mind once in the labor process. Now, focus on delivery.

This is where you finally touch on your preferences for the actual birth. If you’re planning a vaginal birth, would you want an episiotomy? How about a mirror to see your baby’s birth? Would you like your partner to cut the umbilical cord or the doctor? Would you like the baby placed right on your abdomen following the delivery? These are all things that are best worked out in advance, as you’ll be too busy to make these decisions during the labor and delivery process.

Finally, touch on feeding and care. Once your baby is born, think about feeding and aftercare. Would you like to breastfeed right after delivery or would you like to combine bottle and breast? Take time to work out these details now, so you can rest easy later on!

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