If this is your first baby you might be asking, “what is a birth plan, and what should I include on it?” Well, first of all, a birth plan is a document expecting mamas fill out with their preference for their upcoming labor. While you can’t obviously control everything that happens during our labor, this document does help the medical staff know the preferences you have for your birth. Even if you have it all planned out in your head, it’s wise to draw up a birth plan so everyone is on the same page.
1. Talk With Your Provider
Before you start working on your birth plan I would discuss what options your have with your provider. For example, you don’t want to be putting down, “water birth” if your hospital or birthing center doesn’t provide birthing pools. Your doctor will help guide your expectations so you can plan better.
2. Write It Down
If your hospital doesn’t provide a birth plan to fill in your can find tons online, like this one. Having it written down will help you remember what is important and also it means you can hand it to your partner or birth coach to keep handy. There is not much worse then trying to answer about pain management in the middle of a contraction.
3. Keep It Simple
By all means, write down your requests. But keep the details simple. This will make it easier to read and also more likely they will read the whole thing.
4. Go Over It With Your Partner
Whether its your spouse or doula, make sure your birthing partners know your preferences. This will help them intercede on your behalf. This is especially helpful if you go through multiple nurse shift changes and you feel like you’ve repeated yourself 100 times.
5. Write Down If You Plan To Keep Your Placenta
If you are planning to keep your placenta for encapsulation make sure this is written down on your birth plan. I didn’t do this one with my first, but I also don’t remember if they asked if I wanted it. I’m pretty sure it is whisked away out go sight along with the rest of the blood and bodily fluids birth graciously give us. If you are planning to do this then you will need to make arrangements for your placenta to stored and brought home from the hospital correctly.
6. What Does Dad Want?
Usually they will always ask before the cord is cut, but make sure to specify if your baby daddy plans to cut the cord.
7. Remember To Be Flexible
At the end of the day labor is different for each women and with each pregnancy so remember to be flexible. If you need to reminder, be sure to include this as one of your points on your plan. Maybe you didn’t plan for the epidural, but you feel much more comfortable with some pain relief. Thats ok, (you might need to tell your partner to repeat that to your a few times), don’t let your “plan” stand between you and meeting your beautiful healthy baby.