With the world looking so different these days, it can be easy to let the uncertainty propel you into a panic. If you’re pregnant, one simple way to ease some stress and give you a sense of stability and control is to write up a birth plan.
Planning For Your Little One’s Arrival
Pregnancy is an exciting time for families. If you’re expecting, you’ve probably spent hours writing lists of baby names, researching car seats, interviewing pediatricians, decorating the nursery, and shopping for baby clothes. One thing many pregnant moms don’t consider is how they want their labor and delivery to go. What kind of birthing experience do you want?
A birth plan serves as a general guide for your expectations involving labor and delivery. While nothing in life can be guaranteed to go strictly according to plan, taking time to draft up your goals and wishes for your labor can help ease some of the nervousness about having your baby! Having a birth plan can help your partner and other labor attendants understand your expectations for labor and delivery and can minimize unnecessary conflicts and arguments when the time comes to have your baby.
A birth plan should be practical, clear, flexible, and reasonable.
That means taking into account the hospital’s policies for labor and delivery, the availability of your doctor, what the best-case scenario would look like, and what the hospital has available to use during your labor.
There is no right or wrong way to write a birth plan, but here are some factors to consider.
You can add in as much or as little detail as you want when writing up your birth plan. Your birth plan should be personal and unique to your personality and desires!
A clear birth plan might include who you want in the room when you give birth, whether you prefer a vaginal birth or C-section, whether you want to bank your baby’s cord blood, what interventions you would be comfortable with during labor and delivery, what positions you want available to you during labor and delivery, and any specifications for newborn care once your little one arrives.1. Before the birth
Who do you want in the room with you during labor? Who do you want in the room during pushing? Do you want to be able to eat or drink during labor? Who is responsible for taking photos or videos? Do you need a birthing tub? Do you want to be able to walk around during labor? Does the hospital have an exercise ball or shower to use during labor?
What birthing positions do you want to be able to try? What kind of pain medicine is available? What are your expectations for fetal monitoring? Do you need an IV? Do you want an induction? What are your feelings on episiotomies? Would you be comfortable with a doctor using a vacuum or forceps to help deliver the baby safely? Would it be safer to have a C-section? Who is your labor partner and where do you want them to be during pushing?3. Postpartum and newborn care
Who will cut the baby’s cord? When will you first hold the baby? What is your partner’s role in newborn care? Will you bank your baby’s cord blood? When will your baby have his first bath? When will you first try latching your baby? Do you plan to breastfeed? Do you have special requests involving the placenta? When can extended family and friends come to see the baby? Will your baby use a pacifier? Do you need a breast pump?
Are you unsure of where to start? It might be helpful to call the hospital you plan to deliver at to ask some initial questions, as well as booking a time to tour the labor and delivery wing. You might want to talk to family and friends with kids to get an idea of what issues might arise during labor and delivery. Another valuable resource for questions about birth plans is your healthcare practitioner. Your doctor will be able to discuss your labor options with you and provide useful feedback about how reasonable your expectations are.
Once you draft your birth plan, print several copies to give to your partner, your doctor, and other members of your labor and delivery team so that everyone is on the same page when it comes time to deliver your baby.
Here is a simple template to use for writing your birth plan:
Writing a birth plan can be a positive activity to do during pregnancy and can help alleviate a lot of stress about uncertainty involving the birth process!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.