Why Write a Birth Plan?
Birth Plan, Birth Preference, or Birth Map, whatever you choose to call it, writing down your ideal birth is a great way to communicate with your birth team. Before I elaborate, it’s important to know that birth plans should have flexibility and not all births go according to plan.
Birth plans are great opportunity for you and your partner to sit down and discuss what your birth wishes are, and what you want to avoid; it encourages you to be educated and responsible for your care (also known as informed consent). It encourages you to make clear goals and allow changes to be made if needed (not wanting to use any pain management vs receiving an epidural because your exhausted for being in labour for a while and need a few hours of sleep). If you and your birth team know what your preferences are in different scenarios, then everyone is on the same page and help you best articulate your desires accordingly. Don’t shy away from having a few copies with you at your birthing location, they can easily be lost or misplaced, and review with each of your support team (doula, partner, mom, sister… whoever is going to be out your birth).
Some things you may want to include in your birth plan:
- What kind of environment do you want to birth in (lights on or off, music playing or quiet, home or hospital, etc)?
- Do you plan to eat or drink during labour?
- Do you want staff to offer you pain meds?
- Who do you want present at the birth?
- What positions do you want to labour in?
- Do you want to stay in bed or do you want to move freely?
- Do want your care provider to break your water or do you want it to break on its own?
- In case of needing a c-section, do you have any special requests?
- Actively coached while pushing or do you want to follow your body’s direction?
- Do you want a mirror to be used when baby is crowning to connect with baby?
- Can forceps or vacuum be used to during delivery?
- Do you have any religious or cultural practices you want to everyone to be aware of?
- Cut the cord right away or delay cord clamping?
- Do you want baby to have skin to skin with you right away?
- Do you have any plans for your placenta?
And let’s be honest, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with questions and having to make decisions when you are in active labour and exhausted, so if there are others who can answer questions on your behalf the more time and effort you can put on focusing to bringing your bundle of joy earth side.
Side note, we cover ALL of these topics in our Prenatal Intensive Classes and we’d LOVE for you and your partner/support person to join us! Click HERE for more info.
Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.
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