If you’re expecting a baby, you’re likely to be planning. You may have bought diapers, newborn clothes, etc. You could use our budget friendly shopping list here to see what you may need.
Before your baby is born, it’s important to have a plan that leads up to the moment of giving birth. This is called a birth plan – a statement of your preferences and choices for your labor, delivery, and postpartum experience.
With a birth plan, you can identify and communicate your wishes to the healthcare team as well as prepare yourself for the experience ahead. It’s important to talk with your partner or labor coach about the options available to you. Then, you can fill in the plan and give the copies to your healthcare provider and the hospital staff. You should understand that your options may change depending on your medical condition as well as that of your baby.
What is in the Birth Plan
The Birth Plan includes important details for your birth experience. Here’s a checklist:
- Your name
- Your partner’s name
- The hospital where you’re planning to deliver
- Due date
- Baby’s name and sex
- Medical conditions
You can include pain relief measures you’d like to receive as well as your pain medication choices during labor and delivery. You can decide if you want an epidural or go medication-free.
When giving birth, there’s no guarantee of what kind of delivery you’ll have. You might have to consider how some decisions will be made in case of an emergency and who will make them. It may mean having a Caesarean birth instead of a vaginal delivery, beginning Pitocin, etc. You can indicate how you’d like these decisions to be presented to you and what information you need to make an informed choice.
Your labor may last for a few hours or a few days. You can indicate:
- Who you want to be with as you labor?
- Would you prefer fetal monitoring?
- Who will document the delivery process?
There are a lot of questions you can consider in the plan.
When it comes to delivering, you need all support you can get. You can consider how your partner, labor coach, or other people present can be involved as the baby is born. You can think about:
- What positions are you comfortable to birth in?
- How you’d like to be coached in pushing?
When your baby is born, there are still some things you may have to think about.
- Who will cut your little one’s umbilical cord?
- Do you want your baby cleaned before skin-to-skin contact?
- Would you like your baby to be circumcised at the hospital?
- Do you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby?
Why a Birth Plan
Having a birth plan gives you a chance to conduct research and make a decision about the different options available ahead of delivery. If you don’t want to talk much during labor, the plan can keep you from having to respond to questions while delivering. Also, discussing your plan with your healthcare provider can ensure you’re on the same page before the big day.